Homeowner. That has a bloody good ring to it. And yes, it’s hard work. It’s scary. It’s a process. And, that’s all before even finding the perfect first home and putting in your offer. But once you have turned that key for the first time and opened the front door to your own little slice of paradise, all of that is forgotten. It’s not perfect, it’s probably not the dream home you imagined, but it’s yours. Well, technically it’s the banks, but that is a minor detail worth skipping over. My partner Matt and I took that very same plunge at the end of last year. Here are just a few of the things that I didn’t know would come with owning our first home.
1. How satisfying it is hanging a picture, wherever you want.
Not happy with where you hung it? Doesn’t matter, just pull out the picture hook and move it. Want to use a drawing pin instead? Do it. Make six holes in the process? You’ll get around to fixing it – there’s no inspection after all.
2. Nights out have been replaced with nights in.
There was always an outstanding invitation to dinner, drinks or movies that was much more enticing. Now an excuse rolls off the tongue to enable you to stay home. Put on the UE Boom, grab the paintbrush and have your favourite stew (with whatever ingredients were in the fridge) cooking in the slow cooker. This duo is not leaving this house.
3. Decorating is all about compromise.
Two differing tastes may not always complement each other when it comes to styling the new abode. But we learnt the easiest way to deal with this early on. I tell Matt what I like, and he compromises by going along with my choice.
4. Setting your home address.
Number one priority should be setting your new home address on Uber Eats (Refer back to number 2 on the list). Following this, Uber and Google Maps are bound to come in handy too!
5. You are your own landlord.
“Hey, dishwashers not working.”
“Don’t worry, just call the landlor….”
Yes, these are no longer someone else’s problems. Issues with the home are now your responsibility. They require your time and, get this, your money to resolve them.
6. There are so many shades of white.
They all look exactly the same. You will start with three Resene test pots on the wall. You will finish with 8 Resene test pots on the wall. After days, possibly weeks deliberating, you will choose one and paint the entire room. You will forget what one you went with in the first place.
7. Constantly checking homes.co.nz to see if it’s gone up in value yet.
If I ever drove past a house that I liked, I would quickly check homes.co.nz to see roughly how much it was worth. Now, I just check one address and wonder why it hasn’t gone up in value since the same time yesterday.
8. All that extra space now that you’re no longer flatting.
You now no longer have a designated shelf on the fridge. It’s all yours. You can put whatever you like in there. However, now we’re lucky to have enough in there to even fill a shelf.
9. You notice the small things.
When we were renting, I’d always notice the negatives - Man, this house is cold. If only the rooms were bigger. I wish there was more storage. Now though, I appreciate the little wins - Have you noticed how the light filters through that gaping hole in the wall? Ok, I exaggerate. There is no gaping hole. But the light does hit our house really nicely at about 5 pm.
10. You don’t need permission from anyone to get a(nother) pet.
.We already had the dog (check him out, he has more Instagram followers than me @ourdogotis). Finding somewhere to rent with him was a nightmare. Buy a house - problem solved. You also don’t need permission from a landlord if you want to extend your little animal family. I didn’t even get permission from Matt when I got a new fish tank complete with fish – It’s all about compromise.