Woman standing next to "SOLD" sign in front of a house

What I’ve learned about owning a house…

It’s been just over a year since Peter and I moved into our first home! As fabulous as this sounds, we’ve quickly learned we know NOTHING about owning a home! We are 30-somethings with no clue about anything home maintenance. We say it’s because we’ve had landlords who took care of things for the last six years, but really, we just never took the time to learn the basics.

Sad? Yes. But in our defence, we are eager to learn!

When we first moved in, we had all these big plans for what we wanted to change.

Woman standing next to "SOLD" sign in front of a house

The fixer-upper list:

  • Paint the living room, master bedroom, my office office and the kitchen cabinets;
  • Change the kitchen cabinet handles;
  • Renovate the powder room, which has a vanity that can only be described as a intergalactic bowling ball blue;
  • Renovate the main bathroom, which tile on the floor, walls and, wait for it, THE CEILING!; and
  • Changing some light fixtures around the house that are a bit dated.

So, what have we been able to accomplish to date? Some things from the list and some random things I didn’t even know we needed to do.

What actually got done:

  • Changed the air conditioning unit;
  • Changed the furnace;
  • Put in vinyl flooring on the upstairs landing;
  • Painted the living room (woo!); and
  • Changed two light fixtures (three more to go).

Front of a house with a porch with two red Muskoka chairs.

It doesn’t help that we were swamped with work, but man, oh man, if it wasn’t for our parents, I have no idea how we would have made it through this year. OK, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but we had no idea how to properly paint, at least according my my artist mother. And, in fairness, I feel like she would be a good judge of that.

Speaking of my mom, she’s my personal Bob Vila, Mike Holmes and Chip Gaines all rolled into one. She’s self-taught, and my god, the woman is a one-stop shop on all things fixer-upper. Aside from teaching us the proper way to paint, she taught us how to install light fixtures and vinyl flooring, things to consider when looking at the washroom renovation plans and so much more!

And I can’t give a shout-out to my mom without giving one to my amazing father-in-law. When he came to visit earlier this autumn, he helped fix things around the house that Peter had broken or mildly damaged over the course of the year. He showed Peter how to be a better handyman, and I loved every second of it.

With the holidays right around the corner, I have a few weeks off and I’m planning on checking some more of those boxes before the new year (I’m looking at you, painting the bedroom and office).

But I want to hear from you. When you bought your first home, what stuff did you have to learn how to do? How did you learn it? And do you have any tips for these two novices?

Until next time!


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