It was a year ago today when I moved into my first house. I’ve shared several posts in the past about the experience of buying a house, how it’s affected my maturity, and other things. Instead of repeating any of that, I’ll link to all the previous Adventures in Home Ownership below.
1-Year Anniversary of Signing the Deal
The last few months have been weird. February had a lot of bad weather, meaning I couldn’t really travel home that often. Most of my closest friends live in my home town, and one in particular lives over an hour away now. At the same time, I don’t really know too many people in my new town outside of work. Being a shy person does have an effect on that, although at least from my perspective, I’ve made a couple of good friends at work.
And then this whole virus situation happened.
Financially, I’ve been fine. If anything, I actually have more money saved up than I did two months ago. But my place of work shut down for a couple of months because of the virus, leaving me at home for most of that time. With all the public pools shut down, my gym closed, and the fact that my parents are taking care of my 89-year-old grandmother meant that I barely saw anyone for the entire month of April. I was much closer to a state of depression in my early 20’s, but spending almost an entire month without seeing anyone I personally knew was easily the loneliest month I’ve ever had. That had a serious effect on my motivation level to get anything done in the house. At least, besides the bare necessities.
Furthermore, because I wasn’t sure about what my financial situation would look like at first, I didn’t spend any money on furniture. I actually need more furniture to finish unpacking a lot of the stuff I’ve still got in boxes. A display unit would be nice for one. I could also use some additional shelves here and there. So despite being at home alone for almost two months straight, I unpacked a total of three boxes. Financial concerns also meant I’ve delayed installing central air conditioning until at least this fall.
There were a handful of people who helped with my loneliness, like regular online game nights with said friend who lives over an hour away, a couple of people who were willing to have weekly voice chats, and a number of others I texted back and forth with. Having virtual game nights with several groups of friends also helped. If any of these people are reading this, I sincerely thank you.
The month of May was easier, at least partly because I actually saw my parents quite a bit. I stayed over at their place for Mother’s Day. They came here twice that following week. But even then, I’ve always needed a balance between being around people and getting alone time, and I got way too much alone time even in May.
Thankfully I went back to work last week. Even though it wasn’t in my usual department and the person I worked with the most didn’t exactly speak very good English, it’s nice to finally have some sort of responsibility again. I got along fairly well with that department’s lead, which is generally a good sign that they appreciated my efforts. This coming week I’m back in my usual department, and despite the 6:30 am start, I’m glad to be back.
Despite the lack of progress in my house lately, I feel it’s still worth posting some comparison photos. Below are some of the pictures I posted when I first moved in, beside what that same space looks like today. Just be aware that there are a few things that are messier than I would like, and under normal circumstances, they’d be much cleaner.
(Took nearly 2 months for those couches to arrive, despite buying them a month before I moved. Also yes, that is a bigger TV in the second picture – 65 inch vs 50.)
(Most of my unpacked boxes are still in this room, but this will eventually be a guest room)
(This is the games room. Not much else to add, other than I can change the light colour with an app on my phone, and the same goes for three of the lights on the main floor.)
(I could still use a bit more furniture for those “magazine” boxes, but the basement is mostly complete. I’m considering switching the games room and the library room around, so that there is more room for the games, and that I could use the library room as an additional guest room.)
I wish I had a couple pictures of what the main bedroom looked like early on, but I guess I forgot to take them. So let’s just skip that room for now.
The walls are still kind of bare, but I plan to start changing that over the next year. Also planning on replacing all of the floor boards on the main floor. Not only are they old, but half of them don’t even match with the other half. I also haven’t posted any pictures of the main bathroom because, well … let’s just say it’ll be the first room that will get a full renovation. Don’t get me wrong, it’s functional and it smells just fine after it’s cleaned up, but there are a number of stains that are pretty much irreversible.
The only other thing I’m going to mention is that right now, there’s a townhouse across the street from mine that’s up for sale. It’s about 250 square feet smaller than mine, doesn’t have a garage (mine does), and yet they’re asking $40,000 more than my place’s asking price was a year ago. Kind of makes me feel glad that I bought this place when I did, and considering I have fixed this place up at least a little bit, I’ve probably already gained money on this place overall.
I’m not yet sure if I’m going to continue doing these Home Ownership posts or not, but they’ll probably be less frequent if I do. Also I’m not going to talk about my thoughts on the virus, because I’m sick of hearing about it in general. Pun intended. That and I never meant for this blog to be anything about current world events, politics or anything of the sort. This is mostly an entertainment blog, with a handful of personal posts to mix it up.
It’s great to see how things are coming along, Ben. It does take time to get your home the way you like it. Glad to hear you’re back at work.
My, how that year has flown hasn’t it? I remember when you moved and you’ve certainly done a great job getting you home how you want it. It looks great. Yes, the lockdown / pandemic situation has been a game changer for us all. I feel lucky, being a writer, I do everything from home anyway, the virus hasn’t changed things for me much that way. I’ve always got some commission, editing, copywriting, or project on the go before all this. I’m really pleased you have settled into your new home and hopefully the COVI19 situation will be more under control soon life will gradually get back to normal.
The thing is, there are barely any cases in my current town. There’s been one new confirmed case in the last month or so, and some nearby towns haven’t had one single confirmed case. But most of my closest friends live in areas that are far more affected than mine (not to mention that one of them is a germophobe). I’m not personally worried on any level. Hope you’re doing OK though.
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It been pretty much a similar situation for me in UK. We’ve had very few cases in our town or locally either. Lockdown has eased slightly, but most restrictions remain in place. I’m not overly worried, but it has been tough not being able to visit family and friends all this time. Hopefully the situation will ease in the coming weeks, but I think it will be a while as yet for daily life to get back to anything close to resembling normality just yet. Take care, and stay safe.
I remember when you were only just moving out and getting ready to start a new chapter in your life with a big move. You were already super hella busy too! I mean, I remember how you were always busy with NaNoWriMo and had so many things going on on a daily basis that new releases had to wait but I appreciated the thoughts you left on my posts when you could! I do hope that going forward things will only get easier and better for you despite COVID or the social/political climate right now. Stay safe.