You’ve finally purchased the home of your dreams! Or at least a home that isn’t a cramped apartment. While you most likely aren’t over the excitement of this milestone, there are several things to keep in mind in order to successfully break in your new home. Keep reading for the important do's and don'ts for a new homeowner:
DO Tend to Maintenance Necessities Purchasing a new home also comes with the expense of handling your own repairs, instead of just calling your landlord. Although issues such as leaking valves, cracked gutters, or chipped siding seem small at first, they can evolve into larger problems in the future.
Save money and avoid expenses down the road by zapping maintenance problems from the get-go. As a rule of thumb, any issue that could put you or anyone in your home in danger if ignored should be tended to ASAP.
DO Hire Qualified Contractors
When it comes to maintenance repairs and improvements for your new home, some tasks are not meant to be DIY projects, no matter how qualified you feel with a toolbox. Your home is an investment, and it is important to have those who know what they’re doing handle jobs such as electrical or roofing work so that costly mistakes and injuries do not occur. Work done by a qualified and licensed professional can fix problems with your home, while simultaneously increasing its value.
DO Get Insured
Although you may want to, the topic of mortgage and insurance cannot be avoided when it comes to buying a new home. You are required by your mortgage lender to purchase homeowner’s insurance, enough to replace the entire property in the case of a total loss. In addition, if you live with a significant other, or a child who depends on you to pay the mortgage, you must have life insurance. This will name your dependent(s) as a beneficiary so they do not lose the house in the event of your unexpected death.
DO Stay Organized
With all of this maintenance work, contractors, and talk of insurance policies, it can be easy to lose track of things. Keep a binder or file folder with appropriately labeled sections including contact information for good contractors and realtors in your area, maintenance receipts, and insurance information. Having all of the related documents on hand and in one place will save time when new maintenance issues arise, or when it comes time to sell your first home. Additionally, keeping receipts from home improvements helps to increase your home’s basis, and boost your tax-free earnings on the sale of your home.
DON’T Forget to Set Up Utilities
Make sure that all of the utilities are under your name, and that each provider has your correct billing information. This includes the electric and gas companies, the county for sewage and water if it provides both, and cable and Internet providers if you want to have either of these in your new home. Also find out if the town you live in does garbage and recycling pick up, or if you need to contract it on your own. Getting utilities taken care of in the beginning will save you a lot of headache once you’ve settled in.
DON’T Waste Money on Expensive Furnishings
You may be moving into your new home from a one or two room apartment, where the furnishings were either included, or were not a huge responsibility due to the size of the place. Even a relatively small house can seem huge at first, and it’s easy to fall into the trap of buying the first couch you fall in love with in order to bring nights of watching Netflix from the floor to an end. If you really feel the need to fill the space quickly, go with less expensive items from discount department stores, or even see if friends or family are looking to get rid of a chair or two. Avoiding debt from buying that luxury couch right off the bat will save you money to furnish your dream home in the future.
DON’T Take on Too Many Projects at Once
With the excitement of moving into your first home, it’s easy to become over-ambitious and try to check every project off your list at once. Although this may seem productive at the time, taking on too much will likely lead to stress and setbacks instead of completed projects. Take the time to plan out how long each project will take and how much each will cost. Then decide on a good time to fit each project into the rest of your schedule. A set timeline will prevent you from taking on too much, and will allow you to enjoy your home while making improvements.
Be sure to keep these tips in mind as you settle into your new home. At AROCON, we have the means to help you with several of your needs as a homeowner, including roof and gutter repair, siding maintenance, and other necessities. Congratulations on becoming a new homeowner!