Home Ownership, One Year Later

This post is slightly overdue, since we’ve now been in our house for one year plus a couple months, but better late than never!

I though I would take a moment to reflect on the past year  – our first year – of being home owners. Let me tell you, it’s been an eye opener. And stressful. And a learning experience.

For example, because we were first-time home buyers we didn’t have to pay a land transfer tax. Now that we’re looking at buying again (more on this later) we’ll have to pay the tax. (We could’ve got around this if we only put one of our names on the title for this house, and the other use their for the next one, but we’re not sneaky like that). Land transfer tax on a $325,000 house is $5,000! Holy crap! In Alberta, the transfer tax would only be about $500! Stupid, stupid, stupid … But, that’s part of getting into the real estate market.

And then there’s the whole being attached to our neighbours thing. Townhouse ownership is a challenge. We want to respect our neighbours but it’s hard when they don’t respect us. Like partying until the wee hours or the morning. Or listening to their loud music. Or parking like complete a-holes. Anyway, it unfortunately started to get tiresome sooner than we thought. Kyle and I are like old people in the sense where we like peace and quiet. We are definitely not getting it with only a wall separating us and our neighbours. I can hear their washer and dryer going some days!

There are some good things we learned about homeownership, just silly little things, really. Like, how no matter how hard we try, Daphne will kill any patch of grass she sees by peeing on it. Or that sunflowers grow likes weeds. And that we really, REALLY love dishwashers. I’m pretty sure we won’t buy another house unless it has a dishwasher, or at least room for a good, full size one.

Of course, the best thing about owning a home is finally being able to create your own space with your own personal touches. We have our own house rules and it just feels amazing to have a place to call our own.

I really can’t wait to see what our next home brings us, other than more amazing memories, of course.

Do you own a home, or rent? What are some of the things you’ve realized over the years (or months, weeks days) of having your own space?

5 thoughts on “Home Ownership, One Year Later

  1. Awesome post! We did not put only one persons name on our house either so we’ll also have to pay the land transfer tax. We’re not planning on buying again for AT LEAST 3 years (hopefully more like 5) so I’m hoping we’ll have more money by then :) But still, $5,000 is A LOT. Wowie! Do you have to have that in cash or can it be part of your mortgage?

    We’re about 6ish months into home ownership and so far I love it! We also have crazy partying neighbours but our really good windows help a lot with that, lol. I just love having a space that is OURS and that we can fix up and do fun projects to. Strata living isn’t my favourite but we’re learning ways to deal with it and work around it. Overall I would say I really enjoy owning a home and I feel good about where our money is going when the mortgage comes out of our bank account every month vs. when rent was coming out before!


  2. We’ve owned our place for about 3.5 years – we live in an apartment style condo, on the second floor of a three floor building. I’m not a fan of condo living AT ALL – especially in a building that’s 95% renters who don’t care about things like respecting your neighbours (the ones above us run on their treadmill at 5 am, blare their music until well after midnight, and apparently believe in the “crying it out” method for their baby, who cries most of the night), keeping the building/common areas clean (a lot of them have mattresses/couches on their balconeys and the courtyard is littered with broken toys), and then there are the pot smokers … I might feel differently if we lived in a better managed complex but right now I wish we rented, just so we could MOVE. Selling here is going to be a huge pain :(


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  4. We own a house, and some days I miss renting. You know, the days when something breaks or a pipe bursts, or the concrete stairs start crumbling. All I want to do is call my landlord and say, “hey, come fix the stairs/pipe/closet door). There are never ending projects that people who live in strata complexes don’t have to care about. When we first bought the house we thought, meh, needs some work, but so what? New floors, new paint, new kitchen, it’ll be fine. After doing all the eco-energy retrofits, we’re just now, four years later, prepping for a kitchen reno. My advice, buy NEW! And if you plan on having kids, buy something with a smallish yard, close to area tot-lots and parks. Because once you have kids and you’re working, your desire to landscape goes out the friggin window.


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