5 years later

Five years ago in June, I became a first-time homeowner. At the time, I was renting a room and was unsure about my living situation. I like my landlady, but I felt it was about time to move out. And I know that I will not move back to my parents’ house even though I can save a lot of money. Living with my parents always felt like I am near an active volcano. Peace and quiet are words that my parents don’t understand.

It was my father who called me on the phone one day and said that I should start house hunting. The interest rates were low back in 2009 , houses were selling at low prices, and there was tax credit for first-time homeowner. It was spring and I went house hunting for about two months. It was a bit easier since I was only looking for 2 bedrooms condos/townhouses.  I found the townhouse that I like, made an offer, then a counter offer, seller accepted my offer, and then finally escrow. I thought escrow would take a long time, but it closed fairly quickly. Probably the bank wanted to get rid of this property as quickly as possible. The house was mine in June and I didn’t move in until July. That was five years ago.

Time really did flew by, but it didn’t feel like it been five years. Looking back on it, a lot have happened after I moved into my new house. I adopted my dog in the second year because I always wanted one. Since I live by myself, my dog have been a great companion. He’s an older dog when I first adopted him, so I don’t know how much longer he will be around. I hope for another five years. I really don’t know his actual age, but he is still in good health. He is my stress reliever even though he is such a grumpy old pup.

As a homeowner, things can happened around the house such as a leaky pipe. What an expensive fix. Nothing I can do about it, but hired a contractor to replaced the pipe and the wood floor. Good thing the floor that was affected was only a small space. When I bought the house, it came with a really nice inlaid (must have been expensive) wood floor. Only that small space was a cheap and ugly wood floor. The leaky pipe was a slow leak, so I didn’t notice it until that cheap wood floor had a bump. Actually I didn’t know it was a leaky pipe, I just wanted to get that floor replaced because of the ugly bump. That was when the contractor found out that the leaky pipe was causing that floor to rise up. It went from reasonable cost to expensive really fast. Oh well. It’s all good now. New laminate floor that sort of blend in with rest of the wood floor and new pipe.

Another expensive cost was replacing the windows with double-pane windows. This house was built in mid-1960s and it came with the original windows. It took me about three years to finally replaced the windows. I was fed up with the constant street noises and the  drunken college students wandering around late at night. My house is right off a somewhat busy avenue, very close to a university, and there are always people walking by the house. Good thing I only need to replaced three windows. More than three windows would have been too costly. The new windows made a huge difference. It really reduced the outside noise that it was sometimes too quiet that I had to open the windows to hear the noise of cars driving by. Had to make sure the world didn’t end and I am the only one left alive. The windows also made my house look a lot better. It “brighten” the house up.

There are still more improvements to be made for this house of mine. They will have to be done sometimes in the future or by the new owner. Not sure how long I will live here. Maybe for a long time. I really like this location in Fullerton and it’s hard for me to see what city in Orange County I want to live in next…Fountain Valley? Irvine? Newport Beach (yeah, right)? I know for sure that if I go house hunting again, I am only looking for one-story homes. No more two-story houses.

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