(Very) Few First Time Homeowner Tips
I am two years into buying my first home and I'm still learning new shit. I'll add more as I learn more...
- •It's ok to not have a couch for a few months (doesn't apply to couches only)I know this sounds ridiculous but hear me out. When you're in college you have shit Ikea furniture that you're terrified to move an inch to the left because it might just literally explode. But it's ok because you're poor and one day you're going to save the world. But now you own a home and this shit is yours forever (or 5 years at least). So save money for a few months or a year or whatever to get that bomb ass couch that won't collapse underneath you after you eat a whole pizza.
- •Hire a bug guy to spray around the home once a year.Trust me.
- •Supplemental property taxUh did you know there's an EXTRA supplemental tax bill that ISN'T rolled into your mortgage like the rest of your property taxes??? Yea, neither did I. Apparently there's an additional one time property tax bill that you will have to pay a few months after you buy your home and if you're a single income home like me, that shit sucks. So ask your realtor/lender/mom about it and save up for it.
- •It is perfectly ok and expected of you to ask your friends for helpIf you own a home it means you also have amazing friends that you will have forever. And it's totally ok to ask them for help to paint, scrape popcorn ceilings, lay pavers in your yard, or tell you that your painting sucks and to trash it. It took me a long time to realize this. My house is a home now because of my dear friends and their help over the last few years. And now you guys are (kinda sorta) adults so even if they say no, don't take it personally. Just remind then of that one time...
- •It's also perfectly ok to call your mama when your NHL network won't connect to your TV or call your dad when your weeds get so out of control they turn to treesI know I'm incredibly blessed with the family I have, and I recognize that not everyone has that unfortunately. But if you do, use them. Like...all the time. They have made the mistakes you've made. They've set the kitchen on fire with the same recipe. So take a damn minute and listen to them. Also, they'll feed you when it's the end of the month and you're broke as hell but have a fancy new bathroom that you can't use because of that water bill.
- •Check your City/County websiteThere's some good shit on Sacramento's website so check yours as well. It tells you what days your recycling bin goes out because literally everyone just puts whatever bin the rest of the neighborhood puts out, if you're in a drought (which you most likely are) it tells you what days you can water and if your city has an animal shelter you can look at the dogs available for adoption and take them all home forever.
- •Don't be the neighbor with THAT yardSeriously. I'm that neighbor and I hate me. You can find a cheap lawn mower at an estate or garage sale. If you have a normal sized yard it will take you a half hour, tops. So just sack up and mow your lawn so the neighbor's dog can shit in peace on your yard.
- •Know your neighbor(s) aka check Megan's LawI got SUPER lucky & have amazing neighbors. They help me with home stuff, they take my trash out when I'm out of town and they let me come over and play with their foster kitties. I have a half plex and it's incredibly important that we have a good relationship in case something happens that affects both our homes. We won't be assholes about it if we need a new roof or have to cut down a tree on our lawns. Also, seriously, check Megan's Law website (Cali residents only). Awareness is important.
- •Weed killer kills everything for a yearYou can't grow shit for a year. So prepare yourself for a weird ass looking landscape. There are remedies around this but I didn't realize I can plant a lemon tree for a whole damn year. So my mom took my lemon tree and now it's growing incredibly well in her yard and I still have weeds that turned into trees AND I can't plant shit. Also, fruit trees attract rats so it worked out because nope.
- •Dude you bought a homeBe proud of your damn self. You ACTUALLY did an adult thing. Even if you're house poor, can't go out with your friends every night, have a bathroom from the 80s that's got linoleum that was somehow from the 70s, and forgot to take the trash out so now you have to wait a whole week (take it to the supermarket dumpster at night), you bought a freaking home.