12 weeks ago, I moved into my first home and whilst it’s amazing, it’s not always all roses and sunshine. It’s imperfect and rough around the edges but it’s my imperfect home. I am incredibly proud of myself for buying a house and more so for doing it all on my own. It may have taken a lot of saving up but believe it or not, I didn’t have to fully sacrifice avocado toast!
Whilst I’ve been settling into the life of a home-owner, I couldn’t help but notice a lot of other ‘big’ bloggers and vloggers had also recently moved home. As much as I love their content and adore seeing their homes, I can’t help but feel that they aren’t reflective of real life. Or at least, they aren’t reflective of my life and my experience of becoming a home owner. But that’s the thing with the internet. It’s so easy to get caught up with comparison. Analysing the details of someone’s perfectly composed Instagram whilst wondering why you haven’t got your shit together like they do. But hey, who said you have to have your shit together anyway?
With all that said, I wanted to shed some light on the realities (for me) of becoming a home-owner:
1. AN UNFURNISHED HOME IS A HAPPY HOME
I have been in my house for almost 3 months and it’s still pretty unfurnished. The front room lacks the wingback chair of my dreams. The TV I’m using is borrowed and the only furniture in my bedroom that I’ve bought so far is a bed. I currently can’t have more than 1 guest because I don’t have enough seats and my desire for a home-cooked roast dinner has to wait until the day I finally get a dining table.
Yet I still come home every evening from work and instantly feel at home. Even when I first moved in and only had two camp chairs and slept on an airbed, it still felt like home. Naturally, I’ve watched a lot of moving home vlogs since buying my house. As I watch these vlogs where people move home and instantaneously furnish their whole house, I have to remind myself that it’s okay that I can’t afford to do that. It’s okay that my house will slowly come together like a 10,000 jigsaw.
It’s easy to get caught up staring longingly at their pinterest-esque homes but I equally love my current mismatched, empty and humble abode.
2. TRADESMEN ARE HARD WORK
You can have big plans for your house but the truth is you’ll more than likely, at some point or another, have to rely on a tradesmen to execute those plans. Sometimes, they’ll do just that. Finding a reliable tradesman isn’t always easy. Expect no-shows. Expect a lot of no-shows. You can also expect to go round in circles having conversations before you come to an agreement. Just be patient, do your research and don’t lose faith, everything will all come together!
3. YOU CAN’T DO IT ALL AT ONCE
Maybe this is a bit of a no-brainer for everyone, but unless you’ve saved up a lot of extra money then you’re not going to have the house of your dreams straight away. You can’t do it all at once.
If I could click my fingers right now, I’d have a brand new kitchen with extension, a new bathroom, the cutest garden and the rest of the house would be fully decorated and furnished. But alas, you can’t just click your fingers and get what you want. The harsh realities of adulthood.
Instead, I get to slowly watch my house blossom over time and if you ask me, that’s pretty exciting.
4. YOU CAN DECORATE HOWEVER YOU WANT
Decorating is potentially one of the most exciting things about owning a house but if you’re anything like me, you won’t be able to decide and you’ll want 817 different styles at once.
The brilliant thing about owning my own house is I get to decide how I want it to look. I don’t have to comprise on style to suit anyone else. Want pink fluffy cushions in every room? No problem! Personally, I don’t want pink fluffy cushions in every room but it’s nice knowing that I can style my house however I please. I’m free to add a touch of my personality to the house. For me, it’s sooo important for a house to have character. I want someone to walk through the front door and instantly get a glimpse at who I am just from how my house is styled.
5. DIY ISN’T SCARY
My mother is always insistent on telling me how I need a ‘man’ to help me or how I should find myself a ‘nice plumber’ or some other kind of tradesman. Truth is, I don’t. I’m not afraid to get in stuck in and give DIY a go. I don’t understand why it’s seen as a man’s job. I’m pretty certain men weren’t born being able to put shelves up so if they can do it, so can I.
This girl can do anything as good as a man…or at least, she sure as hell is willing to give it her best shot. Because if it all goes wrong, I’ll just get someone will skills to fix it. There’s no love lost.
With that said, I’ve also been battling trying to plumb a washing machine on my own for the past 4 days. It should be straight forward but alas, nothing ever is. I’m determined tomorrow is the day I finally manage to plumb and use the washing machine though.
6. NOBODY CAN JUDGE YOU OR TELL YOU WHAT TO DO
It’s your home and it’s your rules. There’s nobody else standing there telling you what you can and cannot do. I’m lucky in the sense that I didn’t really had anyone ‘laying down the laws’ when I lived at home – it felt more like a ‘house share’ than a family home. But with that said, it’s even greater knowing that you don’t have to account for someone else when you’re living alone.
Nobody can judge you for sitting on the kitchen worktop eating half a loaf of banana bread, whilst in nothing but a sweatshirt and your underwear. You can play your music as long as you like, without having to worry about it disrupting anyone else – apart from your neighbours, obviously. Please don’t be the obnoxious neighbour who blares out music.
Basically, living alone means living by your own rules. It’s all fun and games with a dash of adult responsibility.
7. PEOPLE WILL BE SHOCKED TO DISCOVER YOU OWN A HOUSE
Whenever I tell people I own my house, I’m met with a look of sheer surprise. Maybe that’s because I still look 14 years old or maybe it’s because buying a house is hella hard compared to when our parents were younger. It’s as if they can’t believe what they’re hearing. But hey, I did it. I bought a house and I truly believe that it’s possible for anyone else to do it too.
8. OTHERS ACT LIKE YOUR LIFE IS OVER NOW YOU HAVE A HOUSE
it’s as if the moment you open the front door to your new home, every other metaphorical door slams shut. Yet, I really don’t believe that’s true. Buying a house doesn’t automatically restrict any of your other ambitions. You can still chase your dreams whilst being a homeowner, so don’t let anyone tell you any different.
I know that if in, 2 years time, I decided I wanted to go travel the world, I still can. Being a homeowner doesn’t stop me from pursuing any of my other goals. Sure, it might make the road there a little bit longer due to time and money constraints but the road still exists.
9. YOU HAVE YOUR INDEPENDENCE
Okay so this kind of links back to ‘nobody can judge you…’ but having your own house means having your own independence and freedom. It means being responsible for your self. For me, that isn’t really anything new but I know for a lot of people, it will be.
Having my own house has simply confirmed to me how glad I am that I enjoy my own company. It also made me realise how thankful I am that I’ve been stubborn and independent since, well, as long as I can remember. I’m not very good at relying on other people or breaking down my walls and letting people close. It probably isn’t a great trait to have but hey, it means I love living on my own and having freedom to do everything myself.
10. IT’S A JOURNEY
The reality of becoming a homeowner is that it’s a journey. A long one. The kind of journey that’s going to be a little turbulent and bumpy at times. Heck, that journey might have a few dead-ends and turn-in-the-roads but it’s still a journey and frankly, I’m excited that my homeowning journey has just began.
I can’t wait to traverse the life of a homeowner, making my house a home and putting my (lack of) DIY skills to the test…