Purchasing your first house is not only a dream come true for many, it’s also one of your biggest accomplishments. Sadly, however, a new house isn’t all fun and games. It’s a huge responsibility that some first time home buyers underestimate. Many of us have been inexperienced with owning a home for the first time, but that doesn’t mean you have to.
Get Everything Organized
The first, and perhaps most important, thing you need is proper organization. In fact, you should start the process prior to even touring homes. This includes being prequalified for how much home you can afford. You should ensure that your credit report is free of any errors or incorrect reporting. Also, make sure that when it does come time to settle, you’re prepared as well. Nothing taints buying a new home faster than not being able to settle on time. Verify that you have all necessary documentation in order prior to settlement day.
Once settlement is over, you should keep important documentation in a safe place. This includes settlement papers, homeowners insurance, mortgage, warranties and tax papers.
Use a folder or binder to store the paperwork. As time goes on, you’re going to be accumulating more paperwork for your home such as receipts for moving expenses and home repairs. You’ll need to put these in your folder as well.
Tackle Projects One at a Time
As much as you love your new home, there can still be things you want to change. And
exciting as it is to renovate everything at one time, it’s better to complete projects one at a time. Taking on too many projects at one time can put a dent in your finances. Prioritize what you need done rather than what you want. It’ll help you save money and allow you to enjoy the comfort of your new home.
Start Adding to Your Emergency Savings
Every homeowner, regardless if they’re new or not, should always have an emergency fund put away. Life is always unpredictable, so there’s no telling what could potentially happen. But just because we can’t see something coming doesn’t mean we shouldn’t prepare for it. Having an emergency house fund at the ready will help you in your time of crisis.
This emergency fund is used for things like repairing the roof, replacing the plumbing and fixing the air conditioning in the dead of summer.
Keep an Eye on Your Utilities
Paying utility bills is part of being a homeowner, so it’s important to keep an eye on your power usage. To give you an idea of how to save on utility bills, unplug chargers that aren’t being used and make sure your faucets are turned off. Even those little drips can increase your water bills. You can also install automatic timers to keep usage to a minimum. For instance, instead of leaving lights on all day, you can schedule timers to turn them on right before you get home.
You may want to hire a professional and have them perform an energy audit. Energy audits are simply for providing the most concise details in regards to your energy usage.
Keep Yourself Insured
Finally, it’s important that all homeowners have insurance. In fact, you’re legally obligated to have homeowners insurance by your mortgage lender. However, that’s not the only insurance you should have.
Although they’re not mandated, you should have personal-liability coverage and personal property coverage. Personal property coverage covers your belongings while liability coverage protects you from being sued over accidents that occur on your property.
Being a new homeowner is a huge responsibility and can feel overwhelming at times. But if you plan ahead, you’ll be able to enjoy your home without having to deal with all the stress.