To say the past few weeks have been busy is an understatement. Between flying home to do some wedding planning, a work trip to LA, and having some friends over to visit us, we have been quite busy! Oh and add in the fact that we are still adjusting to having a home and all that comes with it. Here are some new homeowner thoughts that I've realized over the past few weeks. It has definitely been a fun, crazy learning experience!
1. Throwing get together with friends is so much easier! It's so wonderful to have plenty of space to have guests over without worrying about bothering the neighbors. While we still had a few large get togethers in our apartment, it always felt like we were cramped and hot (without AC having lots of people in a small space really heats it up!).
2. Bugs are not my favorite, but I'm getting better at dealing with them. We had a HUGE fly problem a few weeks ago. Apparently they were getting in through the unfinished part of the crawl space. It was gross. Dan was a trooper and really helped out on this one. We ending up going to home depot and buying a screen to cover the open hole as well as added some plastic strips to cover the creases in the door. That seemed to stop the indoor problem, but we still have tons of spiders and cob webs on the outside of the house. We have Terminix come out every other month which does help considerably.
3. Watering everything takes up a lot of time. However, if you get few long hoses (100 or 200 foot one usually work best) it makes the process a whole lot easier. We originally only had one hose, so I used to carry a 2 gallon watering can to water the plants out of reach (including my hanging plants out front). Definitely not a sustainable process. Do yourself a favor and invest in hoses. It makes a world of difference, especially during those hot dry summers.
3.5- This relates to the previous comment, but DON'T plant hydrangeas in the dead of summer like I did. They are called hydrangeas for a reason- they want TONS of water. I water these guys every day and they still don't look awesome. I think they will pull through the summer, but I definitely will be more careful about planting things during the appropriate season.
4. Long laundry lists of things to do- there is always something to do. Whether it's something small like hanging up pictures or changing out a facet to the larger things like remodeling the kitchen, there is always a large list of things that we want to get done. We prioritized the things we needed to get done, but the list will always continue to grow.
5. Getting an awesome general contractor (GC) is SO helpful. That's probably the best advice I would have for new homeowners. We had a list of items from our inspection that we wanted to get done right away (rewiring the house, putting in a new electrical panel, adding AC, fixing the roof, etc) and our GC was able to help us with everything. If he personally didn't know how to fix it (i.e. he isn't specialized in roofing for example) he always knew a contact that he could send out to our house to help get the project finished.
6. Lots of little expenses adding up- while our overall mortgage payment ended up being slightly less than our monthly apartment cost, there still are a bunch of little expenses that seem to creep up on us. Between our trips to home depot, bed bath & beyond, and buying random gadgets from amazon, it really does start to add up. We are learning to keep an eye on that!
7. Being able to spend more time outside- I love being able to bring a cup of coffee out on our porch in the morning and watch the world wake up. It's one of my favorite times of the day, and I just love being able to enjoy it more often. Our dog Scout is loving the yard as well. It is so much easier to play fetch with our little guy when we have a yard right outside the door. We used to have to drive to dog parks, which was enough of a hassle that we only would do it once a week. Now Scout gets to spend a lot more time outside.
8. Make sure you have plenty of tools- I'm always glad to have work gloves, a measuring tape, paint brushes, a step stool, a shovel, a bucket, a dolly, and other basic tools on hand for those random projects that come up. Having a garage makes storage of all those items super easy!
That's it for now! I'll be sure to keep you posted on our first year as new homeowners. Have a good one :)