Alyssa and I have been homeowners since April and I figured it would a good time to reflect about what I’ve learned and my likes and dislikes.
I enjoy yard-work
When we first moved in the middle of April, the first thing I focused on was the leaves that weren’t raked last fall. I had to buy my first rake! It gave me a nice sense of accomplishment to both complete this task as well as to see how much better the yard looked upon completion.
After the grass in the yard started growing I had to mow the lawn. At first I used an old mower that my uncle gave me, and after some struggles, decided to just buy a new one. (Let me know if you are in the market for a new mower, I could pass on the research I did when I bought mine.) The new mower is a variable self-propelled mower with bagging, mulching, and regular discharge options. It is a joy to cut my lawn and the results are more than worth the effort.
There are a number of other things that I do around the yard, all of which I really hated to do a part of my chores growing up. The years of not doing them, and the fact that someone (my dad) isn’t telling me to do it, makes these things more enjoyable.
Conservation is fun
I’ve always been pro-recycling and pro-environment, since I have a deep ingrained love of the outdoors, stemmed from my lifetime of camping/hiking/outdoor sports as well as my duty to protect God’s creation.
Since owning our home, I made two cheap garbage cans into compost bins (drilled some holes in it) and we have been composting all our kitchen scraps and appropriate yard waste. It is impressive how much less garbage we generate when composting. Plus, pitchforks are fun.
We also bought a couple rain barrels and have been using rainwater to water our plants outside. Next spring when we plant a garden instead of just using a bunch of planter boxes, I want to rig up an irrigation system with the rain barrels. We’ll see if that happens.
You think differently about things
When we rented, we didn’t want to spend much time, effort, or money improving things, unless it came to cleaning. We knew we weren’t going to be living there for very long, so it just didn’t make any sense. Since we’ve been homeowners, we’re frequently making small improvements here and we appreciate the control and learning as we go.
I hate painting
Shortly after we moved in we re-painted 4 rooms. Paint is relatively cheap and we couldn’t justify paying someone else to do it, so Alyssa and I bit the bullet and did the paint ourselves. We learned some things as we went, and one of the things I learned was how much I dislike painting. I also learned that swatches aren’t enough for Alyssa to be happy with the color. We needed to get samples. (Repainting the kitchen right after we painted it the first time told us this.)
There is always something more I could do
…but that doesn’t mean I have to be constantly busy. I could work on my house full time, but that’s not the point. It will never be perfect. Sure there are things I prioritize, but some things aren’t worth my time or money right now. Maybe they will be down the road and that’s fine, but I’ve quickly come to the realization that I can’t do it all now. I also don’t want to.
Am I happy?
I don’t have any regrets thus far. When we made the offer, I was definitely hesitant. Committing to paying that amount of money will do that to a person. What if something went wrong? What if the inspector missed something crucial? I got over my fears and since the house checked almost all the boxes in our search, we went for it. Alyssa and I are both really happy with the decision.