Today marks 365 days of being a homeowner! I think it’s pretty obvious that I LOVE my home; I love my neighborhood, my neighbors, the cute park across the street, the accessibility to everywhere, the short commute to work, my new kitchen, the list goes on. What I’ve enjoyed most about my home is all the little details and decorations I’ve done to really make it mine.
The biggest project was my kitchen and now I’m ready to tackle my yard and following that will be the bathroom! Thanks to all my friends and especially my family who have helped me make this house into a home. My poor parents spent their entire summer last year helping with painting, floor polishing and yard work. I’ve got a few more items on this list for this summer but I secretly think they enjoy the work- at least that’s what I tell myself so I don’t feel guilty. 😉
Sharing 5 lessons I’ve learned in the past year as a first-time home owner.
- Have patience my friend. Yeah, I wish I had the money to snap my fingers and make everything in my house look like like it came from an era sans poodle skirts. But it takes a lot of time, budgeting and weighing out the wants vs. true needs. Would I like a garage door that I don’t have to force a grand plié every time I open it? Sure. Do I need one? No.
- Be a good neighbor. Growing up, I had THE BEST neighbors. The best memories as a child were running from yard to yard, playing games and knocking on neighbor’s doors and asking to come in and play. (Sometimes we didn’t knock, we just barged right in). We played kickball until dark. In the winter, we sled down our very steep ditches and made slushies in the snow.
It’s something I longed for the moment I moved in-not the slushies or the sledding, but the comfort of just being able to go to a neighbor’s house and say hello.
The other day, my neighbor’s middle child, a young boy named Isaac, came knocking on my door. I went to open it and no one was there. I heard giggling from behind a tree in my front yard. I said loudly, “Oh it must have been a ghost” and closed the door.
I went out the side door, snuck around the front and scared him as he was about to “ding dong ditch” me again. I chased him around as he giggled back to his sister just two houses down.
Another neighbor is quiet but when I see her we talk for a long time and catch up on happenings in each other’s lives. I love the new relationships I’m building but the greatest thing is the comfort of knowing they are going to watch my house when I’m not there- and I would do the same for them.
- Plant a garden- I’m going to start by saying I did not plant a garden last year. I planted a few things (Kale, Green Peppers, Cilantro & Basil) in a large pot that sat behind my house. I want to start a real garden this year behind my garage, and I will, but I’m encouraging you to plant something because it’s an invigorating feeling to eat something you took the time to plant and tend to. Plus, I swear they taste better, too!
- Get creative- My breakfast nook is where I do all of my Saturday and Sunday reading. Enjoying my coffee with the windows open as the sunshine and the breeze pour in, that is my happiness. Creating the nook was easy. Check out how I did it here.
Get creative with decor and space. I never had a closet upstairs, so I made one. My bathroom is so small that I created a vanity instead in my bedroom. Decor from a Vogue Magazine, EASY. Shop at stores like Home Goods, Marshalls and Wayfair. Have the patience to look through the heaps of things to find exactly what you need. I still don’t love my breakfast nook area and I’m always keeping an eye out on how I can change/upgrade it on a budget.
- Become a local- I’m from a small town where everybody knows everybody. I miss that sometimes. What I’ve found is as much as I want to try new things and visit EVERY coffee shop in the area and get brunch at ALL the latest spots, I find true enjoyment in pulling up a bar stool at my favorite local restaurant, Jim Brady’s Detroit and ordering the same cheese dip appetizer, Caesar salad and red wine. Brian and I both love the food, the atmosphere and the service at Jim Brady’s Detroit in Royal Oak. If you haven’t checked it out, GO!
What are your favorite things about owning a home? Share them with me in the comment section below!