Lessons in Home Ownership (So Far)

Well, we’re about one month into home ownership, and already the word to describe it is “adventure.” We knew when buying a home that was built in 1965 we would probably discover quirks and unexpected things, and so far, that has definitely been true. I thought I’d give a little life update today about what’s been going on and why I’ve been a little MIA on the blog this week.

Easy Summer Outfit Idea // Hello Rigby Seattle Fashion Blog
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Lessons in Home Ownership (So Far)

And before I get into exactly what’s going on, let me say this: I am beyond grateful that we 1. found a home we love, and 2. are able to financially afford it and be able to make all of it work regardless of what happens. I can’t imagine what it would be like if we were strapped for cash, and that’s why I think it’s really important to have a long hard look at your finances before you decide to move forward with buying a house, no matter where you are at in the process. It sucks to give up on a dream of a magical house that’s outside of your budget, but at the same time, I’m glad we ended up buying in a slightly lower price point than we initially thought. It’s made all of what I’m going to tell you about that much less stressful. ;)

And if you like the outfit in this post, from when I was blissfully ignorant to home ownership, you can shop it here:

Jacket: Levi’s Trucker Jacket // Dress: Long Linen Tank Dress c/o J.Jill // Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell Apfel Tassel Mules {these exact ones are on mega sale, but also come in floral print or a loafer version} c/o Shopbop // Necklace: Kendra Scott Rayne Necklace┬ác/o┬áDivalani Style Boutique // Bag: Moda Luxe Nola Crossbody via Stitch Fix // Scarf: Compassion Fund Paisley Skinny Scarf c/o J.Jill // Hat: c/o J.Jill {similar under $50, similar under $20}

Expect the unexpected

As mentioned, a 50+-year-old home is going to have some issues. We knew that, but since we had a pre-inspection, we thought we knew what most of those issues would be. Turned out, not so much. We had hired someone to refinish all the hardwoods that had been under carpet for a long time, and when the carpets were pulled up, it was discovered that our sliding door had been leaking onto the floor and subfloor for quite some time. Yay!

Stripes and Whites Summer Outfit // Hello Rigby Seattle Fashion BlogThings never go quite as planned

As you can imagine, our plan to have our hardwoods completely refinished before moving in was thus foiled. We decided to have all of the bedrooms and hallway refinished since there wasn’t anything wrong with that flooring (it turned out gorgeous by the way!) and resume the living room project once the problem (the sliding glass doors) had been replaced. But, since things don’t go as planned, it turned out that finding a company that is willing to replace the screen door AND do minor repair work if there is wood frame damage is not the easiest… So, I’ve spent about a month going back and forth with several companies on estimates, measurements, and trying to get this job actually going. Sigh.

How to Wear a Striped Maxi Dress // Hello Rigby Seattle Fashion BlogWhen it rains, it pours

Okay, so sure the above some is semi-stressful since managing to be home multiple days during hte week for appointments, making phone calls, and emailing back and forth with companies is not really my favorite thing ever. Plus, I work full time and do try to blog a couple days a week (key word here is try!).

BUT nothing could prepare me for what happened last night. I had the biggest scare of my Dog Mama life. I got home last night from work, and Dave had been working from home with the dog in his office. I let the dog out, got a snack, and was sitting on the bed. I realized, after a little while, that Rigby had left the room and so I called out to him. Typically, I hear him come back (slowly, because, Shiba) but this time I didn’t hear him. I thought it was a bit odd, but sometimes he ignores me and I figured he was laying down somewhere.

A few more minutes passed and I thought I’d investigate. Never know, right? Well. I couldn’t imagine that the EVIL SLIDING GLASS DOORS FROM HELL would be wide open! Dave, who was cleaning the bathroom at this time, couldn’t hear me screaming because he had headphones on, so I had to run back down the hall to him. I then went running out the sliding doors screaming my head off like a crazy person for Rigby. Dave came running after me, who then spotted the dog in the street.

No, he wasn’t run over by a car. (My biggest fear, really.)

He was just sitting there. In the middle of the street. Flanked by two neighbors on either side. When he saw me? He continued to sit there. Like a Shiba. Looking like he didn’t have a care in the world. UGH.

So moral of the story? If you want to meet your neighbors, just leave your sliding doors open, let your dog escape, and then he’ll lure them out for you.

Oh, and double check to make sure your sliding glass doors are closed after someone comes to measure them. SIGH.


J Jill Striped Maxi Dress // Summer Outfit Idea // Hello Rigby Seattle Fashion BlogBe financially prepared

You know when people tell you that owning a home always costs more than you expect? Yeah, listen to those people. (And if you didn’t before, now you know.) Sure, we knew we were going to have to spend much more on the house other than the down payment, closing costs, and all of the basic things like changing locks. But, you can never imagine how much some of the weirdest things cost. Like did you know unclogging a toilet is over $100 and replacing a water valve costs about $700? I sure didn’t. So that was a fun, unexpected bill.

Also, did you know to never ever put egg shells down a disposal? I mean, I knew this, but someone who lived here previously didn’t so now our disposal is constantly spitting them up. We may not have to replace it, but we’ll pay in egg shell clean up.

Jeffrey Campbell Tasseled Mules for Summer Outfit // Hello Rigby Seattle Fashion Blog

Did I mention how much I love home ownership?

I mean, I do, it’s just, it’s only been a month, and your girl is tired.

Are you a homeowner? Or have a rental nightmare? Please commiserate with me in the comments. Thank you in advance. ;)

8 thoughts on “Lessons in Home Ownership (So Far)

  1. Julia Strong

    Oh yes, this is so totally true! Anytime one of my friends who has recently bought a home talks about unexpected repairs popping up or just unexpected expenses in general I always say “Welcome to home ownership!” :D I love having a home and I wouldn’t trade it, but you are so right that the buying of the house part is just the beginning!

    1. Jenn Post author

      Haha, absolutely! We heard this a lot too when we were looking, and while I knew to expect it, it still is surprising. I guess that’s the hard thing about a home – you never know when something will go wrong, and it’s never on “your” schedule. ;)

  2. Autumn

    Houses are weird, but I promise your home budget and home in general will stop having an exorcism after 1-2 years. I felt like our first year was so chaotic in trying to find everything that was up while we were still under our home warranty, but everything chilled out and it was SO GOOD.

    Love this outfit and I hope it chills out soon!

    1. Jenn Post author

      Aw thanks Autumn! That is comforting to hear. Home ownership is great, but also kind of a headache when you have an older home that has been owned by someone else for over 50 years! ;)

  3. Katrina

    Oh my goodness, I am SO GLAD Rigby is ok! That’s my biggest nightmare… if Sushi ever got out of the house, she’d either be terrified stiff or blissfully on an adventure of the neighbourhood. Don’t they know their human parents get WORRIED?! sigh. haha

  4. Chelsie

    OKAY YES TO ALL OF THIS! I actually have a post super similar to this going up next week, because MAN is home ownership an adventure. In the three months we’ve owned our house, we’ve had a lot of crazy things happen, as well. Like the fact that the water softener that wasn’t plugged in when we moved in actually didn’t work because it’s older than the house. And that grass is WAY harder to maintain and keep alive in Utah then I thought. Also, garage door openers are hard to order for lifts that are older than 5 years. Anyway, I feel your pain. I love being a homeowner but also, I’m wiped out. There is always something.

    And I’m so glad Rigby is okay. Teddy escaped through a tiny hole in our fence in the first week we brought him home. Thankfully we were out in the yard and saw him and could block it up, but I now I’m super paranoid about putting them in the back yard.

  5. Maria

    Well, i guess thats one way to meet your neighbors? ;) Glad to hear your dog is ok!!!

    Every home we have ever owned has had a myriad of issues we didn’t know about EXCEPT (ironically) the one that was built in 1895!!! How that is possible, I do not know. But, I am a proud support of solidly built older homes vs. cheaply built new or new-ish! So kudos to you for buying something older! Once you uncover all the issues (in at least a year…), hopefully things will begin to go more smoothly!! Congrats/good luck! :)


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