I was 19 when I got married. I went from living with my parents to living with my husband, there was no in between college or roommate phase. My husband was also deployed at the time when I decided to pack up my life and move across country – which meant I was choosing the house, I was picking the furniture, I was learning how to mow the lawn for the first time in life with no instruction. Back then I didn’t have a clue what I was doing – but I’m glad I did it. I was a making my first house a home for my husband to come back from deployment to; It turned out good…but not without mistakes that I didn’t know I was making at the time. If you’re moving into your first place and want to limit your amount of fuckery, keep reading – this ones for you.
Choosing your first home: Try not to fuck this one up too bad – this is a mistake that’s a little harder to undo.
Find out what you can afford – just because the bank, or your property manager approves it does NOT mean you can afford it. You need to write down every little thing you spend your money on, not just your bills. I know you’ve probably heard it before, but seriously the little things add up, quick. This may prevent you from living pay check to pay check.
Furniture: Don’t be furniture broke. When I say this, I mean most furniture stores offer some sort of payment plan. If you chose to go this route – be careful. It is VERY easy to walk into the store and buy every room of your new home and just put it on your account. Before you know it, you’ve gotten yourself a $6,000 loan. Add that to a list of your bills (this will be one that kills you a little more inside every time you write that check).
Okay, so avoiding an unnecessary debt of $6,000 – Shop around; buy used. Now, I’m not talking mattresses (buy that shit new – no explanation) Couches are along those lines too; that’s something you’re going to want to spend your money on. I’m talking, coffee tables, nightstands, kitchen tables, etc. Used doesn’t always mean it’s junky and you have to refinish it. If DYI projects are not your thing – there are plenty of used furniture that you don’t need to touch up, you just need to be patient and look around; which brings me to my next point –
Take your time: I am the type of person that when I start a project, it needed to be done like yesterday; I have no patience for that shit. Don’t be like me. When looking for a house, buying furniture, decorating, and everything else that comes along with moving into your first place – it’s not going to happen overnight, so don’t force it. You may find that you spent more money on something you just settled for. I promise it’s not the most efficient way to get it done. Like I said, look around for furniture (its not going to kill you to use moving boxes for your kitchen table for a few weeks)
Decorating: Consider your living situation for this one, are you renting? Do you own? Decorate accordingly. For example; I LOVE sectional couches, but they tend to be bulky and not easily rearranged. My first home was a rental and my husband is military, so who knows how many houses we will go through while we own this couch, which meant I wasn’t sure that the next house we will live in will have a living room suitable for a sectional couch. Now if you own, probably not an issue you need to worry about. Also, I chose to decorate my house in about every shade of beige you could imagine. I did this for multiple reasons; 1. it’s just my style – I love neutral décor. 2. My house flows because of it. It is so simple for me to redecorate my house; don’t want that shelf in the dining room anymore? move it to the living room. This also makes moving houses very easy to decorate, but even if you own your home- make your house flow from room to room (this doesn’t mean it has to be 50 shades of beige like mine, make it your style while being aware of the flow)
Hopefully you took something away from this post, either way – Congratulations on your new home! May your amount of fuckery and debt be VERY limited.