Diary of a First-Time Home Buyer: What I Learned in the First Week

As of July 7th, my fiancé (still weird to say that word) and I have officially owned and lived in our new house for one week. That’s right, I am happy to announce that our home search is over! We are unpacked, for the most part, and finally have a place to call ours.

For me, besides joining the homeowners club, this home purchase brings on lots of changes in my life. Of course, buying a home in itself is a pretty big deal, but this marks the first time I’ve moved out of my parents’ house.

From the moment we stepped foot in our new house to right now, we have faced some challenges, have had many laughs and have learned a ton of things we probably didn’t expect to learn. Here are a few.

 

The actual move itself is not fun.

This was my very first move, so I didn’t really know what to expect. I was actually excited to pack and move, until it started. It took four pick-up trucks, three SUVs and an entire weekend to move everything we had. And that was just moving. Then, there was unpacking and figuring out what to do with everything. I felt like I had just run a marathon. Between moving furniture, picking up boxes and putting them down, running stuff up and down three flights of stairs, washing walls, cleaning floors and scrubbing bathrooms, it was exhausting.

Nothing will ever go perfectly.

In just one week we experienced issues with our brand new washing machine, had a week-long furniture delivery mishap, broke an air conditioner we just bought, found water dampness in the basement and realized our bed frame is completely unusable. And that’s just a short list.

It would be nice if things worked out like they were supposed to, but that’s not what homeownership is all about. I’ve learned that pretty quickly. Looking at the grand scheme of things, they’re not world-ending problems, because with all that, we finally have a home of our own, eat dinner together every night and don’t have to go back and forth between houses. I’ll definitely take the bad to have the good.

It’s not like I pictured in my head.

Having our own house and living together isn’t like I imagined it would be. I thought it would be having fun decorating and buying all kinds of cool kitchen gadgets and cute things to hang around places, and we’d watch TV on the couch every night eating Twizzlers. Almost like life would be easier. While those things are included, we also spend a lot of time talking about money and how we can spend it wisely, figuring out the art of food shopping and planning dinners, cleaning, washing way more towels than I thought we would, and knowing when it’s necessary to nag about something and when to just let things go. I guess I never took the time to imagine the responsibility part of this whole thing.

It’s the little things that add up.

A couple of days after we moved, we took a trip to Wal-Mart to get a few things we needed, like baggies, food storage containers and a filter for our Keurig. This trip came to $113.00. The next day we went to Target with a specific goal of getting an area rug and a TV stand for the living room. We didn’t leave with any of that stuff, but did leave with $124.00 worth of the “little” things.

It won’t be put together right away.

I am like the girl from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory who wanted the golden egg and she wanted it now. I’m not patient. I would love it if our living room looked like Joanna Gaines came in and took over, but there is still so much that has to be done. Our finished basement still has unpacked boxes and bags and our spare bedroom is the spot to throw things when we don’t know what to do with them. It looks like the Tasmanian Devil ran through it. I had to accept that we have time to get the place in order and can’t go spending all of our money on decorations, organizing tools and furniture right off the bat.

 

I am not struggling with being on my own as much as I thought I would.

I went from living in my childhood bedroom to buying a townhouse. That’s a pretty big step. I thought I would be sad to leave or overwhelmed with the responsibility, but that’s not the case at all. If anything, I feel really comfortable, excited and free. I have my own space, and it feels better than I imagined.

 

It’s a lot of work.

Ok, this part is obvious, but I guess I never really considered just how much there is to keep up with when you have a house. There are never-ending dishes and dirty towels, and I am now in charge of maintaining eight rooms instead of my one bedroom. I even have to remember to get the mail. And oh yeah, there is having to pay for everything, too. Thankfully I am not doing all this on my own, but it’s still way more responsibility than I have ever been used to.

What are some of the things you learned when you first bought your home? Share them in the comments below!

4 Responses to “Diary of a First-Time Home Buyer: What I Learned in the First Week

  • Cara Iby
    3 months ago

    You hit the nail on the head with this one! I love it. It’s so spot on to what I felt like when we first bought our house and moved in!

  • Congratulations Amanda! The first couple of months are tough, but it takes time to build your new home base. Like you said in the blog the keyword is “need”. If you rush to buy everything now, your bank account gets flushed, and you will probably change everything within your first year. I’ve been at my place for 3 years now and the only thing I still have is my frying pan. Good luck with everything!

    • Amanda Bridge
      3 months ago

      Thanks, Carlos! We’re trying to pace ourselves, but buying new things can be so exciting! Especially with all the “Welcome to the neighborhood” coupons we get.

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