Owning your own home: What nobody tells you

This post is sponsored by Action Inspections

Owning your own home

Owning your own home. Ah, the things you will do. Or not do … if you’re me.

I moved out of home pretty young, I guess.

For a few years there I flitted from one share-house to another. Then for a while, as I aimed for independence, I had a couple of cockroach riddled flats on my own. Annnnnnnd then it was back to the share-houses because #money.

Eventually, like most of us, I spoused up and together we moved from to rental to rental. It felt like just as we’d settle in somewhere it would be time to move on again for one reason or another.


That’s the number of dwellings I have occupied in my forty years. 24.

I became a gun at setting up ‘home’. Armed with removable wall hooks I would negotiate hideous curtains and carpetings – the ghosts of someone else’s taste – to try and make whatever new dwelling we had landed in feel like home. All the while I would be longing for the day that we had a home of our own that I could paint whatever colour I wanted, and bang nails in wherever I chose to.

The ‘dream’ came true two-and-a-half years ago. We purchased a beautiful home, with big plans for all of the things we would do.

Number of nails banged into wall so far = ZERO.

Oh, I’ve painted a few walls. I’ve even finished one room. We’ve got a five bedroom house with two living areas and the number of rooms I’ve managed to complete (to my liking) is one. One. In two-and-a-half years. Don’t even get me started on the garden #whatgarden.

I could live in a rental and have it set-up like home in a week. What’s that about?

I think I know.

Owning your home is a bit more work

I remember the hunt for a rental, it can be pretty stressful, particularly if there is a bunch of you looking at the same places. The trick is to have your forms ready, get them filled in ahead of time, so that when you hit an inspection and decide that you can live with whatever hideousness the last tenants have left behind, you can be the first one to get your application in.

After that: bond, keys, move.

There are a few more steps involved in owning your own home:

  • Pressure. If it doesn’t work out it’s not as simple as handing the keys back to the real estate agent. For us it was more than deciding if the carpet was OK, we had to consider if we could live in the street for longer than our six-month standard, would the kids be happy here, would we be safe? What about schools? Neighbours? As we looked at each house it felt like we would fall in love, analyse every detail, fall out of love. We’d never thought so much about where we would live.
  • Banks. You need all of your ducks in a row to deal with the banks. A mortgage is not some online credit card application, we utilised a mortgage broker and it still muddled my brain. We probably could have wrapped our new home in all of the red-tape involved in sorting out our mortgage.
  • People. Applying for a rental  involves you and a property manager who deals with the landlord. Negotiating a home purchase involves you, your mortgage broker, the banks, your solicitor, the current owner, their solicitor, building inspectors, pest inspectors, and more. Some of those are out of your control – if their team is a pain in the arse you have to wear it, so take your time and make sure the ones that you choose for your team are the good ones. It will make the whole process much easier.
  • You’re on your own. When you do get in and the oven doesn’t work or the dishwasher breaks, or half of the power points don’t have power (true story) there’s no calling the real estate to fix it. Make sure that your inspections are thorough. You’re the landlord now, baby! It will be you who has to cough up.
  • Time. “Oh, you want this house? Sure, here are the keys.” went no home-owning transaction ever. There is the negotiating time, time awaiting the results of those important inspections, the cooling off periods, contact periods, all of the waiiiiiiiiiiiting.

By the time we finally got into our own place all of our plans for the garden, the upgrades, the decor … well it just seemed a bit too hard. We were pooped, but we were in, and we were stoked. We have our own place and it feels great! No more rental inspections for us.

So, there might not be a single family photo on the walls (yet), and I *might still have crap in boxes, but one day this place is going to look rad. I’m sure of it.

Owning your own home: Did you get in and get it done, or are you dawdling like me?

*I totally do have crap still in boxes.

You can read more about that one finished room here:



  1. says

    Or be like my husband and still want to use sticky hooks even though we can put as many holes in the walls as we like!! Maybe I’m just bitter because one of those frames on sticky hooks came crashing off the wall at 4am this morning…

    • says

      SAME! I tried to do up an office and even printed out some pictures. I’m not sure why I used those velcro kind of hangers, but same thing …. CRASH. There is one left up which looks odd and the rest … meh.

  2. says

    Moved out of home at 17 and bought our home when I was 27. The house is 45 years old and has served us well but 18 years later and my bedroom and bathroom been renovating, gutters need replacing, window frames and doors need replacing…the list goes on. Rental is enticing because this is all too grown up!

  3. says

    It NEVER ends! But I have to say, I’m a bit the opposite…I NEED to get stuff done so I have an excuse to buy more homewares/art/crap. My advice: only focus on one room at a time. Otherwise it’s all too overwhelming and you just have an anxiety attack and give up. Also, I find planning events at home is the best motivation to get shit done. “So we are having 40 people over for a kids party?! SHIT! Paint something so they don’t think we live in a hovel”.

    • says

      I thought I would be like that too. But you know what I think it was, we moved in to this house with all of the glorious windows and all of the glorious views, and realised that none of them had a screen on them. In this mozzie town. And Duke is allergic.

      SEVEN AND A HALF THOUSAND DOLLARS. That’s what it cost us to screen all of these windows. No homewares for you.

  4. Deb says

    Try building your own home. I’ve been in 2 years, still no driveway, we have a beautiful home but it’s sitting on a building site. Landscaping is my new nightmare.

  5. Talya Feeling Ostomistic says

    Im 25 and moved out of home at 14, but by the age of 20 I had just moved into the 42nd dwelling I have lived in my whole life.. We grew up moving every 6 months as my parents rented and then I was share housing, then renting myself.. We have been in this house for 5 years and I still have boxes in the shed that I planned on unpacking the week after we moved in! And now we are packing up ready to move into our first house we are building and I am excited to set up a garden and hang up pics on the wall… But I’m most excited for the whole no inspections ever again and not moving house again (I’m terminal with cancer so for me this will be my forever home). I hope that I don’t dawdle to turn this new house into a home like I did with this rental we have lived in for 5 years!

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