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Apr 23, 2014

Reflections on a year as home owner

It's now been a year since we moved into our condo. I thought the learning would end after the deal was done, but here are my thoughts on year one as a home owner.

It's not about the money, money, money: This is my home, not an investment property and I think it's important to see it that way. I thought I would have the need to check the value on an obsessive cadence, but I haven't. Once the research on the comps and the neighborhood was done and the check was signed, I haven't had the need to check. The market is out of my control and there is no point obsessing over it at this point.

Outdoor space is great in theory: I was beyond excited that the condo had a huge wrap around deck. We got some great outdoor furniture and I invested in a ton of flowers to brighten it up. The flowers died. Post winter the deck looks like a mess. Outdoor space is great, but I didn't realize how much work it is. Props dad for keeping the backyard at home looking so good.

Tax day was not pay day: Thanks to the marketing folks at Turbo Tax, I thought this was the year of me, where a bought property and would magically see money spent back in my return. Unfortunately my half of the mortgage interest, for the part of year we owned, didn't push me over the limit to itemize last year, welp.

Home loans is a business to be in: It wasn't until we got the first mortgage statement that it really hit me how little goes to the principle and how much goes to the bank. This made me think about my future house purchase and the impact of having a larger down payment than necessary. It also speaks volume to the value of an additional payment each year. Read about the impact of that here.

My home is a true love: My love for my condo deepened over the last year. Yes, living together has made me notice it's flaws, like cabinet door that hangs a little crooked and the trim that doesn't quite touch the tile. When we spend time apart my heart grows fonder. There is nothing better than coming back from a trip to a place that is yours. Sometimes I do get a bit jealous. That flashy apartment building downtown looks nice, but at the end of the day I couldn't have been happier with our decision to buy.

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