I don’t think most people ever make it a life long goal to live alone! From childhood to adulthood we typically end up residing with family, friends and partners. It had been the case for me as well, that is until I turned 26! That’s the year I did something I never thought I would!
For the first time, I realized I didn’t want to put my life on pause, simply because I hadn’t met a life partner. I accepted that I may have to take certain leaps in life alone! Was I really ready to buy a house? Not exactly but my roommates (who happened to be my sister and her now fiancé) were ready and that circumstance nudged me in that direction too!!
Next thing you know, I am looking at model homes, crunching numbers and once approved by the bank I just went for it! I bought a new townhouse that I loved and had almost a year to prepare for the big move!
I was absolutely excited to have my own place to call home but there were so many unknowns… It’s normal I think for any new home owner to feel this way, but I honestly believe there is an extra level of pressure when it comes to doing it solo!
Here are the 5 things that struck me:
Naturally, owning a house comes with a hefty amount of expenses! I knew this of course and sometimes think how nice it must be to share them with someone else! The mortgage would get paid down quicker, the taxes, insurance, furniture and utilities would be split and making house upgrades or buying larger items would be possible much sooner!
Another element to consider, is protection of your assets! If the stars align and someone moves into your house, it’s important to keep informed of the laws around common law relationships! Just to ensure you are both equally protecting yourselves.
Living alone you quickly learn you are just that: Alone! Having to rely on someone else to get things done can feel like such a weight on your shoulders. To avoid this, your best bet is to find a sugar daddy! Bahaha just kidding, what I meant to say is embrace your independence. You have an opportunity to learn to do things yourself and that can unleash a little creativity on your part!
For instance, opening those annoying little sealed jars (sauce, jam, etc.). This is a struggle most likely common amongst girls but is it ever infuriating: “You will open damn it!!!”. So instead of bursting outside to ask someone, anyone, to open my jar or worse having a meltdown in complete defeat of this jar, I found a solution to it! If you tie an elastic band around the lid, it offers a much better grip and without fail I can open it!
Or another example, moving heavy furniture! I’ve learned to tuck blankets under them to push them around. I’ve also used the blankets to move things up and down the stairs but not always in the safest manner I will admit! Not going to tell mom about that one..
I’m not saying it’s not ok to ask for help or hire someone to do the work, I definitely have many times. My point is simply that buying a house alone does push you to learn to do things yourself rather than always wait for someone else’s help.
A learning curve
Another thing I quickly realized is how organized you have to be! You don’t delegate when you own your house, the responsibilities are Allll yours! Fun times… The cleaning, the landscaping, the maintenance reminders (furnace filters, alarm checks, etc), the expenses, the home repairs… it’s all on your plate!
A townhouse didn’t seem like a large space at first but when you have to clean, dust and declutter every room regularly and by yourself you realize it can be very time consuming! Maybe I just lack effectiveness but I never ever really feel on top of it!
When you initially settle into your house, it’s a very busy but fun process. Once the dust settles and you start feeling at home, you may eventually feel it. It’s quiet.. too quiet!! Sure, you can have people over of course, maybe very frequently but you can easily feel isolated! There is nothing wrong with being alone but it can be tricky adjusting to that reality.
From my experience the feeling has come and gone, it is particularly difficult when sick! Spending days cooped up at home with little interaction can be quite a mental test. Funny thing is, I see myself as an introvert, so this feeling may be amplified if you are extraverted. I just didn’t expect it to hit me as it did.
I will admit, having family next door really helped with the transition but not everyone is so lucky. To compensate, I find socializing outside of the house frequently helps, like at the gym, at work, even at grocery stores!
You always win
One thing I think is particularly unique to buying a house alone is that you have zero compromises to make! You get to decorate, design, organize every inch of your home exactly how you like it! Don’t feel like doing the dishes.. nobody cares lol Not everyone gets to experience that freedom and I feel lucky that I was able to create an environment that represents me!
So, the real question is do I regret buying my house on my own?
Not for a second!
It was the right move at the right time and, although I completely intend on buying my next house with my partner in crime, buying my first home alone (see what I did there?! :P) it gave me confidence that not everyone gets an opportunity to gain. I now know that I am completely capable of providing for myself and that’s a really empowering feeling.
You develop yourself both emotionally and intellectually when you live alone and learn so many valuable skills! So if you are hesitating to take that step.. I say go for it and see where it leads you 😉