Being a Homeowner – Part One of Many

You know those blogs that have beautiful DIY projects and tons of pictures of the gorgeous home that they’ve completely remodeled? The ones that make you want to pin every picture and hope that your house can one day look as good as theirs? This is not one of those blogs.

If you want to hear about how easy it is to “make a house a home,” you’re in the wrong place. If you’re looking for a much more realistic experience of home-ownership, then search no further.

A little background – after a year and a half of marriage in a tiny rental house, we spent a few months looking for the perfect house for us to buy, and while I can’t remember the exact number, we looked at somewhere between 35 and one million houses before we finally fell in love with one.

Here’s our old house:

The front porch of our tiny first rental home – complete with two lovely swans and astroturf: beauty-ful, Clark.

And here’s our new one!

The day we bought our first home! I made the hubster take this photo before the realtor came and took the sign.

Here’s what we knew about our new house:

  • It has exponentially more space, which we desperately needed as our stuff gradually began spilling out of our 850-square-foot rental house.
  • We loved the location – great neighborhood, tucked away in the middle of the city. Older, with lots of character and individuality.
  • It was move-in ready. Needed plenty of updating, but nothing we couldn’t live with for a while.
  • It has a fireplace, which was a requirement for me.
  • It has a big kitchen with lots of potential – also a requirement.
  • It has a lovely backyard for our adorable pup, Evie.
(Seriously, isn’t she the cutest?)

And here’s what we didn’t know until we moved in:

  • A house that sits on the market for several months will likely have plumbing issues that won’t be discovered during inspections. (Side note, ladies…when you tell your husband that the toilet is acting funny, kindly explain to him that you do in fact know how to flush one and that the plumbing might be the problem BEFORE you flood your bathroom, laundry room and garage…)
  • Two stories are great, until you come down the stairs a little too quickly, lose your footing and face plant into the tile below, causing you to need two new teeth.
  • Even when you think your plumbing troubles are fixed, you might suddenly find a stain on your living room ceiling that implies there’s a new leak from the upstairs bathroom that you didn’t even know about! (Bonus here – you’ll learn about loopholes in your home warranty. Like how if the plumbing problem occurs outside of the house, even directly outside your bedroom window, it’s not covered by your warranty – fun surprise!)

A few other things I’ve learned in the less-than-two months I’ve been a homeowner:

  • Painting is a lot of work, but makes a huge difference.
  • Yard work can be really taxing on the body, but also makes a huge difference.
  • Pioneer Woman’s sangria can make both painting and yard work much more enjoyable. (Side note – my husband says it should have a two-glass limit, but good luck stopping at two. Also worth noting, I think that PW can do no wrong, so I’ll probably share her stuff a lot. And I think it’s hilarious that my husband always refers to her as Prairie Woman. Close enough.)

All that to say – buying a house and making it a home is challenging, but doing it with your best friend is a lot of fun. I’m thankful to have a husband who is supportive, handy, smart and funny, and who is my teammate in all of the trials and tribulations joys and triumphs of owning a home!

Coming up in the near future: some moderately decent before and after pictures of the progress we’ve made so far. We still have a long way to go!

(Lastly, you might notice I use a lot of bullets and lists. My brain just works better this way…my friends can attest, as that’s how most of my emails are formatted. If you don’t like bullets and lists, you’re also probably in the wrong place.)

Have a great day, everyone!


  1. Lydia

    Loved your blog Hayley!
    Can’t wait to hear/read more adventures! It’s great you’re keeping such a positive outlook! It will all be worth it!!!


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