Saturday, July 16, 2011

When it Rains, It Pours

J and I consider ourselves to be fairly responsible adults. We are savers and love seeing our nest egg increase. It's a good thing we were like this before we bought our home. When we purchased our house there were a couple projects we knew we wanted to tackle. We had a home inspection done and kind of thought/hoped we wouldn't have anything major to do unexpectedly in the first couple of naive.

I think the thing to do going into homeownership is to expect the unexpected. It's like the cub scouts motto- be prepared (this pretty much means financially, there is a reason they have a term called house poor).

As we were coming up on our one year mark of homeownership we were still totally in love with our newish home. We were slowly making updates and making the house "our own". Then in an instant I began to loathe it.
It started with the oil. We noticed we were going through oil crazy fast. So we had the oil mintenance people come out, they checked into it and said we need a new boiler. They gave us a quote and we were taken aback. We had our trusty plumber come in for a second opinion and were a bit happier with the price. So he scheduled a day to add not a new boiler, but a hot water tank, which would fix the issue. Great, problem solved. Although, we went through an entire tank of oil in 2 weeks while figuring this out, when the cost of oil was at it's height.
So while our plumber is there, J tells him we recently started hearing a funny noise in the shower, so he checks that out for us, too. Turns out there is a leak in the pipe. We live on a slab and the only way to get to the pipe is to tear up our brand new hard wood floors. That didn't sound appealing. Option 2- install new pipes. We took option 2, as it cost much less.
I forgot to do a "before shot", but the only way to do this was to install a new piping system throughout the walls of our home and it ended up causing weird angles, which we needed to have drywalled to cover the pipes up. J's mom is an expert drywaller, but didn't have experience with boxed drywalls and we were too scared to tackle this on our own, so we called yet another proffessional. Which we were happy to do since they did a far better job than we would have ever done.

So what did this all add up to?

2 ridiculous oil bills- check
new hot water heater & plumber invoice- check
installation of new pipes invoice- check
ridiculously high water bill- check
dry wall invoice- check
Writing out a lot of checks.
So the month we should have been celebrating our one-year-anniversary-of-homeownership, we spent the month emptying our savings and wondering what was so exciting about home ownership anyways? Calling a landlord to deal with problems was starting to have a lot of appeal.

Luckily this was a couple months ago and we are back in our blissful state of loving our little abode. I definitely have more to say when friends ask about home ownership though. So much unexpected-ness can happen in an instant. It's also made us even better savers. We used to have a rainy day fund, now we are working on a down pour fund.

Did you have to deal with any major surprises after purchasing your home? Do you prefer homeownership or renting?


  1. That is something that I will probably miss once we move out of the apartment. We had issues with a leaking AC unit (which was leaking water into the apartment below us), and although it took 3 different visits from the maintenance guys, it didn't cost us anything. I still think that the pride of owing a house will outweigh that, hopefully :)

  2. Oh. My. God. This is the first house I have ever lived in with oil heat, and had a physical reaction when I saw that you went through a TANK in two weeks.. ugh! Its the unexpected stuff that keeps me up at night too.

  3. @ Lauren, It's definitely worth it for the pride of ownership. I love having our own place.
    @ Kate, iy was so sickening! I'm so glad it's over. Oil heat is completely new to me, too

  4. Oh gosh, I hear you! It's a bittersweet feeling for sure! ;)