We just bought our first house! (need encouragement)

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by ZerasPride, Apr 18, 2006.

  1. ZerasPride

    ZerasPride DVC Member Since 2001

    Sep 1, 1999
    Good day all. I have been lurking on the budget board for a few months now and love all the tips. DH and I have just bought our first home and we are so excited but I'm a bit apprehensive about it too. We close on May 18 and get our keys on May 19.

    My question is two fold. First, what do you love about owning your own home? I am feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the maintenance we'll have to do like mowing the lawn and shoveling snow in winter, keeping the shrubs neat and other stuff that we would normally not have to worry about because the landlord took care of all those things.

    Second, what sacrifices have you made in your budget to be able to keep yourself from being house poor? There are so many projects we'd like to tackle but we are determined to pay cash as we go along and resist charging as much as possible.

    Any other budget (or non-budget) tips you'd all care to share with us newbie homeowners is greatly appreciated. As I said, I'm so excited but this is a big financial responsibility and the advice on this board is always so good, I'm sure I will be able to get some useful tips from you guys. Thanks in advance!
  2. dcfromva

    dcfromva No horsing around, Christmas is coming!

    Jun 16, 2002

    Congratulations on your purchase! I think a lot of folks go through what is called "Buyer's Remorse" It is that nagging worry that keeps you awake in the middle of the night after you've made the deal. It doesn't usually last very long--and once you get a few payments under your belt (and manage a few of the unexpected problems that always seem to come up with home ownership), you'll start to relax. :teeth:

    Enjoy your new home!

    -DC :earsboy:
  3. Avatar


    to hide this advert.
  4. Disneydreaming6

    Disneydreaming6 Mouseketeer

    Feb 27, 2006
    Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love owning my own home. I can make as much noise as I want. The kids can play in the yard and not have to worry about them breaking anything. Yes, the yard needs work, the shower leaks, and I am in the middle of redoing my kitchen. But it's all worth it in the end. Take one project at a time. research what you are doing before jumping into the project. At lot of mistakes will be made and you want to keep them to a minimum. It gets easier as time goes by. and in a few years you will wonder why you had any reservations about being a homeowner. Good luck
  5. nowellsl

    nowellsl <font color=purple>my car finds out everytime I ha

    Dec 18, 2002
    My only advice - fix the small problems before they become BIG problems. Maintenance and upkeep will save a lot in the long run!
  6. Oreo Cookie

    Oreo Cookie DIS Veteran

    Feb 18, 2006
    Congrats on your first home purchase! I wish you years of happiness!

    Don't be overwhelmed by the general up keep of your home. I think you will enjoye turning your yard into a reflection of yourself, planting flowers and bushes etc. I enjoy the outside work, and you own your property, so you make the choices of how you want things to look inside and outside.

    In terms of budgeting tips, I would stay away from any large projects if possible for a while, unless there's something that is in need of fixing or replacing asap (roof, furnace, etc). This way you can see how your mortgage, taxes, and general home costs (electric gas, etc) are impacting your budget and how much money you are able to save.

    Then I would sit down with DH and make a list of things you would like to do with your home and prioritize the list. Then you can go out and start looking at costs for the various home improvement projects you would like to do.

    Again, congratulations on your need home!
  7. suezpqt

    suezpqt Mouseketeer

    Oct 15, 2002
    Congratulations!!! :banana: We are going to be celebrating our 1 yr anniversary on Saturday. It does not seem possible. I know what you are feeling as we are still feeling that way. The best suggestion that I have for you is to make a few lists - things that NEED to get done and things that you WANT to get done. There is a big difference between the two and it is hard to keep them separate. Completing one project before beginning a new one is important that way you won't become overburdened. Home Depot has a lot of great books that you can buy showing how to tackle different projects so that you might be able to do somethings yourself. We have found that being able to do most of the things ourselves has not only saved us money but has made us appreciate the end project more. Knowing that you can say "we did that. . . ." and really mean it makes us feel really good!!
    Congratulations again!!!
  8. comicguy

    comicguy DIS Veteran

    Mar 27, 2006
    Congats on your first home !!! :cool1:

    I would make sure you fix all small problems before they become big problems(leaky faucet, cracked window, that sort of thing)

    Make sure you get your furnace cleaned and serviced once a year, better performance equals less fuel consumption

    Have fun with the new house, enjoy making it your own
  9. disneyfan'ole

    disneyfan'ole Hand over the chocolate and no one gets hurt!!

    Feb 1, 2006
    Just start with one room at a time! Sometimes a fresh coat of paint, new handles, etc will be fine until you can change it to exactly what you want down the road.

    Just like the other posters said, fix the little things before they turn into big problems. We love owning our home, having great neighbors!! We are about to start some major renovations, kitchen remodel and...building a second story!! :thumbsup2
  10. budbeerlady

    budbeerlady <font color=blue>I call DH The STREAK!!<br><font c

    Apr 27, 2005
    Congrats! Do as much of the projects you can by yourself or with the help of a family friend. I have painted, wallpapered, drywalled, etc. Anything to keep my costs down. I landscaped my own yard by shoping the memorial/labor day nusery plant sales. And take your time.
  11. jojosmom

    jojosmom Mouseketeer

    Mar 11, 2005
    I remember when I first bought my house 3 years ago, as a single mom with two small children, just walking through the basement, looking at the pipes and saying "These are MY pipes :rotfl2: , looking at the ceiling beams in the basement saying "These are MY BEAMES" It's still pretty amazing that I have something so big (around 1100 square feet might not seem big, but stand on the sidewalk and look up!)

    Congrats on the house.

    IMISSDISNEY Mouseketeer

    Jul 23, 2003
    Congratulations on your new home. I was overwhelmed too when we first bought our home. Infact when I was writing out the first mtg payment I had a anxiety attack . I do love being a home owner, we can do the projects we want to, we have a pool and swing set for the kids in the yard (dont have to drag them to the park or public pool) and I feel so much pride in being a homeowner.

    We try to do a few small projects ourselves a year (some include - landscaping,installing new appliances, remodeling one of the bathrooms,installing laminate flooring and ceramic tile) and when we get our tax return we then pick a larger project, usually something we have to hire someone to do. This year are big project was a furnace and air conditioner , next year we hope to have a new patio poured.

    I agree with doing maintenance and upkeep projects first ,then do the cosmetic things you want to. I wish you the best of luck
  13. crjack

    crjack DIS Veteran

    Mar 6, 2005
    Ditto to all of the great posts already listed. My next suggestion....watch HGTV!!! Seriously, they have some great shows that highlight how wonderful changes don't have to be expensive.

    We were very young buying our house so we couldn't tackle big projects, like a new kitchen, for a long time. The appliances worked and we lived just fine with it while we tackled cosmetics like paint, lights, etc. We just finally did a complete remodel after almost 15 years and my taste now, and needs with children, etc. are much different so I am glad finances made us wait on it.

    Start small with painting rooms, yard improvements, etc. and think about what you really like and what you might want to change down the road.

    With the price of houses being so high these days just enjoy the feeling of satisfaction of accomplishing this goal and enjoy just spending time in your new home.

    Congratulations!! :goodvibes
  14. ZerasPride

    ZerasPride DVC Member Since 2001

    Sep 1, 1999
    First of all, (yes I am very emotional lately) I have just read all your replies with tears in my eyes. Thanks so much for being so supportive! I knew I had come to the right place to get my fears put in the right perspective. I love all the great advice and well wishes and I'm going to share your words of advice and encouragement with my husband.

    I especially appeciate the advice to fix small things and do routine maintenance before they become problems. I grew up in a single parent household and I know my mom did her best but we had a house that was in total disrepair until we were much older and could help out with things. When I think of "owning" a home, sometimes I flash back to being a child and remembering how frustrating and embarassing it was to have the "raggedy" house on the street. My husband keeps reminding me that this will not be our fate. I know he is right but I'm so used to calling the management company for leaky pipes or running toilets. Now the leaky pipes or running toilets will be ours to fix. DH assures me (he is very handy by the way) we can handle it and you guys are helping me to believe we can too!

    You don't know how much your words have inspired me! I can't wait to make this house my home!!!
  15. Chicago526

    Chicago526 <font color=red>Any dream will do...<br><font colo

    May 6, 2003

    Our biggest sacrifice to keep from being house poor? Not buying an expensive house to begin with! We have plenty of money left over each month, we can run our household on 75% of our net monthly take home pay, before DH earns any overtime. Right now that extra 25% is going to pay off those pesky credit cards, but soon we'll be able to beef up our emergency savings.

    Another key to keeping the budget under control is to not try to furnish the place on day one with brand new furniature. We've been in our home 6 months and have bought nothing new. Our living room is still empty, in fact. All our furniture is in the family room right now. We'll eventually go furniture shoping, but we've got other priorities, like putting up a fence in the back yard (our current project).

    Speaking of home improvement projects, a great way to manage both time and money is to only tackle one project at a time. Don't gut the place and try to do everything at once, you'll be both miserable and broke! Make a list of all the things you need/want to do, then prioritize by how badly it's needed/wanted, and how much it will cost, and just do one at a time. They'll all get done, I promise!

    Yard work doesn't take that much time, as long as you keep on top of it. LIke anything else, the more you let it pile up, the longer it will take you to get it done when you finally get to it. Oh, and a tip. Don't buy the cheapest lawn mower. Get a mid-line one with bit more horse power and a few more features. You'll be using it once a week for 6 months out of the year, it's worth the investment! And the same things go for routine house maintenance, keep up with it and it won't be so time consuming (plus it can keep small problems from becoming big, expensive problems).

    Congrats again, and good luck in your new home!
  16. DVC Sadie

    DVC Sadie <font color=royalblue>Those mashed taters are soun

    Jan 19, 2006
    Congratulations! :cheer2: Home ownership is a wonderful and sometimes scary feeling all at once. You all will be fine! Previous posters gave you some great advice already so I just wanted to say congratulations. :thumbsup2
  17. jennifer293

    jennifer293 <font color=green>SHHHHH , but we live in the stic

    Jan 29, 2005
    I love owning my own house because now my DH can go outside and pee off the front porch and nobody can see him... :lmao: :lmao: :rotfl2: :rotfl: :rotfl2: :lmao: :lmao:

    We live on 5 acres and our nearest neighbors are not in view of our house!!!
  18. sandy6879

    sandy6879 DIS Veteran

    Dec 7, 2005
    Congrats! I loved the day we signed the papers!!

    Tackle one project at a time - whether it be something that NEEDS to be fixed, or something you just want to do. My fiance loves having multiple projects at once :sad2: so we have a half finished basement and stairs that he ripped the carpet off of with the intent of lacquering, and kitchen cabinets he started to sand to prove to me that it's easy to do ourselves.....stay in one area at a time.

    Know that regardless of whether you mow the lawn on a set day or trim the shrubs.....they are all yours. It makes doing those activities a lot happier when it's YOURS.
  19. MrsPete

    MrsPete DIS Veteran

    Feb 24, 2002
    First, a question: Why don't you get the keys at the closing? At that point the house is officially yours -- why do you have to wait a day to take possession?

    Second, a warning: Don't judge home ownership by the first month. My DH and I had an insanely bad first month of home ownership. The house had sat empty over the winter, and some pipes were burst; when we cut the water on, the kitchen flooded. Days later the city cut off our water because the previous owner hadn't paid his bill (despite the fact we had gone down to open a new account and had been forced to place a deposit). The day the water was cut off was also the day the washing-machine man came to find out why our brand-new washer wouldn't work. The mortgage company discovered that THEY had made a mistake in the paperwork, and that caused some headaches. Literally, every day we came home to see what was wrong. BUT . . . the good part . . . this didn't last. So don't be discouraged if you encounter some early troubles.

    Good things about home ownership . . .
    We'd been living in apartments for years, and we were amazed at the quiet. We hadn't realized that we were so used to hearing other people's cars coming and going at all hours. Also, no one's ever in my parking space!
    Having our own washer/dryer (that didn't require quarters) was huge for me.
    All the extra space.
    Being able to paint the walls any color I pleased.
    Being able to play music as loud as we wanted.
    After 13 years of making extra payments we discovered the best thing of all about home ownership: We now own a fully paid-for house. It's such a secure feeling.

    Bad things about home ownership . . .
    When something breaks, it's expensive. 5K for a new roof, 2K for very basic kitchen countertops, 2K for termite protection . . . and it's your responsibility.
    Yard work. Some people enjoy it; DH and I do not.

    Advice . . .
    Don't be in too big a hurry to get everything "done". You shouldn't go into debt trying to make your house look like it belongs in Better Homes and Gardens. Instead, attack one room at a time as you can afford it.
  20. Deb & Bill

    Deb & Bill DVC-Trivia Contest, Apr-2006: Honorable Mention

    Mar 20, 2000
    MrsPete, I was going to ask the same thing. You own the house at closing. Are the former owners paying you rent for the one night they are keeping the house? They should.

    Hopefully, you had a good inspection prior to buying the house to make sure you didn't also get bad wiring, bad plumbing, termites, etc.

    Do you already own the appliances or are they coming with the house?

    Get as much info on the plants currently in the yard and the maintenance they need. Get the name of the plumber, electrician, etc that the former owner used. Sometimes it helps to have that person to call if you have a problem and need to hire someone to fix something.

    Get the info on when you have garbage pickup, any rules to that (separate recycleables or not, etc). Make sure you get the garage door openers and get the codes changed on those. Also get all the doors rekeyed as soon as you move in.

    If there are supposed to be storm windows, make sure the former owners leave them.

    Good luck


    Apr 6, 2005

    I agree with everything else previously said. Take care of those small problems before they become bigs ones.

    Determine what needs to be done vs. what you just want done.

    Be patient. Once you own a home you have plenty of time to get it the way you want it (just so you can start all over again-lol).

    I love my front porch and yard (although I hate yard work).

Share This Page