#81: So You Have Bought a House

#81: So You Have Bought a House

Some things they don’t tell you when you buy a house…

  1. The humongous check you write at closing is just the start of the fun!
  2. No matter how many repairs and/or upgrades you negotiate as part of the sale, you will move in with a readymade list of things you want to do to your new place.
  3. You will never, ever stop adding to the list.
  4. Ever.
  5. If you think you’ve finally done everything that needs doing, you have forgotten something or something is about to break.
  6. Depending on the honesty of the seller and the capabilities of your contractors, you may need a line item in your budget for fixing things that were supposedly already fixed.
  7. You need guys. Roof guys, tree guys, bug guys, lawn guys, HVAC guys. A lotta guys.
  8. [Some of your guys may be girls, of course. I’m just sayin’]
  9. Just because you aren’t sure what HVAC stands for doesn’t mean the HVAC guy won’t take all your money. It should mean that, but it doesn’t.
  10. [Heating, Ventilation, & Air Conditioning]
  11. If you’ve never owned a garage or basement, be forewarned that in addition to offering unprecedented storage, they can be crap magnets of the highest order. Buy a lot of bins!
  12. Cleaning out the garage or basement will be permanent items on your to-do list from the day you move in until the day you move out.
  13. Ditto doing something in/to the yard (mowing, trimming, edging, weeding, planting, installing decorative metal chickens near the mailbox, etc.).
  14.  [What? You don’t have a decorative metal chicken near your mailbox?]
  15. [You should totally get one, they are super tasteful]
  16. You will learn an entirely new vocabulary of terms like “soffit” “chimney chase” “vapor barrier” and “mortise.”
  17. The trees that provide such delightful shade over your deck or porch are not contractually obligated to remain healthy or vertical.
  18. Unhealthy and/or horizontal trees are expensive problems to solve.
  19. [You’ll need a tree guy for that]
  20. [You’ll also want to weigh the legalities of errant tree responsibility against the type of relationship you want to have with your neighbors; what is “right” is not always “friendly”]
  21. If you’ve never been in charge of a yard before, you may be surprised by how excited you are when unidentified bushes start to bloom, or when the bargain bin flowers you plant one year come back the next.
  22. The deer that make your yard look so picturesque aren’t as cute when they are chomping the shrubs and flowers you lovingly planted. Being a deer is hungry work, apparently.
  23. Remember the 50% rule when it comes to grass height and overall yard neatness – shoot for your yard looking better than the yards of ½ of your neighbors. Higher percentages may make them feel bad!
  24. Just go ahead and measure every possible wall and floor for future couch, art, and rug purchases.
  25. A corollary to #24 - always carry a tape measure.
  26. Another corollary to #24 – always carry those little cards with your paint colors on them.
  27. You may freak out when you get your first tax bill and value assessment.
  28. Take a few deep breaths and think long term thoughts.
  29. Your house is going to be one of the most major investments you ever make.
  30. Congratulations, and don’t forget to enjoy the heck out of it!

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