HomehousingFinally getting settled...and dropping mad benajmins

Finally getting settled…and dropping mad benajmins


I’m happy to announce my six-week blogging hiatus is coming to an end! Girl Ninja is back to work, which means she is going to bed at her regular time of 6pm (okay really like 9:30pm). So after she hits the sack, I can hop on the old computer and pound at the keys a bit. Missed you peeps.

I’ve pretty much spent every free moment these last two weeks making our house less sucky. I’ve been up to the following things as of late…

    • changing light fixtures and motion sensors (haven’t electrocuted myself yet!)
    • painting the walls and trim
    • buying and returning area rugs (we are on our fifth try)
    • freaking out about how much we are spending
    • dropping mad skrilla on some new appliances
    • learning how to paint our nasty kitchen cabinets
    • putting fake security alarm stickers on our doors/windows
    • pricing out faux wood blinds
    • having a plumber tell me it is going to cost $600 to have a water line ran to our fridge, only to learn via YouTube I can do it for about $50 myself
    • visiting Home Depot a frustratingly high number of times per week
    • axing down trees and making our jungle of a backyard look a little more tame

I’m leaving the country for six weeks starting in November, so I’m trying to get as much of this house stuff done as possible before I fly the coup. It’s totally rewarding to see the house take a new shape each day as we keep plugging and chugging to make our house a home. I had $10,000 budgeted for all these odds and ends, but at the rate we are spending that sure wont last long…haha.

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I still have random moments where I’m like “Why am I not still a renter?”, but then I just look at our freaking huge backyard and the scratches I’ve put in our hardwood floor and remember “Oh yeah, because owning this stuff, instead of borrowing, it is fun and exciting too.”  

I don’t know how people can buy houses only putting 3% down, starting off with negative equity would make me feel trapped, where at least now I know if we end up hating this house a year from now, we shouldn’t have a problem selling it thanks to a large down-payment.

Renting is legit, and so far owning is too. Only time will tell which one is best for us 😉




  1. When I worked in kitchen renovations I could never understand why people bought fridges with ice makers (which I assume is why you are running a water line to your fridge) How hard is it to make ice – just put an icecube tray in the freezer! It just never seemed to be worth the extra money to me. I know this is a cultural thing – Americans seem to like having ice in their drinks at home – I’m not that fussed with ice in drinks as it happens.

    However it is your home and it is lovely to hear you that you are doing exactly that – making yourself a home.

    • We love our ice maker. It isn’t hard to make ice, of course, but it’s one of those things you have to remember to do, and causes arguments if you forget. In Canada, we also like cold drinks, especially on ridiculously humid days like today! When we were in Europe we got the funniest looks for asking for drinks with ice. I guess it’s just what you’re used to.

      BTW Ninja-it’s totally easy. Glad you found the info online. $600 for that gig is highway robbery!

  2. After all that hard work Ninja could use an ice cold drink. 🙂 Home owner is hard-work, but certainly rewarding. Best of luck!

  3. Oh my, the daily trips to Home Depot. I know them well . . . being a new home owner is lots of fun and lots of work. Stick with it 🙂

  4. I can imagine what you have been experiencing since I just went through bathroom renovation myself. Much much smaller scale work with enormous amount of dust and debris.

    Bought and returned so much stuff… Thank God I am almost done. Bathroom is done and I have hired another contractor for the paint job. A team will come in, do some repairs and paint the apartment in two days next week.

    Home ownership is especially nice when you no longer have mortgage payments like I do:) Good Luck!

  5. Don’t forget to have the piano tuned. Pianos are people too, you know. It should probably first rest for a few weeks in its new environment, though, and may need a second tuning a few weeks after to stabilize it. After that, twice a year. But only a good technician can tell you for sure; it’s not something I would advise you to do yourself to save a few bucks.

  6. “visiting Home Depot a frustratingly high number of times per week”

    Well at least it’s only annoyance at this point. During my bathroom remodel the sales people would joke about setting up a cot and asking for rent. A tip my contractor friend told me it if you feel like your at HD too much take a break for a day or two. For him this meant sending one of his guys to pick up materials but its better to stop the project than getting burned out.

    ” having a plumber tell me it is going to cost $600 to have a water line ran to our fridge, only to learn via YouTube I can do it for about $50 myself. … I had $10,000 budgeted for all these odds and ends, but at the rate we are spending that sure wont last long…haha.”

    I said 10k wasn’t going to go very far with the labor rate for skilled tradesmen. One thing about the youtube videos is that the way they do things on the video you saw may not be up to code for your area. I would try to find a friend in construction who can tell you if the installation will meet code in your location. If you don’t know anyone most of the Home Depots in my area have retired plumbers to head pluming department and that person could tell you.

  7. Wow – you’ve certainly been busy.

    When it comes to doing up the house, its amazing how quickly a well planned budget can disappear…

  8. Just b glad u arent doing this with three little ninjas running around. Keeping a place safe for kiddlets and remodeling is a major headache.

  9. Ahhhh, the pleasures of your first home! I remember those days of fixing, repairing and remodeling . We doubled the value of our home in roughly 3 years. It was all worth it!

  10. My favorite part of renovating our first home was going to Lowe’s and Home Depot. Looking at all the options available to us to customize our home was awesome!! Take a breath and enjoy learning anything you didn’t know before. I personally miss having a project to work on now that it’s all done. It even opened me up to the idea of a profession in home building or house flipping!

  11. Even though the townhouse we bought a year ago was turn-key, everytime we stepped out of the house, we came back with bags of stuff…. and I couldn’t wait for the day when we could go out and not spend money! But, it was alll worth it; we love our home 🙂 Wishing you and GN all the best in your new digs!

  12. glad you’re getting settled man. my wife and I were in this phase last year, and spent so much money. If I were you, i’d consider finding some awesome credit card sign up bonuses (even though I know you love the Alaska card) while it’s easy for you to meet the min spend requirements.
    Most of the upgrades you’re probably doing are going to end up being easier than you think. Search the internets/youtubes for tutorials, and make sure you turn off the juice before you screw with the electricity and the water before you screw with the plumbing. Other than that, you’ll be good to go. OH! and check your work before you turn everything back on. Last year I forgot to connect our icemaker hose to the fridge from the faucet tap, and sprayed water all over everything.

  13. I used to have an icemaker in the fridge…..the one in our new house doesn’t have one, and I miss it so much! Sure, it’s easy to fill a tray and freeze water, but when you have a mittfull of kids who somehow can’t figure out the recipe for ice…..well, I’m replacing the appliances next year, so you can be sure the new one will have an icemaker!

    BTW Ninja, I’m really disappointed that you would post a pic/reference Miley (especially being an active Christian). Every time someone mentions her lewd acts/shares a pic, etc, she gets more publicity and probably more money for her disgusting display. Even bad publicity is good publicity in the eyes of celebs. I really feel that the best we can do is to ignore this sad train wreck and hope/pray she finds some morals and new direction in her life and career. I am horrified that millions of impressionable children see acts like this and start to believe this sort of behaviour is acceptable. (Sorry, just my humble opinion).

    • I have to agree on Miley. I’m not a christian, active or otherwise, but I find her whole attitude totally bizarre. I know she wants to put the Disney days behind her, but is twerking and taking off your clothes really the only way to do that. I know I sound middle aged when I say that (and I am middle aged!) but have some dignity! If anything this just confirms that she is not an adult.

  14. I know what you mean. Although my new home promises to suck even more money from me. Even though our house is being built, there were a few upgrades we decided to take upon ourselves instead of going with the builder. Appliances and some of the flooring will probably cost us 10k alone. I wonder how much window coverings will run us. The most daunting cost will be our backyard landscaping.

  15. Every home improvement project we do at our home requires no less than like 40 trips to Home Depot. Wish I was kidding here.

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