Congratulations— after a long search, negotiations with the owners, and finance process with a bank, you’ve received the keys to your home and are ready to move in. Before you unpack those moving boxes, however, there are some tips that you may find helpful as you venture into your journey as a new homeowner.
Don’t OverspendSure, settling into your new home is an exciting time and you probably want to decorate so you can show your beautiful new place off to friends and family. However, before you run up your credit card with trips to the home decor and furniture stores, think twice. You’ve likely just spent a significant amount of your savings on the down payment and closing costs for your new home, so it may not be wise to get in the red to furnish your new place. Instead of decking it out right away, take advantage of cheaper alternatives such as used items from second-hand shops or even yard sales. You may find items with personality that you wouldn’t find at your local big box store that fit in great in your new home.
Do Get InsuranceIn your rush to close your new home, you may not have had the time to spend to really dig in into the different types of homeowners insurance available. Now that you’re getting settled in, shop around to see what different companies can offer your home. It is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, after all, so it only makes sense that you’d want to protect it with quality insurance that will cover you in the event of an emergency.
Don’t Ignore MaintenanceIf you’re used to renting, then you may not know what goes into owning a home. As a homeowner, you should take time to make routine maintenance and repairs around your home to keep it in good shape. The first thing you should do is make a home maintenance checklist so you know exactly what you’re doing and you don’t overlook anything. Taking time once or twice a year to inspect your home for any issues can help prevent costly maintenance down the road.
Do Look for IncentivesOften, the federal government and other businesses such as your energy provider will offer tax incentives for homeowners who complete certain improvements that offer energy savings. Check with your government representatives and energy bill provider to see if there are any incentives you can take advantage of. Completing projects such as upgrading your HVAC system or installing energy-efficient windows can get you a rebate and added tax savings— just be sure to keep all your receipts so you have proof of your project.
Don’t Jump into RemodelingYou’ve just spent a significant amount of money on your home, so unless you’re planning on fixing up and flipping the house for a profit, it may not be wise to jump into home improvement projects right away. Instead, spend some time living in and getting used to your home. Once you have a good feel for what types of projects may need to be completed, you can prioritize them in order of importance and tackle them one at a time or as money allows.
Do Hire ProfessionalsIf you do decide that you need to make a major home repair or renovation, leave the hard work up to the pros. Unless you’re a licensed contractor, you could end up doing damage to your home or harming yourself by taking on a large-scale project on your own. It’s beneficial to hire professionals because they come with experience and a licensure to handle the project. Chances are they’ll also have extra help with the job, so they can complete it faster than if you tried it on your own.
If you have a little help and some guidance, being a homeowner can be a rewarding experience. Using these tips, you can enjoy the benefits of being a new homeowner without the added headache.