Stepping foot into your new home is an exciting time for every first-time homeowner. However, it comes with many responsibilities you may not be used to if you have been living in rental properties until now.
Here are our top five homeowner tips to start your journey into homeownership on the right foot and protect your equity in the long run.
Change Keys and Locks
The keys to your new home may have gone through lots of hands before reaching yours: previous home owners, contractors, real estate agents, and so on. Your first move should be to change the keys and locks as soon as possible to ensure your safety.
Take Your Time with Personalization
One of the most exciting things as a first-time home owner is to finally personalize your property to fit your taste and lifestyle to your heart’s content. You may already have spent hours scrolling on Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration. You may have a wish list ready to go in your favorite online furniture and home improvement store. But not so fast! Buying a house is expensive, and it may not be the best time to go on a big shopping spree.
Make sure your basic expenses as a homeowner are covered before decorating: taxes, utilities, maintenance, saving for any necessary home repairs, and so on. You may also want to set a list of milestones with a budget rather than impulsively buying everything at once. By living in your house for a house, you will have a better idea of what you need to make it work for you.
Address Repairs Before Problems Get Expensive
Your home inspection report may have given you a good idea of what to expect when it comes to future home repairs. Although everything may be currently functioning, every element in your home has a set lifespan and will need to be repaired or updated sooner or later.
One of our favorite new homeowner tips is to set money aside every month to pay for repairs. Taking care of your home is expensive, but problems will worsen over time and may make your house dangerous for your family. For example, deferred maintenance on a roof could lead to mold, damaged insulation and drywall, and so on.
Find Qualified and Trusted Contractors
DIY TV shows often give first-time home owners a false sense of confidence in their repair skills. Although being handy is a great thing, many home repairs and improvements should only be undertaken by licensed professionals.
Start making a list of trusted contractors as soon as possible to take care of your new home. Friends, family, and neighbors can be excellent references to find vetted handymen or specialized tradesmen. You can also turn to social media and local groups to get reviews and contact information.
Stay on Top of Home Maintenance
Taking care of your new home in a timely manner is the best way to avoid any problems in the long run. Regular maintenance can go a long way to make the systems and appliances run smoothly and last longer. You may be able to avoid expensive repairs down the road.
There may be a steep learning curve to becoming a first-time home owner. However, by budgeting for necessary home repairs and being proactive in maintaining your new home, you can protect your investment and build up equity in the long run.