YOUR FIRST 90 DAYS IN A NEW HOUSE: A REALTOR® PERSPECTIVE

Dated: December 7 2017

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My wife and I closed on our first single family home in Late July of 2017. It was my first time living outside of a multi-unit building, ie condo or apartment since 2003. My career in real estate provided a great blueprint on what to expect, but as with life you must prepare for the unexpected. I wanted to share some of the good, bad, and learning experiences we came across.

Lawn Care/Gardening

This was something I hadn’t needed to think about since I was a kid. We purchased our home from an investor. Once the house went under contract they let the yard go to hell. The day we moved into our house the grass was about 3 weeks overgrown. It looked like we lived in a forest. We had a rabbit (we named Dennis) living in the tall grass of our backyard. Our dog Baxter didn’t find Dennis’s company as charming as we did. Exhausted from moving and the several other closings I had that week, we looked to a professional for help. 

We called several landscapers, only one showed up. He looked around and asked me how much I thought was fair to cut the lawn. Honestly I was clueless, so I asked him to name his price. He said $100. Our house is located on a big corner lot and we were desperate. The guy took his shot and nailed it. Truth is I would have paid double just to get it done. 

The next day I bought and electric (corded) mower on amazon. I wanted something basic, non-gas and didn’t feel like spending $500+ on a battery operated version. You want to know what is worse than cutting your lawn, avoiding an extension cord while cutting your lawn. After 3 cuts, I scrapped the electric mower and bought a top of the line Battery mower. Money well spent. 

Window Treatments

The house we purchased was staged beautifully. Since it was a flip the contractor saved money and never added window treatments to any of the windows. We weren’t sure of the direction we wanted to go, shutters, drapes, blinds, ect, so when we first moved in we had nothing. After 3 days of looking at taped on garbage bags, we found a temporary solution at Ikea. They sell these cheap paper pleated shades for $3. We bought a bunch to replace the garbage bags until we found a custom solution. 

After a month we settled on custom treatments from SelectBlinds.com. They are made to order so the fit was excellent. Later we were able to incorporate drapes to match our living room color scheme. The main takeaway here is we are glad we waited. We found something we really enjoy looking at before rushing into a decision. 

Furniture

Some people really enjoy shopping for new furniture. I am not one of those people. We already had some great furniture from our condo that was only a couple years old. Buying a new house means aquiring more stuff to fill it. This involves visiting lots of stores looking for the just the right stuff.

Many of the stores have very aggresive salespeople who stalk you around the entire time and not giving you the opportunity to freely browse. I love buying, but hate being sold. Regardless of the store, It was incrediable how they all had pretty much the exact same sales pitch. They must have all attended the same sales seminar togther because their scripts were spot on. 

After hours of reseach I found a great new mattress from PlushBeds, we ordered some living room furniture at Art Van, and had some custom bedroom furniture made at Walter E Smithe. The main takeways here take your time, don’t be overwhelmed, and remeber filling your new house should be fun. 

Summary

When you buy a new home, it is common to feel like you need to get everything in order quickly. The most common lesson we learned was that it’s okay to take your time. In almost every situation (with exception to the custom stuff we ordered) we could return or exchange anything that didn’t quite fit or didn’t feel right for the space. Buying your first home, whether it be a condo, house, or multi-unit building is a learning experience. You aren’t expected to nail every decision. Just enjoy your new home! 

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Jay Caracci

Jay Caracci, a HomeSmart Connect Real Estate Broker strives to make Real Estate easier for you. A multi-million dollar producer, podcaster, and marketing expert, Jay specializes in all things real est....

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