Monday, June 29, 2015

Adventures in Home Ownership

I love owning my first home! I hate being suddenly broke because of it!

The phrase I've heard the most in this past week has been, "Welcome to home ownership!"

Some say it as a heartfelt welcome to the club. Some say it with humor. Some say it with well-known empathy. And, others say it as a vicious knife to the heart. (i.e. Their lips say, "Welcome to home ownership!" while their hearts are saying, "I can't wait to watch her eff this up!!!")

No matter how you break it down, I have definitely taken that plunge. All those precious dollars stowed away for year upon years have finally been invested into something that I wanted so badly. Gone is the bulk of my savings account. No more opportunities for impulse spending or last-minute vacations. The deed has been done (and transferred into my name officially at the city appraiser's office.)

Old carpet has already been ripped out and new carpeting is paid for and waiting on installation. Most of my furniture has already been purchased and is waiting to be sat on. Dated light fixtures have been replaced. New smoke detectors have been installed. 

More strapping men and women of my clan.

The budget I had so carefully mapped out for years, was falling into place to a t.

And, then... home ownership happened!

I was fixing lunch yesterday and noticed that my refrigerator was very upset about something and had started to cry. A more seasoned home owner pointed out to me that the drain pipe from the freezer was broken and had been leaking into the fridge below. (I like my theory better. I could have cheered it up for free!)

Well, I'd placed aside a contingency for such issues that may arise, per the advice of the Property Brothers. (I knew watching way too many hours of HGTV would pay off for me eventually!) So, I figured, "I wasn't planning on replacing appliances for a year, but that's what I have my contingency for!"

Bada-bang, bada-boom, a new fridge will be delivered on Friday. (And, "accidentally" a new oven too. I strive to maintain complete honesty in my blogs; so, I'll just admit that the range is at least thirty years old... although, most likely, closer to forty. It was nasty dirty and I had simply run out of elbow grease. I'd like to cook in my kitchen one day soon without running the risk of 30-year-old spaghetti sauce remnants catching on fire so, "Hello, contingency!" I do have some self control, though. The original dishwasher remains in place.)

So, alot of fun has been had in my kitchen already.

But, at least, that contingency thing worked out for me!

Then I find out that my home owner's association dues are being raised in two months.

Then I also find out there's a two phase special assessment starting in the complex next month. They won't give out details until my association meeting next week, but it's pricey enough where they're talking payment plans.

Augh! Four days in and home ownership is already giving me the back sweats!

My head wants to start to panic, but my gut is telling me to just trust the Lord. No one in my complex is a millionaire. (And, if you are, please show yourself! I'd like to schedule a dinner date.) We'll all have to find some way to pay for this extra cost. I am not alone.

Everything will work out if I don't sweat the small stuff. Or, the big stuff. Or, the expensive stuff. (Somebody please tell this to my back! No sweating allowed!)

 Besides, I've already got my first two pictures to hang on the new fridge.

I promise, less sweaty pictures of me once the move is complete.

Courtesy of one of our strapping littles:

The artiste'

In the meantime, a message from new homeowners to seasoned ones: When somebody vents to you about their new housing woes, they're not looking to be patronized. They're not looking for you to smirk or haughtily add, "Well, that's home ownership! What did you expect?"

We understood that home ownership came with a price. We are not naive. We're not looking to be judged... just for a sympathetic ear.

And, maybe, also a greeting card stuffed with hundred dollar bills. (I can private message you my address if you're interested.)

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