Still am getting used to having so much room. Our home isn't exactly huge for four people (1400 SF), but having spent my entire adult life in small apartments, it's practically a mansion to me. I also am still coming to terms with the fact than we are entirely responsible for everything here. No calling the landlord if there is a leak or an electrical problem. We have had a leak, and a few electrical problems in the past year (it is almost a 40 year-old house after all). Fortunately, I had friends that were able to help us fix these problems with minimal expense.
Since we really extended ourselves financially to buy this place, I sometimes start getting anxious about money. When we were renters, we usually had several hundred "extra"dollars every month. But not now. Our PITI is about $400 more than we were paying for rent. But we get by with, again, help from family and friends. My Mom throws us some money once in a while. And a good friend helped us a lot when we had our kitchen fire a few months ago.
Here are a few of the lessons we have learned over the past year:
- Buying a house really helped to reduce our tax burden (i.e tax returns more than doubled)
- Sometimes neighbors can be real jerks
- Pride in ownership brought about odd territorial instincts in me (i.e. "You kids get off my lawn!!")
- I suddenly cared about anything that might raise property taxes
- Taking care of the yard is both satisfying and a real hassle. Kind of like having kids.