The House Project, Part 1

In Personal

Today, I attended my first New Home Orientation. I want to write about it now because I have so many thoughts!

First, the timing is tight! My escrow closes next Tuesday (5/18). But I’ll be off on my vantrip the following Monday, 5/24. This means I’ll have only six days to pack everything in my apartment, load everything into the van, drive over to the house, and unload everything into the house — all while putting final touches to the van, making final purchases for the SHR backpacking trip, and not taking any time off work.

I think I’ll be able to make this all work, but it’ll be a tight squeeze. I have about 1/3 of my stuff already packed in boxes. I still feel young enough to haul ass through the early morning hours, but I’m also not as young as I used to be. I’m going to remember this as a fun time. 🙂

Second, it’s been a couple months since I last saw the house. A lot of the initial excitement and nervousness has cooled. So as I biked over to the house, I admit that I had some doubts. What if this was all a mistake? What if I see the house again and feel regret? In the end, while yes, there are imperfections (mostly with its location), I feel, almost overwhelmingly so (so far), that I’ve made the right choice. Yay!

And third, the orientation itself was much more thorough than I expected. While the overall process was described to me (by others) as simply a final inspection for me to note any outstanding changes I’d like to make before closing, the orientation today was more akin to learning how to use a new product (albeit a big, expensive one).

For example, I learned

  1. how to troubleshoot and maintain the garage doors (their joints need lubrication every 3-6 months, apparently!);
  2. how the tankless water heater works (and its various water cycling, condensation, and venting features);
  3. where all the sewer access points are (for camera lining and unclogging);
  4. about the house’s myriad of circuit breaker zones, methane venting system, foundation cables, phone and cable networking system, wifi beacons/meshing, wifi-enabled smart switches, moisture-activated bathroom ceiling fans, and upside-down bedroom outlets;
  5. about the underground drip pipes in front (meaning that I shouldn’t water any plants);
  6. what my 1-year fit-and-finish, 2-3 year workmanship, 4-year stucco and driveway, and 10-year construction warranties cover; and
  7. what solvents I should and shouldn’t use to clean the toilet (nothing but water in the tank, period); granite countertops (no acid!) and mirrors (no ammonia!).

I was also given a demo on how to

  1. flush the toilet (its water efficiency properties mean I should wait until the tank is full again to flush again!);
  2. use the dishwasher (hot water only, or its steam-drying won’t work well); and
  3. unclog the garbage disposal (I’ll be given crank tool… which looks too familiar, for better or for worse!).

Finally, I was given a 133-page manual on how to using and caring for my new purchase. I’m already having a blast reading it (seriously). One major advantage of owning my own place is the freedom to customize and work on it. While I won’t have complete freedom (it is a condo, albeit a townhouse-style one), the more I think about it, the more excited I am: the current substrates I’ve historically worked on have been my body and mind. Working on a new one recently (the van) has opened up so many cool possibilities, that I’m enjoying so much. Now I’ll have an even better piece of canvas — a house!

I already have home projects I want to do… They’ll have to wait until I’m back from my vantrip and SHR. But the excitement is palpable. Yay!

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