We've only unpacked 1/3 of the boxes, but we've already learned some important lessons. Some of them relate more to moving than homeownership. Here it goes:
1.) Moving is exhausting, but combine that with the stress of being first time home buyers, and you have a recipe for an extremely stressful and tiring week. We got our first good sleep in two weeks last night, and it made a huge difference. Put things aside to get rest. Unpacking can wait!
2.) Don't freak out prematurely. Knowing that you are responsible for a property can bring out paranoia about problems. Yesterday, we were both convinced that we had major plumbing issues when the kitchen wasn't getting hot water. The building company sent out a plumber who fixed the problem in 20 minutes. I wish we hadn't worried without cause.
3.) Hiring movers is the smartest idea ever. Shop around for a good quote. We paid less than half of what the first two companies I called wanted to charge us. A friend gave me the tip to move breakable items yourself. We did that and everything is intact. The movers took only 3 hours to move stuff down 3 flights of stairs and into our house.
4.) make your bed first when unpacking and pack a bag with toiletries that you will need right away. Wash all clothes before packing. Unpacking clean clothes is easy and it takes time to hook up the washer and dryer.
5.) wardrobe boxes are amazing. They make packing and unpacking your closet easy.
6.) make unpacking your kitchen a top priority. Eating out is expensive and not so healthy but almost impossible to avoid without access to a kitchen.
7.) don't wait to order your refrigerator. We'll be using a 1.7 cubic foot mini fridge for the next 10 days because the fridge we ordered needed 3 weeks to get here.
8.) I worried about the cats, but they did great. We quarantined them while the movers worked and transitioned them after we had spent the first day unpacking. They did great and seem to love the new place.
9.) champagne is necessary, even if you're so tired that you can only drink it in bed.
10.) the quiet of a house takes some getting used to after a decade of apartments.
11.) you will develop a wish list that's quite long, but know it all can wait. The basic necessities are all you need and taking time to finish rooms is fun--don't rush it. You want it to be perfect but no home looks ready right away.
12.) don't expect a new home to feel homey right away. At first, it still doesn't feel real.
13.) Brendan already saw a scorpion. You gotta call pest control asap!
14.) no one wants to service our new neighborhood with Internet yet...something to consider with new construction. Hopefully we find a solution soon, or I'll be typing every post on my phone!
15.) sealing all of your own grout and backsplash is exhausting and takes forever (7 hours) but is necessary (to prevent stains) if it has never been done.
16.) having a garage is the best!
Well, that's what I learned so far. It has been an emotional and exhausting week...and I don't expect we'll be totally settled anytime soon. At least I have Brendan, Lola and zoe!
S&B + L&Z