5 Lessons You’ll Learn During Your First Year of Homeownership

I celebrated the day I closed on July 23rd, but because of the extensive renovations the house underwent last year, I wasn't able to move in until September 15th, which is today!

Looking back, it's been a weird, wild year… with the tail end of the renovation lumped into it (work wasn't complete until November 6th of last year), and I've undertaken some projects myself as well. I've talked, written, praised and bitched about the house non-stop since I moved in. It is a big part of who I am and my journey on the site. Both for better and for worse sometimes.

My favorite quote from an older, wiser friend likened the first year of homeownership to the first year of being married: “You think you know what it'll be like (because you've been renting…), but it's completely different from what you knew before, and you'll probably learn more than you ever thought in the process.” Cute, right?

I know I've learned more this year than I have than any other since I first went off to college, so that should tell you how much this house has taught me this year. I've since become the homeownership sherpa for a lot friends and people I know, which has been fun to use the experience to help others. So here are the 5 lessons I learned from my first year of homeownership.

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5 Lessons You'll Learn During Your First Year of Homeownership

#1- You Will Become BFF with Your Local Hardware Store

Once you own your home, all of the little things your landlord/ property management company used to do are now up to you. As such, you'll end up making lots of trips to your local Hardware store. You'll go for items for your latest project or thing to fix around the house. You'll usually end up spending around $100 because you'll pick up things for “next time.” Then you'll go back a few days later for the items you forgot for the original project you wanted to complete in the first place.

#2- Get Yourself a Tool Box

This kind of goes hand in hand with #1, but you will need a set of tools to take care of all the “little” things that go into keeping a house up and running.

#3- Most things are really easy to DIY

I went into the renovation thinking everything construction related was vastly beyond my grasp. After I got burned by my contractor, I became leery of letting people into my home, so I learned to do a lot of things myself. Turns out, putting up light fixtures and basic carpentry skills aren't that hard to DIY. Not did I getΒ an education, but it's been empowering as well.

#4- Being Wiser About Who I Let Into My Home

Something changes when you put down roots and invest so much money into a home, it makes you more protective of it, in a way. When you live in an apartment, you're happy to let anyone crash, or down to throw the biggest rager. Yet, when you are putting so much love and care into a home, you start to concern yourselfΒ with how the people you let into the home are going to act.

#5- Buy Light Bulbs In Bulk

Just joking! But seriously, it seems my bulbs go out all the time and I never have one to replace it with. What gives? So if you buy your first home, buy light bulbs in bulk and save yourself the frustration of always being out.

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I've learned more in this past year than any other. Here are the five things I learned from my first year of homeownership.


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  • MakintheBacon
    September 25, 2014 at 9:58 am

    I’ve been a homeowner for almost two years now and I’ve learned that is really does take a lot of your MONEY and TIME. I ‘ve heard about it and read about it and just casually brushed it off, thinking yeah I can do it, no big deal. Of course I didn’t really realize the significance of their words until I found myself in the situation.

    I’m kind of spoiled. My partner is a fix it guy who’s got experience in doing renos, (he actually enjoys doing it in his spare time) so we have every tool and then some.

  • Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank
    September 17, 2014 at 5:33 am

    Mine is #2- Get Yourself a Tool Box! I never thought I would do some carpentry on my own. Living alone we know is really expensive so I watch DIY videos online so that I would have to hire someone. Doing this really saves me money.

  • KK @ Student Debt Survivor
    September 16, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    Absolutely agree on all of these. Who knew how much fun you can have at home depot on the weekends? When we bought our place 2 years ago we were there every weekend buying paint, light bulbs and all sorts of supplies I never knew I needed. Home-ownership can be frustrating and expensive, but also really gratifying.

  • Nicola
    September 16, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    I’m looking forward to decorating our home in our style and I’m really enjoy the process πŸ™‚ making it our home and putting our stamp on it. We’re also careful about who we let in the door! It’s strange how much a building can change you πŸ™‚

  • Michelle
    September 15, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    #4 is the BIG one. I don’t let just anyone visit The Shire. Period.

  • Addison @ Cashville Skyline
    September 15, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    DIY can really be liberating, huh? I’ve loved living in my house the past five years, despite the challenges – a raccoon the lived in the roof, repairs, basement flooding, etc. I do feel a sense of pride in taking care of my largest asset, the neighborhood, and larger community.