10 things they don’t tell you when buying a house

All doe-eyed and filled with wonder and hope, Jon and I took delivery of our new house keys a few Tuesday afternoons ago. Although we were only moving in the next day, we couldn’t resist popping over to the new place to have a quick look around since we’d not been allowed access since December.  We’d spent 3 months trying to remember small details and relying on the photos from the web listing. Everything had to wait until we took occupation as the sellers were really awful to deal with, which meant that absolutely nothing had been done to the house and we had to do it all at once once we’d moved in.  Nevertheless, here’s a selfie of us just before we opened the front door to our very own family home.


We opened the door from there and since moving in a few weeks ago, have had a few scary learnings.  Here are 10 things they don’t tell you when buying a house.

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.

All those shiny thoughts of not having to do a damn thing to the garden? Yup, those are a false and disheartening lie your heart told you head when you were still shopping around for your dream home.  This non rose-tinted garden? It needs work. Lots of it. As do the bedrooms, both bathrooms and a bit of the lounge too.

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

You can have as many spreadsheets and budgets as you like.  There will be costs that you never in a million years dreamed about until they hit you with the skill of a thousand samurai ninjas, right in the proverbial gonads. WHAT DO YOU MEAN WE NEED TO BUY A KREEPY-KRAWLY FOR THE POOL?!

3. Your toilet will overflow.

No doubt about it, the toilet will overflow.  It’ll start off as an almost unnoticable rising of the water levels in the toilet bowl.  And then it’ll have trouble flushing. Not a day later, it’ll fill up right to the rim and then even start to overflow. Here’s a tip: don’t just close the lid and walk away hoping the problem will fix itself. Twelve hours later and a pregnant-woman-hobble down the passage for a midnight pee in the other toilet will not improve your feelings on this either.

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

Apparently the pool has feelings too and will submerge these feelings in algae when new owners move into the house. Having been neglected for at least 3 months, the pool will also develop cracks, mildew and stains where there were none at the last house-viewing before you signed the offer to purchase.

5. It will be scary as fuck at night time.

This is probably the worst thing nobody will tell you. And even if somebody does tell you, you won’t really take them seriously until you’re in the new, big, scary, adult house. Suddenly the noises from complex-living aren’t so annoying, they’re comforting. It’s reassuring to have a wee while your neighbour walks his dog right outside, because then you’re not alone in this world. Rest assured, in complex-living, if you are broken into and scream a murderous amount of noise, someone will come a running. In the new, big, scary, adult house, you’ll be lucky if anyone hears you, and luckier still if you remember where the bloody panic buttons are. For the first week at least, you will not get a full night’s sleep. You’ll listen to every sound and visualise what the robbers are doing. When the cat sets off the alarm at 3AM you will cry with joy and relief that it’s not a squadron come to steal away your life [This, thankfully, has resolved itself and I can now say that I sleep quite peacefully, with the electric fence, the garden beams, the passives in the house and an armed response team a mere panic button away].

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

The fucken garden, man. And you’d think that garden service providers would jump at the chance to quote you for some work. Oh no, you’ll beg and plead and negotiate terms on why they should come this very day. A week later, you’ll still be waiting. In fact, you will spend your first few days chasing after suppliers to give you quotes.

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

And despite arguing over where to put what, eventually you’ll realise that not every nook and cranny needs to be filled with something.  Some places can just be empty without being empty if you know what I mean. The reason the house was bought in the first place was to offer newer and bigger spaces for a newer and bigger family.

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.

Because, obviously. Eventually you’ll cave and have to have the entire pipe structure redone, which will cost a few thousand, only to find out a few weeks later that the job wasn’t done properly.

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

Almost 50 grand later, the security system is finally in place and although it offers a full night’s sleep (at last), it’s still buggy.

10. Everyone is an expert. On everything.

People will drive you nuts.  One person will tell you to install XYZ security system and the next person will tell you that no matter what you do, definitely don’t install XYZ security system. They’ll have advice on how to keep your cats at home and also how to let them roam free and let their instincts take over, how involved but distant you should remain with the neighborhood security watch, what cleaning service you should employ and a long and varied list of absolute priorities you need to plan accordingly.

But throughout it all, Jon and I spent Monday afternoon on the lawn of our garden, me propped up on blankets, him sanding down baby room things and repainting them.  And we looked at each other and gave a happy sigh. Because it’s ours. And we love it already.



  1. Lize says:

    And soon you’ll be so used to all that space that when you go visit your old house you’ll have no idea how you ever fit in there. Honest.

  2. Glugster says:

    You guys have an awesome house! Unfortunately maintaining it is a never ending job.

    PS. Hope I’m not one of the “experts” telling you what to do!

  3. Tara says:

    We moved house (what turned out to be) 18 days before out Little arrived. We moved stuff in on a Saturday after physically having to evict the tenants, changed all the locks. Spent 1 sleepless night with two upset cats roaming around. The next day Husband left FOR A WEEK. Yeah.

    Congrats! Its’ all totally worth it! xx

  4. MeeA says:

    Congrats on your new house! Hopefully the problems are now resolved and you can get down to the memory making and fun new homeowner stuff!

  5. Jenty says:

    I can relate… except our move into a house-house included having to redo the entire roof… and dampproof the house too!
    It’s a never ending money pit.
    But, it’s home 🙂

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