Home Ownership #illumedati 1

Hey everyone, it’s Whatever Wednesdays again. Today I’m going to talk about “Home Ownership“. This post turned out longer than I thought it would be.

Home Ownership

Stock Photo from: Pexels

Home Ownership

So I’ve lived at my house for about 2 and half years now. I’d love to tell you that we have remodeled the house and have a new kitchen and new hardwood floors and new everything and it’s my dream house….however…

I’d be lying.

The truth is that I knew on buying this particular house that it had good bones and I was going to spend the next 5-10 years “fixing” it into our “dream house”. I even thought that I had a reasonable or maybe even a conservative understanding of what being a home owner would entail.

Like I said… it’s been 2 and half years now and I’m here to say I was wrong. I was unprepared to deal with home ownership.

What? Why do you say that?

Don’t get me wrong. I like my house. I think it was a good price and it’s in a good neighborhood and a great school district. However, I had no idea of what maintenance would really consist of. My house isn’t even that big, but it has to be cleaned all the time. Then stuff breaks and has to be fixed. Even small fixes take time for someone who is not handy at all (me).

Then I underestimated the scope (and cost) of everything that would need to be done to the house to make it into a “dream house”.

As I’ve said before, I’ve already had to replace the roof with a metal one and added solar panels. In terms of the roof, we got lucky in that most of it was covered, but opted to pay above the replacement cost in order to get a metal roof. The reason for this was because we were planning to add solar panels anyways.

Then solar panels are a pretty big up-front cost, even with state/federal tax credits. However, I wanted to get it done as soon as possible because the credits will begin to be cut in 2019. Net metering had already run out so I didn’t qualify, but I was able to get Grid Supply which reached capacity November 2017. From my understanding, what is available now is Grid Supply Plus, which reimburses at a lower rate, but may hit capacity soon.

That said, it will still take 5-10 years for me to recoup the cost of the solar panels in terms of money saved. Additionally, I do want to eventually add a battery to the house (Powerwall 3 maybe?) which will also have its own up-front cost — which currently isn’t worth it to me and isn’t a huge priority to me right now. I’ll revisit this once prices come down a bit and storage capacity is more reasonable.

Well… what are the priorities?

Well, I think my family and I all agree that the next thing that needs to be fixed is the lanai. Some boards have been replaced before, but at this point I think it’s a better idea to replace the whole thing. Since the clubhouse in my community will also be being renovated, I will likely use the same person, as he (and his company) is reputable and has been used by many in the community. However, this will renovation will not be cheap. Additionally, since I plan to use TREX, costs will also slightly increase as well — but supposedly lasts much longer.

However, I deem the lanai to be the most important thing to fix right now.

Additionally, after replacing the lanai the plan was to paint the house since that needs to be done every 5-7 years, especially where I live. Also, it just made sense to get the roof/lanai/new paint around the same time to match well and make the house look nice (at least from the outside).

Unfortunately, what I didn’t expect is that my backyard would grow into a jungle in the last 2 years or so. While we have someone come out and cut it back every month, everything just grows like crazy out there. Those guys are really more of gardeners and not landscapers. So what we really need to do is have a landscaper come out and cut everything back, trim back trees, rip some stuff out and replant some new (smaller) stuff. Additionally, it would be nice to flatten out the backyard a bit and maybe put some concrete down. We’ll see, as the more I think about it, the more expensive it seems. Right now we’re leaning more toward fixing the backyard before repainting.

Small things

Then there are a ton of smaller (but still important) things to do. My wife would love to have a new garage door as well, which would complete the exterior look of the house. Additionally, I’d like to replace all the screen doors around the house. Being able to leave all the sliding glass doors open with screen doors to keep bugs and such out would be nice. This would let a breeze run through the house so we don’t have to rely on AC so much.

The extra bathroom downstairs just needs a new vanity bought and installed. However, we’ve been putting that off since we don’t use that bathroom. Additionally, we’re not sure if we want to replace the toilet and/or renovate that shower before we put in a new vanity.

It’s kind of embarrassing, but the walls of my house are still bare. My excuse for this is that my son, Lucas, is kind of a wild child and I was worried he might pull pictures down or run into walls and hurt himself. However, he’s getting older now (he’ll be 3 in September), and (hopefully) less wild – so that excuse is kind of wearing thin. I do have some family pictures framed and all of our medical school and fellowship diplomas framed. Additionally, my in-laws brought over some nice framed paintings they have as well. So, someday we’ll get out the stud sensor and leveler and hang some of this stuff up. Just not today.

Kid’s Bedrooms

I’ve made some progress on cleaning up Kylie’s bedroom. We’re going to start getting her room ready for her as she gets older and needs her own space to do homework and stuff. However, her bedroom still needs a new air conditioner, which is on my list of things to add as well. The goal is to have her room set up for her by the end of this school year, before summer. For right now, that room is mostly just her play room (full of toys) and they both sleep in Lucas’s room.

Later, bigger projects

Later on, when we have some more money saved, I’d like to renovate the kitchen and the bathrooms. The kitchen is a big renovation and will be pretty costly, so that may end up being the last thing on the list. Although it would be ideal to do everything at once, we may just end up buying a new refrigerator and appliances before we are able to renovate the kitchen itself.

All the bathrooms need renovation, especially the master bathroom. However, that may also require redoing the entire shower and redoing the floor. Which will also be very costly.

While kind of a medium project, I’d like to eventually put bathroom fans in all the bathrooms, for completeness’s sake. I would then change out the louvre windows in the bathrooms for regular sliding glass windows at the same time.

My wife would also like to change out the carpet in the living room/dining roomup to hardwood floors. However, with the current setup of toys up there and kids being kids, this isn’t a huge priority at the moment. This would likely be something to do once the kids are older and don’t make such a mess anymore. Most likely their toys will migrate downstairs to their respective rooms as well and we’ll have more space in the living room.

Low priority projects

My office is more used as a storage space right now. However, eventually I’d like to renovate it. It doesn’t need too much, just needs to be cleaned up and maybe the built-ins restained and stuff. If possible, I’d like to be able to run a cable down from the living room, where the router is, directly into the office. This would help with internet access for downstairs since wifi coverage is kind of spotty downstairs. I’ve used Powerline Adapters to alleviate this problem for now, but having my own line would be the better fix. Also, at some point I’d like to create a closet so that the office can technically be considered a 5th bedroom.

Wow, that’s a lot of stuff…

Yea, but it’s like a 5-10 year plan. I kind of knew that from the beginning. Also, since we are saving a little money from the kids going to public school, we may be able toward some of these projects a little sooner. However, we still have student loans which we plan to aggressively pay down as well, which has priority above everything else right now.

Lots of balls to juggle in the air, but the plans are in place and priorities have been set.

Our house isn’t perfect, nor is it a “dream house”…  yet. However, family is what makes a house a home.


Home ownership is hard.

My house still needs lots of work, it’s on a 5-10 year plan.

I’m trying to set my priorities straight from the beginning, realizing that paying student loans are still of the highest importance.

Our house isn’t perfect, nor is it a “dream house”…  yet. However, family is what makes a house a home.

Whatever Wednesdays Sensei


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