In exactly one month, I’ll close on my new home. Approximately 1000 square feet of Portland will belong to me (who am I kidding, it’ll belong to the bank, but it’ll be my neck that gets wrung if things go south) and I keep thinking about how things will be. Will my life be much different?
I realized that I might be a bit of a country bumpkin, because the amenities in my new place seem really fancy, and they are, but especially since I’ve been renting a small, humble basement apartment for over a year.
I’m excited to use the garbage disposal, for example.
To take a bath.
To paint a wall or a ceiling, just because I can.
To get that perfect sear on a piece of fish that I’ve been missing out on since I haven’t lived in a place with a gas range in a very long time.
To determine whether the chicken nugget button on the microwave or oven produces a superior nugget. I’ll report back on those.
I’ve gone through the numbers six or seven (hundred) times, and I’m no longer worried about the money. I can afford it. I can afford it. See, I’m still trying to convince myself.
I’m mostly excited to have my own place. To change the locks, install curtains, and have a seat in my own home.
It’s the entry point to adulthood. I thought buying tires made me an adult, and while that sucked (nobody likes to put that much money on their car without getting something like a musical horn in return!), this is bigger.
I have to sign sixteen thousand more pieces of paper. I have a great (if perhaps a bit too detail-oriented) realtor, and she’s keeping me informed of everything that may come up. I’ve been told we’re on pace to close May 23rd.
I’m planning on doing very little to the place at first, other than buy a washer and dryer and hang curtains for privacy.
And yet, I feel like I’m missing something.
Or maybe a lot of somethings.
Any Advice For The Newbie Homeowner?
I’ve had the home inspection. I’m buying a sparkly new place, so the list of requirements is short. My parents are gifting the down payment, so I don’t have to worry about that. The seller is covering most of the closing cost. We have an appraisal scheduled.
Am I missing anything?
I feel like I do when I’m going on a long trip, knowing deep down that I’m missing something, and then leaving anyway, and having to buy a hairbrush or socks when I get to my destination.
I don’t know the neighborhood (ahem! I mean my neighborhood) very well yet , so clearly I’ll need to find my closest bar and coffee shop. To cover all the vices, you see.
But I’d need to do that if I were renting, too. So that’s not different.
I need to buy only a few things, but that’s a little scary. I mean, have you seen Pinterest? Or watched home improvement shows? It seems like somehow, by the magic of just being a homeowner, I’m going to all-of-a-sudden have color themes in my rooms. I’m not interested in themes. I want to hang my art and use the couches I already have and see if I want to paint a wall or three.
My home will be cozy. But it will not be fancy, nor will it be exceedingly coordinated.
I’m okay with that.
But I’m wondering — what things did you wish you knew when you were getting ready to move into your first real place?
Kathleen writes about her path to financial independence as well as ways to save money, live simply, and enjoy the fun things that life has to offer.