April 22, 2013 by bdetienne
Imagine your are at the eye doctors office and you are looking through the machine measuring your eyes. The current settings are not strong enough so you can make out colors and shapes, perhaps even some items in the surrounding area, but you cannot clearly see the bottom two rows of the eye chart 10-15 feet away. The optometrist makes a couple of adjustments, and voila! The world around you becomes crystal clear.
This is the closest experience I can think of that relates to the experience of being a first-time homeowner. Leading up to this achievement, your living status is typically either living with your parents or staying in a rental property. You recognize that the residence requires cleaning, maintaining, improving, and when necessary, replacing, but none of these things are your responsibility. You do not worry about the allocation of time, money, and resources that it will take to perform said project; because of this, you may not fully appreciate or understand what goes into it or why it is not done straight away. Although you may be asked to assist with a task, your parents/landlord are ultimately the people calling the shots.
When you are fortunate enough to be in a position to buy your own home, everything changes. You (or in the case of the men reading this, your spouse) are your own boss. You are the decorator, painter, carpenter, gardener, handyman, plumber, dishwasher, mover, and maid or… you hire someone to do it. If a water heater or a roof needs replacing, you have to step up and get it fixed. If a room is dirty, you must clean it (okay, so some things are similar for renters and owners). If you want to paint a room or landscape the garden, you are the one heading to Home Depot to scout, compare, price, and procure the necessary items to carry it out.
[Sidenote: Home Depot and other home improvement stores will become the unofficial sponsor of your new home. Since I became a homeowner last year my wife and I have made several trips to and spent several dollars at Home Depot for home improvement-related purchases.]
[Sidenote 2: If anyone at Home Depot is reading this and would interested in officially sponsoring our home improvement projects in exchange for a blogging journal of the project, shoot me an email at email@example.com. I’m kidding. But seriously.]
There are potentially a few drawbacks to home ownership from time to time (read: something unexpected goes bad/gets broken) but overall, the experience is incredible. If you already own a home I hope this can remind you of that feeling of owning your own domicile. If you do not, you have something to look forward to one day. Who knows, maybe I will run into you one day at Home Depot.