As everyone knows, buying your first home is a HUGE step. It brings you to a whole other level of “adulting” that you just don’t understand when renting.

When you rent a home (or apartment), the landlord is your go-to when something breaks. Have water dripping from the ceiling? Call the landlord. Your AC isn’t working? Call the landlord. But what happens when there is no landlord and you’re the go-to for any and everything that breaks? It. Gets. Real.

Luckily, in my first year of home-ownership, there have been ZERO big disasters. But, there have been some learning curves that I faced.

I’ve compiled a list of some of those obstacles below.


  1. How To Work Everything

As a homeowner, I no longer had a maintenance person to turn to with questions. From the sprinkler system, water cut off valves, breaker boxes, and scheduled thermostat…there was a lot I needed to learn when first moving into my home.

Luckily, my home came with all of the appliances so I didn’t have to fret with moving or installing them but I did need to do some research when my refrigerator started leaking water into my floor!

If you haven’t heard, homeowners can purchase a Home Warranty, from companies such as American Home Shield®, that covers a variety of appliances in your home and usually at a low monthly cost. I would suggest doing your own research but it could be a good option for homeowners who are using pre-existing appliances instead of purchasing new ones.

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  1. Landscaping

Landscaping is NOT my strong suite. I have always liked the idea of having pretty flowers in flower beds and hanging baskets outside my home, but there’s an issue with that… you HAVE to remember to water them if the sprinklers don’t reach, or they’ll die.

So, my advice for other new homeowners who lack a “green thumb” is to either – learn to maintain what is already well established (grass, shrubs, trees) before adding to your plate of responsibilities in the landscaping world – OR hire a professional lawn care service. Professionals will know how to maintain your grass year-round, what type of plants to use in which areas, and they’ll know how to spot potential problems (such as fungus) to help you avoid issues later on.


  1. City Garbage Pickup

Did you know that some cities offer FREE large item pickup twice a year? I didn’t!

I grew up outside of the city limits so learning how the city utilities operate was new to me. Within the first few months of becoming a homeowner, I learned that sticks and small tree limbs must be bundled and set next to the curb to dispose of them and bagged leaves should not be put in the garbage bin.  Also, there is a certain time limit the garbage bin can set on the curb. This may seem like common knowledge to city-dwellers but to a girl from the country, it was foreign. Make sure to look up information about proper disposal methods for your city to avoid penalties.


  1. WinterizingAs winter began to approach, I realized I had no idea of how to winterize my home. I turned to family members and coworkers for advice on what I needed to do before the first freeze hit.

How I “Winterized”:

  • Turned the sprinkler system off and unhooked hoses
  • Covered water valves on the exterior of my home
  • Purchased heavier drapes for interior windows (and glass doors)
  • Left Faucets dripping during overnight freezes
  • Opened cabinet doors for cabinets with pipes on exterior walls

Other Ways to Winterize

  • Have your heating system checked by a professional
  • Check weather-stripping on doors and windows
  • Clean your gutters


If you’re ready to get started with the process of buying a new home, contact our lending department at (903) 561-2603 or complete the form below! You can also find more information about our lending services at


Did you have some learning experiences during your first year of home-ownership? If so, how did you handle them? Tell us below!


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