Ten things you don’t know when buying a house

About 2 years ago, I read this post, by Sheena… and it’s been in the back of my head ever since I read it, because I knew my time was coming.

Shortly before we moved in, I read her post again and got a little nervous about a few things. And today I read it again… here are my comments on her thoughts


1. You will walk into the house upon taking delivery of keys for the first time and the rose-tinted glasses will have well and truly disappeared.

Hmm, slightly true… but I think since we visited the house a few SO many times before moving in, we slowly noticed things that may have been less rosy than we initially thought:

  • half a missing tile in the bathroom
  • bathroom cupboard in the en-suite smells kinda miff
  • not the best laminate floor installation ever
  • cupboard doors in spare rooms in kinda bad shape (visually only – they work fine!)
  • kitchen sink tap neck thingy is not really long enough to do its thing without making a splash unless you’re very careful – and because of this there is a bit of water damage to the wall as there isn’t a splashback

Only the kind of things you discover about a space when you use it.

… Honestly, nothing too serious popped up and nothing had been hidden from us!


2. You will hemorrhage money you didn’t plan for.

Yes, particularly the deposit for the City of JHB which was an exorbitant amount, which we queried and they ended up squashing it to a mere 20% of their initial bill!! WTF!

Also, as we went along with small things we felt the desperate need to “upgrade” (eg: tiling the house turned into tiling the house PLUS tiling the outside kitchen steps PLUS rhinoliting a wall). Looking for lounge curtains turned into painting the lounge!) And then, of course, our dishwasher broke just before Christmas and there was NO WAY I was going to wash all the December entertaining dishes by hand!


3. Your toilet will overflow.

No, no no no noooooooo!!!! And I hope I’m not jinxing things here. This has not happened and it better not happen!


4. Your pool will be full of algae and go green whilst giving endless problems.

Thankfully, the worst our pool did was go a bit cloudy and murky… but we seem to have it down now – touch wood! Everyone swears by a certain miracle product and it’s become a joke now to see how many “experts” there are on keeping your pool sparkling. Look at our pool, great hey – ask me how – haha!


5. It will be scary as f**k at night time.

This is probably the thing I was most scared about after reading Sheena’s post. Much to my surprise, the first few nights here were some of my best nights’ sleep in ages! It’s so dark, and so quiet! Although we did have a few incidents where the alarm keypad would randomly beepbeepbeep in the night which was pretty scary! The dogs like to go out and have a wee and/or sniff at night and we don’t have a doggy door installed yet, so we let them out the bedroom door and more often than not forget to close it behind them when they come in. I am really grateful that living in a grown up house is a lot less scary than I built it up to be in my head!


6. The garden will grow much quicker than you expect.

I will admit the grass grows at an alarming rate! It would do with being mowed every 5 days rather than every 7. We inherited the most awesome gardener with the house, and Jerry has kept this place looking great! I do love walking around the garden and discovering new plants and flowers… makes me super happy!


7. You will feel lost in your own home with all this new space.

Yes! And I love it!! The spare room stood empty for the first month (bar a stack of empty boxes from moving in), and then we put a spare desk in it and it became my “wrapping room” just in time for Christmas… Now we have a spare bed in there. The entrance hall under the stairs is still pretty much empty. I really do love all the space and not having everything crammed in.

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8. The toilet won’t just be a small issue, it’ll turn out to be a huge plumbing issue where roots have grown into the underground piping and the bricks will need to be taken apart.

See point 3… no no no no noooooooo


9. Installing sub-standard security is a nightmare and costs a fortune.

We have an alarm system, and that’s it. The electric fence is not hooked up to anything and we don’t have any beams or whatever else there is. So far, no costs involved!

We did have the alarm guys come and program everything and show us how it all works.


10. Everyone is an expert. On everything.

Yup. From movers, to pool care, to lawn care, to plants, to the heat pump, to the gas stove, to the extractor fan, to how to clean (yes seriously), to flooring, to decor, to paint colours to everything… Some of it really annoys me but some of it has been helpful, I won’t lie.


So, Sheena, thank you for your list… it was a blog post that has stuck in my head more than any other post!


The transition to a grown-up house has been pretty easy and I feel like I’ve taken to it like a duck to water!

I’ve never baked so much as I have in this gorgeous big kitchen! 3 batches of cookies, a traditional cheesecake, a chocolate cheesecake, a carrot & caramel cheesecake, countless batches of muffins, two chocolate cakes, two batches of brownies, zucchini bread, beer & Jalapeño bread … and that’s just off the top of my head over the last 3 months we’ve been here!!


I mowed the lawn over December, and even started the mower by myself! Having people over is a breeze with all the space and the patio just lends itself to long afternoons and relaxing summer evenings. I’m so inspired to keep things tidy and neat and just get everything organised and homely.

I might not have known exactly what to expect here, but it really is MORE than I could’ve dreamed… it fits me like a glove.



5 thoughts on “Ten things you don’t know when buying a house

  1. I feel like after all that wisdom and advice I imparted, a cheesecake would be such a great form of payment. Juuuuuust putting it out there.

    Your home is looking so beautiful, by the way – I’m loving following your journey xx

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