Welcome to Easy Living, my new lifestyle column all about the things that make nesting fun and will make your home both unique and beautiful. Here I’m going to cover the things that new homeowners don't think about initially, moving tips, awesome products, good luck items for your home, finding the best rugs and furniture and mattresses, trends in kitchen, bedroom and bathroom décor, cool home products like candles and bed sheets and towels and cookware, tips on hosting the best cocktail party and setting a perfect table, and where to find the coolest products and most awesome deals to beautify your home!
My husband and I recently became homeowners and it’s been an experience that’s bigger and more all-consuming than I’d ever imagined it would be. From deciding that we’d go for it, to the process of finding our dream place, to making and offer and closing on it, to moving in – it’s an intense progression that will make you feel tested, and will confirm your adulthood in surprising ways. I watch a lot of home design television so I thought I knew what I was getting into. I was so wrong, and so innocent and unprepared. Now that I’ve gotten through the process, let me put you up on game from the perspective of being a brand new homeowner. Here are 5 things I wish someone had told me oh, maybe a year ago.
1. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. So you’ve decided that it’s time to move out of your old place and to find a new spot. Not only that, you’re ready to stop paying off someone else’s mortgage, and to pay your own for once. Woo hoo! It’s an exciting time, making the decision. Know and understand that it’s going to take some effort and time to be able to actually execute it. Step number one is getting your credit together so you’ll be approved for your home loan. For us, the road to homeownership was paved with homecooked meals and shopping in your closet, saving money wherever you can is essential to be able to make the big investment later on.
2. You’re best off in the hands of professionals. Saving money is one thing. Looking on sites like Zillow, Redfin and Trulia can give you an idea of what’s out there, which neighborhoods to hone in on and what you can afford. But when it comes to financial planning or really doing a real estate deep dive, turn to a pro. A good financial planner can teach you ways to save you may not have thought of before. A good realtor will know the ins and outs of your potential new neighborhood, and they may even know moving companies and contractors to make the move in process easy and ideal for you.
3. Real life does not equal HGTV. So you’ve found your new place and you’re ready to Property Brothers the heck out of it. Hold up, wait a minute. In reality, two handsome brothers don’t come to your rescue and create your dream home. You’ll most likely have to do a lot of the leg work yourself, and make some tough decisions you’ll have to live with. Also, home renovations take longer than you’ll want them to and not every contractor will be as on point or professional as you see on TV. What may be conceived as a 3 week project can turn into 6 weeks before you blink.
4. This thing is YOURS, babe. You did this. You bought it. You will be so much more careful and caring with your new property than anywhere you lived before. You’ll find yourself investing in things like stud finders – the better to hang your wall art straight with, my dear. You’ll agonize over every little ding in your wall or scratch on the floor. You may become that person who insists houseguests take their shoes off at the door. This is your home and you’ll want it to be perfect.
5. You’re going to be SO proud of yourself. That first day of having the keys and being in the home you worked so hard to get, feels like nothing else. Bask in the glow of ownership and adulthood, you’ve earned it and you worked dang hard for all of it!
Contributing Editor, Patrice Grell Yursik is the creator of Afrobella.com, one of the first blogs to celebrate the beauty of natural hair and ladies of all skin tones and sizes. Affectionately called the Godmother of Brown Beauty Blogging, Patrice takes her readers inside unique beauty, fashion and cultural experiences.