Learning to Really OWN Your New House


First time homeowners are notoriously timid when it comes to making changes to a new house. Sometimes they’re dealing with a home newly constructed, and they feel like they can’t mess with anything without wearing the “new” off of the house. Others have bought a house after years or decades of renting.

owning a home

They’re used to not having any say in the way a house looks, and they’re not used to the DIY aspect of owning a home. Whatever the case, sooner or later you’re going to have to get your hands dirty if you want to truly OWN your new home. If that frightens you, here’s how to approach it with baby steps.

Start With the Walls. If there are no repairs or renovations that need to be done, you’ve got it easy. But you should still get a little dirty to break the spell and feel like you own this home, not like you’re a guest. For situations like this, I recommend a new coat of paint. It’s an easy project, it’s affordable, and it’s possible to transform a space to be exactly like the house you’ve always dreamed of. If you’ve got kids, let them pick out the colors of their own rooms, and make sure they have a paint brush when painting day comes around. In a weekend, you can make the interior of your new home unrecognizable, and incontrovertibly yours.

Work on the Places You Spend a Lot of Time. If you are unhappy with your home’s most important rooms (the bathroom, the kitchen, and the master bedroom), you should work to make them better. This may not be a project you wish to start in your first week of home ownership. But if you’re up to the task, by all means, do so. These projects are especially rewarding for two main reasons: 1) You’ll be creating spaces that are more enjoyable and useful to you and your family, and 2) You will be keeping most of the money you spend on these projects in the form of equity, which will be recovered when/if you sell in the future.

Make Your Exterior Inviting and Beautiful. Home Sellers and Development companies want a home to be inviting, but they’re not going to spend huge amounts of time or money on landscaping. Now that you live in your house, you can invest in lovely landscaping that makes your home the envy of the neighborhood. Even if you live in the middle of the city, there are ways to beautify your home through container gardens and the like. Whatever you use, adding natural elements to a home’s exterior will make you happier in your new home.

Owning a home is great. Don’t let the “newness” of it all keep you from putting your personal stamp on your new digs.

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