The Road to Buying a House... Volume 5: The Aftermath
We are so in love with our house! I still can't believe that we own it and that there's no end date awaiting us in the near future. It was worth the months and months of saving, making smart financial decisions to keep our credit scores up, filling out paperwork, meeting with our realtor, packing, and preparing.
Since closing seven weeks ago, we have now transitioned from the relatively short process of home BUYING to the never-ending process of home OWNING. The first week after moving in we were busy with change of address forms, installing shelves in the pantry, changing the locks on the house, doing minor repairs, decorating, and getting in touch with our handyman. I spent some time weeding, doing yard work, and trying to figure out what the heck is growing in my garden. I have become the queen of bargain shopping for artwork, decor, colorful accents, and a few pieces of furniture. At least 50 hours of our lives in the past month were dedicated to painting the living room, dining room and kitchen. What an incredible difference it makes to have colorful walls! It looks and feels so much more like a real home. To match the new walls we installed wooden blinds in the living room and dining room (and I learned a lot about measuring multiple times and to the 16th of an inch...) and added handles and knobs to our kitchen cabinets. We built a new gate, attempted to fix the dryer vent, and got the garbage disposal repaired. The final touch before our housewarming party was to paint the garage trim and the gate a bright, cheerful Southwest red!
Our housewarming party was this past weekend and we had a great time! More than 50 of our friends and coworkers attended and I felt so thankful to be surrounded by such a wonderful community of people in Santa Fe.
The next steps are air conditioning, roof work, and repairing some of the stucco, and I look forward to continuing to decorate the upstairs rooms. But first, I want to just RELAX in our house and ENJOY all that we have worked for.
To Do List for New Homeowners:
- Contact electric, gas and water companies to get utilities set up and transferred into your name
- Complete a change of address form at the post office, and set up mail forwarding
- Become familiar with the electrical box, the main water shutoff valve, the irrigation system, the electrical and gas meters, and other features unique to your house
- Purchase smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, and make sure existing detectors have fresh batteries
- Have repairs done on the roof and walls to prevent future problems
- Replace dripping faucets and eroded washing machine tubing as needed
- Get to know the Homeowners Association, and become familiar with any rules and regulations
- Trim the trees and bushes to make the yard look presentable
- Install outdoor lighting as needed
- Change the locks on the front door, back door, and mailbox
- Purchase a rake, snow shovel, ladder and fire extinguisher
- Post emergency numbers in a convenient location
- Purchase a fireproof box for the important documents
- Meet your neighbors!