It’s been a little over a year since we bought our first home. As is always the case, in some ways it seems like we’ve been here forever and in other ways it feels like we’ve only just moved in. We had grand plans for this sad old house when we first moved in and, though we’ve made some progress, there is still so much to do.
Our hall in January 2013.
Our hall now!
The fluoro lights in our lounge room in January 2013.
The lights in our lounge room now.
Our old, dead oven.
Our new oven (and the hole we had to bang in the wall to squeeze it in!)
Our bedroom in January 2013.
Our bedroom now.
Though we haven’t achieved as much as we’d have liked, we have learnt many, many lessons in our first year of home ownership. If we could go back in time and give Katie and Reuben a year ago some advice, we would tell ourselves…
There is so much more to do than you ever imagined.
Even when you DIY, doing any kind of work on a house costs money. More money than you think.
Similarly, everything will take much longer to do than you thought it would. Sometimes twice as long. Sometimes five times as long!
Scraping the paint off skirting boards, windows and doorframes, and stripping floors is not fun. Not even a tiny bit fun.
There is no smell in the world more horrible than you will experience if you rip up 50 year old carpets that have been soaked in cat’s pee.
Sometimes you will wish you could just call a real estate agent or landlord and let them take care of things.
Houses seem a lot bigger when you are painting them than they do when you are living in them.
Old things in old houses (like ovens, gas heaters, hot water systems and air conditioners) need replacing. This is very expensive.
There will be times when you look around you and feel utterly overwhelmed. You will wonder why you ever thought buying such a mess of a house was a good idea and you will fantasise about giving in and running away to a nice, comfortable rental…
But! Despite all the difficulties, every single day you will be grateful for your home.
You will feel so glad that you are building your own future, rather than paying off a landlord’s mortgage.
You will be so happy to have the freedom to do whatever you like to your space.
You will feel so much pride and ownership over every little task completed and every small renovating victory.
And though you’ll probably never really “finish” working on your house and at times it will drive you crazy, you will love it more than any place you could ever rent.
Because it is yours.
Katie and Reuben x
PS Sorry for the lack of post last week! We were having internet connection issues.