As soon as my husband and I pulled up to see the house we’d eventually buy, it already had a good vibe to it. A blue house with a red door—just like the one I grew up in. It struck a sentimental note with me immediately.

After living in one-bedroom apartments for the past seven years, we were looking to finally make the move from renters to homeowners. It wasn’t a quick process—buying a house (and getting a mortgage) aren’t things that move quickly, generally. But once we moved in, we knew we had a long to-do list of things we wanted to accomplish to make this house ours. There were a few bumps along the road, though. Here are the sometimes costly, often annoying, and always informative things I learned from my first few months of homeownership. READ MORE

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