Moving Into A New Home

August 15, 2018

Days after I got married, I was faced with the inevitable - leaving my family home to live with my husband in our very own house. It was a bitter sweet experience. I was crying buckets since the moment I rode the car, reached my new house and slept. As I woke up with swollen eyes, full of excitement and fear, I faced all the responsibilities of a newbie homemaker. It really dawned on me that this time, I am an adult for real.

Here are the things my husband and I had to deal with:

1. Home styling and furnishing
This was fun to do since we had  a say on everything from sofa to bed to appliances such as  television, aircon, refrigerator and washing machine.  We enjoyed playing interior designer in all our rooms and it was fulfilling to see our dream home became a reality. This experience made us discover the creative juices hidden inside us.

2. Insurance
Since our house was a gift from my mother-in-law, we were saved from paying rent or monthly amortization. However, there are a lot of other house-related expenses that are important to have like a home insurance, property insurance and homeowners insurance in the Philippines. Finding the right insurance provider is key to getting the best security and protection for ones home. My husband and I had to scout for insurance providers and check what offers or packages better fit our needs and budget. This encounter made us to be cautious and vigilant.

3. Utility bills
This was a bit of a shock for me since I never really paid for the bills. For just my husband and I, we were surprised to see our electricity, water and cable bills. Seeing and paying the actual bills made me to be more mindful of aircon and water usage. My husband and I even check the electricity usage of appliances before we purchase it. This experience taught us to be frugal.

4. Cleaning and Repairs 
Maintaining the cleanliness of ones house may be challenging most especially to working moms like me. But keeping a schedule and a chore list (including checking of leaks) would be a big help. I found it helpful when I discussed this with my husband and delegated some tasks to him. There were even times when we had to delegate to a third person either a househelp or external supplier (laundromat or handyman) to do some tasks for us. This reality made us to be mindful.

5. Taxes
Though we didn't have monthly amortization, on a yearly basis, there is this expense called real property tax. This is something that should be anticipated on the first quarter of each year. It is an expense that responsible homeowners should know and keep track of. Failure to pay this would incur late charges and penalties. This experience made us to be honest and law-abiding.
But more than building and maintaining a clean and nice house, I was reminded that the most important part is building a home that is bright and cheerful. This requires even more maturity on our part and demands from us giving of oneself. It is challenging to do but that is what it takes to build a home.

I particularly like this description of a home that is usually used as a wall decal:
In this house...
We are real.
We make mistakes.
We say I'm sorry.
We have fun.
We do second chances.
We give hugs.
We forgive.
We do really loud.
We are patient.
We love.
We are family. 

May our homes be just like the things mentioned above. May it be more than just a structure but a place where life and love bloom. May our home be like a sampler of heaven here on earth where every family member feels accepted, loved and served.

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