Five Lessons We've Learned in Our First Year as Homeowners - TréCreative Tips&Tricks
At the end of May we celebrated one year of owning the TréCrib (yes, our house has a name). Yesterday was the fourth of July, so we skipped our weekly Memorable Monday post and stayed far away from our computers to spend time with family and friends. Although May is long gone and June as well, (crazy how fast the Summer is flying) we have had it on our to-do list to share with you about this past year of owning our own home here in Chico. We've learned a lot of lessons along the way. Lessons about our marriage, how we communicate, and the ups and downs of home ownership and the joy that comes from this process.
For us, purchasing a home was a huge milestone both in our personal and professional lives. It was a leap of faith. A leap of faith knowing that God had brought our business and this house into our lives, and he won’t leave us hanging. There were moments that I (Chelsey) felt nothing but anxious thoughts and worry about what our future could look like. Being BOTH fully self employed as artists, it’s a little scary to commit to something like a 30 year mortgage payment. Yet there's a point where you just have to commit. Funny thing is, our street name, Rubicon means just that. One of the definitions of rubicon is: a limit that when passed or exceeded permits of no return and typically results in irrevocable commitment. Going full time with TréCreative was a commitment, a commitment to ourselves that we’d push our creative craft as far as we could, a commitment to our couples and clients that we’d give nothing but our all to bring them the best possible experience, and a commitment to God that with what he blesses us with we will give back generously.
Here are 5 lessons we've learned from owning our own home over the past year:
1. It's a Process
Our home, just like our lives and business is always in process. There are always projects and visions we have that we desire to come through. These take time, energy and money. We learned about contentment on a whole new level this year. If projects aren't done or in limbo, that is okay. We can still host and love people just the same without everything being all perfect and put together! And when it comes to house messes, we all have them. For the most part, people don't really care if your house is messy when they are over, they care how well they are treated and if they felt valued. I've had to find a balance between keeping the house tidy and not letting added stress get to me if everything isn't picked up perfectly.
2. Buy Quality So You Only Have to Cry Once
This saying was first brought up at one of our Chico Tuesday's Together meetups and it has really stuck with us since. I had never heard anything explained like this before but it totally makes sense! This principal can be applied to so many areas of our life when making purchases but especially when owning your own home. Now, I totally realize it is sometimes more practical to buy something used, I'll be the first to tell you how much I love thrifting or finding items on Craigslist. However, when it came time for certain items in our home, like a brand new couch, or built in cabinets, we "splurged". I guess a better term is, we invested. We have learned that for certain items, we wanted to put quality first and to not purchase lower end items that would end up falling apart in a year or two. We wanted things done right and done right the first time. I can't tell you how many times I've bought items before because it was a "good deal" or "almost fit" what I was looking for and regretted the purchase later. That's still wasted money, even if it was half price.
3. Location Matters
When we were looking for a home, we paid attention to where our house was located. It wasn't until we settled in that we truly realized how important and thankful we are to our home's location. We live within walking distance to Bidwell Park, an iconic place in Chico (also where we do a lot of photo shoots) and less than a minute to the freeway entrance. Getting anywhere in town is quick and easy for us. This has reduced so much stress of rushing to be on time for meetings or other events. It's important to avoid moving or purchasing a home in an area you aren't 100% sold on. If we ever move again, we would be so picky about the location because of how much we love the area we live. Compared to our previous living situation near downtown where we had our car broken into (multiple times) and bikes stolen, this new location is a dream come true. It's tucked away in a private, quiet culdesac. Most people drive by our streen without even knowing it. This keeps our area safe and peaceful which we really like. Our neighbors are pretty awesome too which makes for an all around awesome experience :D
4. Have an Emergency Fund
After Stephen and I got married we went through Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University which was offered through our church. They offer this program every year and if you haven't checked it out, it's seriously life changing! These financial principals have laid the foundation for how we choose to spend and talk about money. Dave teaches about seven baby steps to financial freedom, and one of those baby steps is is to have an emergency fund on hand. He recommends starting with $1000 and then slowly building up until you have 3-6 months of expenses in savings. This helps cover you in the event of random "life happens" moments, a car breaking down, a roof leaking, health issues, etc. A few months ago, a leak was discovered in our master bathroom upstairs. It was really unfortunate because our house is fairly new for a leak like this to be happening is pretty rare. It was frustrating and not the kind of news anyone wants to hear. I jumped to a lot of conclusions and definitely freaked out a little. Long story short, we had it fixed. Everything worked out and we didn't have to feel strapped for cash or starve ourselves to make ends meet because we had an emergency fund in place.
5. The Ornament of a House is the Friends Who Frequent It
We received this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson as a house warming gift when we moved in from our friend and past bride Nicole from Studio 22. Ever since, it has been a motto for Stephen and I. We totally get that some people want their home to be more private and a secluded get away, but for us it is that and so much more. When we purchased our home, my grandmother shared with me how important hosting and having people over is. She talked about how your home can become a safe place for people where love can be shared. For Stephen and I, this is how we view this space we've been blessed with. We want to share it with others! Whether it's through organizing get togethers or letting someone live in our extra bedroom when they need it, I have learned so much about hosting since having our own house. No, you don't have to have the most beautiful space or own your own place to be a good host, but for us this was a new way we wanted to love people. We have friends over and complete strangers over almost every week. All who enter are welcome and we desire that they feel loved and at home in the TréCrib!
Although, I've never blogged photos of our entire home, I promise we'll show you more of the downstairs once our new cabinets are finished being styled by The Design Renegade ;)
Thank you to everyone who has been supportive and shared their words of encouragement throughout our home ownership so far! We appreciate and value all your wisdom!!