That's it! You moved the frugal and minimalist way and here you are, a Home Owner. I remember that I felt a bit disoriented when we got back from the restaurant where we had a celebration dinner with our friends who helped us that D-day; it was almost midnight, we were alone with Mrs MP in our new 130 square feet home, and I thought: "Phew, that's it, it's all over, we did it! It's now time to appreciate."
Since then (which was more than a year ago), I experimented with four ways to keep the momentum and remain in such a grateful mindset to recurrently enjoy what I have.
The first night we slept in our apartment was so weird as we moved from Yverdon-les-Bains with its city-noises to the countryside with its silent nights. The calm was so great actually, but disturbing. In a relaxed state, I lay on my bed, deeply breathing, listening to the sound of silence, to realized that it was done. We'd moved. We'd bought our apartment. All these stressful mortgage meetings, all these boring contracts, all these lengthy workshops, it was all over. We were Home Owners.
In case you move in a less peaceful place than I did, you can nevertheless use the sound differences as an anchor for your mind to step back and enjoy your purchase.
I learnt this technique during one of my Calm meditation sessions. The teacher explained that you have to visualize an object that you face daily, and use it as a visual cue to stop thinking about the past or the future in order to be here in the present moment, and be thankful about what you got.
I remember to have pictured the cupboard wood doors of our CHF 40k gorgeous kitchen. Now, every time I face this oak surface, I step back from my mental strain and get back to the present, feeling grateful and lucky to own the home we bought.
Usually when you buy your home, it's because it has something special that you like about it. For me it was two things: first, its huge balcony where I was picturing myself enjoying sunrises and sunsets on the lake as well as on the Jura mountains; and second, its fourth room that I'd make my home office from where I'd admire the Swiss countryside view at 5am every morning as I'd start my day with a one-hour writing session.
When I actually live one these dreamed setting nowadays, my brain automatically gets back in the present moment and I realize the chance we have. I cherish these old dreams as they are a source of contentment each time I experience them in real life.
View it from the outside
Another trick to contiounsly feel the satisfaction of home ownership is to view your property from the outside. I literally mean to view your building/house from the exterior. Often when I come back from work by bus, or when we get home after a football session with the kids, I get to see our purchase from the same external angle as when we visited it for the first time more than a year ago. This helps me to realize that this is it, this is our home, finally.
So voilà, these are my techniques to remain thankful for the home we acquired, even months or years afterwards. I didn't mention how happy we are to take a walk in the huge forest next to our frontdoor, nor how I like our Italian shower, as these things will change depending on the person and the place. I preferred instead to share with you experiments that you can try in your own situation.
A story to be continued
Here we are, this was the last chapter of our "How to buy my first home in Switzerland" guide. But don't be sad: it's just to better start another part of the journey as I will continue to document my story with follow-up articles like "Home owner in Switzerland, the numbers after one year".
Did you experience other ways to enjoy your new home?