Top 10 Tips for New Homeowners
You think you know exactly what you want and need in a new house…until you move in and realize what is missing. We’ve heard stories of people who have no linen closets in their house or others who didn’t realize what it would be like to have 25 steps up to the front door, and so on! Here are some tips from people who have been there-done that to make sure that you think of everything as you become a new homeowner.
1. When buying a house- play with the numbers a bit and figure out how much house you can afford to buy. What will your down payment be? What will your monthly mortgage be? My suggestion would be not to max yourself out by buying the most expensive house you can afford. Buying a home has lots of hidden costs and you don’t want to be caught unprepared for some of those surprise expenses.
2. Make friends with a good pest control company. Especially if you live somewhere with termites or scorpions. (Welcome to Arizona, I guess…)
3. If you’re buying a pre-owned home, look into buying a Home Warranty. It can save you a lot of money. Just be sure you read the fine print.
4. Buying a new home is also a great time to look into buying a good life insurance policy. It’s not a fun one to talk about, but it’s a smart thing to do.
5. Two Words: Energy Efficiency. Any upgrades you make to the house should be energy efficient ones- washing machines, refrigerators, windows, thermostats, etc. It will save you money in the long run.
6. If you’re not a handy person, then make friends with one. Or at least find a good one online. There are always plenty of little projects to work on and it’s nice to know someone you trust to do a good job.
7. For decor and remodeling- get a couple different bids before you sign any contracts. Make sure you are getting a fair deal.
8. If you’ve never taken on a big house project before- start with a small one. We started with the laundry room. Even though it wasn’t the top priority to get done, it was a good room for us to practice on.
9. When making purchases for the home, remember that cheaper is cheaper for a reason. Less expensive items may be appealing, but they won’t last as long. If you choose a more inexpensive route, realize it may need to be replaced sooner. The choice is up to you, just fair warning so that you’re not disappointed with your choice later.
10. Realize now that everything is more complicated, more expensive, and more time consuming than you originally thought. It’s alright though- just keep reminding yourself that having a home you love will make it all worth it in the end.
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