Six Lessons I’ve Learned in Six Weeks.
This home purchase was not my first (also, this is the NINTH place I’ve called home!). Five years ago I bought what my momma calls ‘a step down unit’ aka a condo. It was the perfect segue into homeownership – I had a mortgage and bills and I was responsible for maintaining the inside of the condo, but the hard stuff – landscaping, snow removal, and structural upkeep – was all the responsibility of the association.
Fast forward to now. Jordan and I are 100% responsible for everything that happens to this house. Inside. Outside. Yardwise. We’re the proud owners of a crooked mailbox, pothole-y driveway, and all the fun things that come with this sweet fixer upper. Yay!
Here are the 6 biggest lessons that I’ve learned on this adventure so far:
- Every project is bigger than it seems. I’m a project manager, so I am literally hardwired to manage (ahem, micromanage) every task that we’ve taken on for this house. The projects that we’ve thought would be quick and easy have most often resulted in a “you need to go to Home Depot right now and get _____” yells from my husband. FYI, the “Text to Me” location finder on Home Depot’s website was made for wives. Seriously a lifesaver. Though I’ve frequented HD to the point of recognizing the employees, this handy feature lets Jordan send me the aisle and bin number of whatever emergency item he needs. No searching throughout the store or trying to flag down an employee to help me locate the item that I may or may not be properly describing.
- Kilz is my best friend. Pretty sure I bought about 10 gallons of this stuff. We bought a house that needed serious coverups – cigarette smoke, pets (cats AND dogs), wallpaper residue, and yellow, brown, and purple paint throughout the house (the hardest colors to cover on the spectrum) – Kilz became my go to. Though some trouble spots took multiple coats, this high hide paint is no joke. It does stink more than regular paint, but we needed this stuff to help us de-funk the house, and it really came through.
- I can do hard things. I did not come equipped for house remodeling, but in the past 6 weeks I have learned how to demo, spackle, rewire an electrical outlet, and paint. I’ve also helped with changing faucets and valves, installing cabinets, taking up a section of floor, and generally impressed my husband who thought that my contribution to this home remodel would be providing snacks (check, did that too).
- You appreciate what you work for. All those hard things I have done? They’re what I’m most proud of in this house. I would 110% have preferred to move into a house that was perfect – completely up to date and move-in ready with no work needed, but I wouldn’t have appreciated it nearly as much. Plus, it’s been kind of fun to design this house exactly as we wanted it. From picking the colors of the walls to the flooring to the kitchen cabinets and counters, this house is very much us. Mostly me. What can I say, I love the color gray.
- The Yellow Cape B&B was not built in a day aka patience is a virtue I do not have. I think we might have already know about the patience thing, but I am so anxious for the house to come together and to truly be a home that I’m having a bit of trouble not envisioning 20 more projects for my husband to do and ways that we can make this house our own. I’m trying so hard to slow down (mostly because projects cost money) and focus on what we have accomplished.
- We have the best framily (friends + family = FRAMILY). Literally would not have survived the past few weeks without our friends and family. Selfishly, this has been a hard transition for me because I haven’t been able to have my parents and brother here in NY to help me, due to my dad breaking his foot the week we signed the contract on the house. It’s been a new, unfun experience to go through the home buying process without my dad sitting at the closing table reviewing the paperwork, without my momma consulting on every decision, directing traffic on moving day, and helping me get organized, without my brother giving me his annoying, albeit helpful, suggestions about everything from furniture placement to TV wiring. I’ve become the crazy lady who is FaceTiming in Home Depot while picking out paint colors (what did I even do before FaceTime and unlimited data!?!). While I’ve missed them during this process, our NY family and friends have done the best job filling that gap for me. Our friends and extended family have helped us dismantle and reassemble the entire kitchen, lay new floors in 75% of the house, get the house cleaned up, rewire the oldest parts of the house, install new pipes and plumbing, give the house a facelift with fresh paint, moved all of our stuff (even when I was behind on packing up our old house because we were working on too many projects at the new house), and generally been a source of encouragement and support as we embarked on this challenge.
PS. It’s been 4 months today since I married this man. Who knew that we’d have so many adventures in 4 short months?!