< 2 Weeks

We are taking possession of our house in less than two weeks! We’re going to start moving our stuff over starting on the 20th, and then movers are coming on the 24th to move all the furniture and boxes. We’re also getting all our new furniture delivered on the 23rd, and then the kitchen renovation will start right away – on the 26th!

As we get closer to the possession date, we’re getting more and more nervous. I mean, buying a house is a big deal! There are so many things to think about, from finances to renovations, from how are we going to eat for the two months during the kitchen reno to how the heck do we take care of the yard??

It all seems very overwhelming right now. There is so much we want to do to the house! But, I think we really need to just take it one project at a time, and realize we don’t need to do everything right away. The kitchen will be the first big project. During that, we’ll probably do some painting and other small things. Then we can think about adding a bathroom on the main floor, putting a gas fireplace in, getting the gutters replaced, etc..

I’m sure, though, that there is a ton of stuff that we haven’t even thought about that will come up. Random things we will have to buy because we’ll be in a house now.

Any tips for first-time home owners? What are some of the surprises that might come up? Is home-ownership all that it’s cracked up to be?

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Comments on: "< 2 Weeks" (11)

  1. Get ready for what seems like the endless Home Depot/Rona/Canadian Tire trips…for the first few weeks every time we went there it was miniumum of $100 of stuff…all the little stuff that you forget along the way 🙂

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  2. How exciting! You've got the right idea about taking projects one at a time! That's what is great about owning–you feel like you are contributing to a long term project every time you make an improvement. Have fun!

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  3. Candice said:

    Homeownership is a fantastic experience! And yes, Home Depot, Rona, and Canadian Tire will love you for all of the money you will drop there. Since you will be moving right in time for spring yard cleaning, you will need a fan rake, a dethatcher, a dust broom for the concrete. If you are planning on planting a garden, buy various weed pulling / gardening gloves, a hoe, a variety of smaller hand-held rakes, etc.

    I can't think of anything else at the moment, but when you browse the aisles at home hardware stores, you will recognize your need 🙂

    All I can say is have fun and just breathe deeply for the next few weeks. And then you can look forward to relaxing in your backyard in summer.

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  4. Candice said:

    Oh, and one more thing. Mind your sewage system. If you are in an area with large trees, tree roots can sometimes poke through your sewage pipes, preventing drainage to the mains. We had a near-bad experience (but we caught it just in time for Roto Rooter to save us from potential disaster). It is recommended that you rid tree roots from your lines every two years. There is a chemical mixture you can buy if you want to do it yourself, or you can call professionals to check your lines regularly.

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  5. I'm so excited for you! We just got a “Happy 1st Anniversary” letter from our real estate agent today 🙂 Kitchen renos won't be that bad since you're doing them so soon (ie. all your cooking supplies are in boxes anyhow). You can plug in your microwave and fridge in the living room. My mom borrowed a single portable electric element from a friend when her stove broke, that might be handy for you too. The weather sounds nice enough to bbq anyhow! If there's a lot of trees around your house, you might want to take a look at your gutters and see if they're clean enough to last until you replace them. Also, if they weren't left behind and you don't have enough from your apartment, you'll probably want window coverings. There'll be a lot of little trips for the first while, but they'll taper off. It helps to live in your place for a while too, and then you'll see what you want to change. I still stalk the mis-tints in the paint section at Home Depot though, I got a great colour for a small accent wall for $3, and am always looking for new colour ideas!

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  6. SO excited for you!! Home ownership is great, can't wait to see pictures of your new place! Sorry, don't have a lot of advice… just lots of good wishes for a smooth closing!

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  7. It's getting so close! Try not to worry too much, Home Depot, Rona, etc. are always there if/when something comes up.

    Also, don't feel like you have to do everything all at once. Worry about the inside of the house, make it liveable for what you're going to need in the near future and put the rest off until you are more settled.

    When it comes to the yard, I'd suggest just keeping up basic maintenance of what's already there this year and waiting until next spring to start seriously tackling the yard. A lawnmower, hedge trimmer, rake, and a sprinkler should do it for the grass. In the fall, you could fertilize to prep the lawn for next year.

    Jason's had this house for about 4 years and it'll only be this summer that we really do yard work and put in a garden!

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  8. It is so much fun, but so much work! I had no idea. The garden in particular needs attention every couple of days during the summer; leaving it until the weekend is a recipe for disaster!

    Before making any big tool purchases, check with your friends to see what they have and need. Our friends already had a power washer for steps and patios etc, so we borrow theirs when we need it – and they borrow our weed whacker in exchange. There's no point in everyone having their own item if it doesn't get used all that often. You can also rent a lot of this stuff from hardware stores.

    Inside, the one thing I really wish we'd known is that you have to treat your bathroom walls before painting them. We went to Home Depot and asked for the right kind of paint for bathrooms, but no-one asked us if we knew about the pre-painting steps, and now we have streaks in the paint from the steam.

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  9. Unexpected plumbing problems only ever happen late at night or when you're late for an important meeting. Find the fastest emergency route to your local hardware store and take a note of their opening hours.

    Oh, and make friends with your new neighbours.

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  10. Thanks for all the advice! It's great!!

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  11. DH and I went from an apartment to a house so we didnt have furniture or stuff to fill all the rooms. So when we moved in, we wanted to be sure that the rooms we knew we would use right away to get painted and re-done. We painted our living room, kitchen, main floor bathroom and master bedroom. We also re-did the floors in the living room and master bedroom, they desperately needed it. This made life so much easier because its really hard to work around stuff. Plus it kept some our costs down to do a few rooms at a time. Now we focus on one room at a time as we need them/fill them. Just finished the nursery and our next project sometime in the next year will be the basement.

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