Four years ago I was a girl who could hang pictures and curtain rods, plunge a toilet, and replace a light fixture. Anything other than that and I simply called the maintenance guys.
Four years ago today (October 9th) I signed a huge pile of paperwork, wrote a massive check, and entered the world of home ownership. Since then I’ve tackled numerous homeowner-ish tasks and acquired the essentials like a ladder, a drill and a full toolbox. Being a homeowner can be a big learning experience, and I would say that buying a foreclosure increases the experience significantly.
Some of the things I’ve dealt with – oftentimes by calling a handyman, but sometimes on my own – since purchasing a house:
- Replacing leaky valves (the washer valve, the kitchen sink, the master bath sink, the hot water heater valve, etc).
- Comparing, pricing and eventually buying numerous appliances.
- Snaking a drain all by myself (no maintenance guys anymore!). The previous owners had black hair I found out.
- Frozen pipes (yes, in Phoenix).
- Learning how not to panic when an old faucet handle breaks off in the full “On” position with the sink not draining properly (hint: there are valves under the sink and there’s no need to run outside to turn the water off to the entire house *coughs*).
- Replacing the AC unit after numerous other (expensive) problems with it.
- Partial bathroom remodel (new vanity with granite tile countertop, mirror, light fixture & replacing the carpeting with tile).
- Hot water heater replacement (think gushing water a few hours before I was going to host a high school girls sleepover).
- Rogue tree limbs after storms (both mine and the neighbors).
- The most resilient weeds on the planet (I’m only exagerating a little).
- Installing and wiring a new ceiling fan (every bedroom and living area except the master bedroom already had a ceiling fan – someone explain that to me).
- Installing a new garage door & opener.
- A hail storm – who saw that one coming? I got a new roof, two new windows, new wood for the side gate, and a new back door out of that massive insurance claim.
- My house being broken into. My first ever home insurance claim followed by me adding multiple security enhancements to the house.
- The ongoing war against the pigeons who think my front porch is theirs.
- Removing Tiki man.
- And numerous other projects…
If you’d told me four years ago that I would have gone through all of the things I listed above, I would have assumed that I would regret buying a house. However, it’s quite the opposite. Not only do I have a decent amount of equity in my house now, I also have a ton of experience dealing with house related projects. Some of them were fun, like painting an accent wall or picking new tile for the bathroom floors. Other were stressful and terribly timed, like the water heater incident. And some of them were more about me dealing with hiring people to do a job, but I consider those experiences to be learning experiences as well. They all add up to me being a homeowner, and I wouldn’t go back and change my decision if I had the chance.
There have been a lot of fun things that have happened in my house that make for great memories. Simple things like practicing with my quiz team every week in my living room, to hosting numerous parties for various social circles, to watching an orphaned ministry get back on it’s feet again as everyone gathered in my living room, I feel very blessed to have a home that’s capable of hosting people.
Who knows what will happen to house values in the near future, or what other surprises are in store for me, but I’m excited to continue down this road. Except for the weeds that are threatening to take over again…I could live without those.
Three things I’ve learned:
- Home ownership is not for the faint of heart.
- Houses eat up money like nothing else.
- The learning experience and pride of homeownership is much greater than I ever imagined.