Congratulations, you just bought your first home!
With home sales expected to increase in 2021, there will likely be many new homeowners than ever before. Buying a home is synonymous with the American Dream—it signals that you’ve finally made it.
Of course, owning a home comes with its own unique set of challenges. What about maintenance? What insurance should you buy? How about all those taxes?
Owning a home is usually the biggest purchase anyone will make. It’s also an exciting time, full of worries and unexpected happiness. Let’s try to make the experience as pleasant as possible with this handy list of ten tips for the first-time home buyer.
1. Change the Locks
Okay, this one might sound a little paranoid.
But it’s important to hire a locksmith to change out all the locks on your new home before you move in. This is about prudence and common-sense safety.
The truth is, you don’t know who might possess keys to your house. The previous homeowners may have given out extra keys to a wide assortment of people—including friends, housekeepers, etc. So, to be on the safe side, get those locks changed.
2. Know Thy Neighbor
Yes, it’s a cliché by now.
But once you move into your new home, it’s a good idea to cultivate a friendship with the neighbors—if that’s possible. Ideally, before you bought the home, you did some reconnaissance of the neighborhood, and assessed whether your neighbors seemed like decent people.
Taking the time to meet them once you’ve moved in will go a long way. When you’re away, they can keep an eye on your home, and vice versa. And you never know—you might find a new good friend.
3. Choose a Good Homeowners Insurance Provider
It can be a hassle, but finding homeowners insurance is one of the most important things new homeowners have to do.
Now that you’ve got a new home, the last thing you want to do is think about what might happen to damage or destroy your property. But a good policy should cover any damage that might result from natural disasters (such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, etc.), and it will provide you with peace of mind.
Read more to learn about how to find the right kind of homeowners insurance in Massachusetts.
4. Find a Good Handyman
Sometimes, it almost seems like an on-call handyman comes with the home.
But this is really something that will make your life easier. Searching for a good handyman, in whom you have confidence and trust, will pay dividends later. As you take on various home improvement projects, having a reliable go-to guy to help you make repairs or complicated installations is invaluable.
5. Give Your Home a New Paint Job
Now, before you move in and get settled, it’s a good idea to get all the interior painting done.
That time before you move in all your furniture and belongings is a golden one—your home is a blank slate, and you’ll rarely get the opportunity to paint like this again. So it should go without saying that this is the time that you want to do all your painting.
If you’re hiring professional painters, now’s the time to schedule their work. Or, if you’re doing the painting yourself, enjoy remaking your new home to suit your tastes.
6. Clean It Up
And while you’re doing all that painting, now is also the time to give your new home a thorough cleaning.
Count on the previous homeowners not doing a very detailed cleansing prior to leaving. That means you’ll want to have any carpets cleaned, the tiles and other flooring washed, and the bathrooms given a thorough scrubbing.
You can hire professionals to do it, or save money by doing all the cleaning yourself.
7. Ease Into Renovation Projects
Once you have your new home, you might start imagining all the cool renovation projects you want to start right away.
But here’s where you want to pump the brakes. Instead of rushing into a massive home renovation right after your new purchase, try to break it into smaller consecutive projects.
In other words, take one project at a time. This way, you won’t break the bank, and you can save up money as you go.
8. Assemble an Emergency Fund
New homeowners have to worry about unexpected costs. It’s an inevitable part of buying a home.
That’s why it’s important to prepare for emergencies with a rainy day fund. Unlooked-for repairs and expenses are frequent headaches that come with home ownership. A heavy thunderstorm can occasion roof damage, for instance, or the plumbing might need emergency repairs.
So always set aside some money—just in case.
9. Find Tax Benefits
Don’t forget to take advantage of the numerous tax benefits that are a part of home ownership.
Tax breaks like mortgage interest deductions and property tax deductions can go a long way toward saving you some money—money that you’ll need for renovations and repairs down the road.
10. Find Ways to Save on Energy Costs
Finally, as a new homeowner, you’ll find that energy costs are one of your most significant outlays.
That’s why performing a home energy audit will help you identify ways to save. Using more energy-efficient appliances, cultivating better habits, or reducing energy-hungry equipment can help you cut costs.
Even something as simple as planting more shade trees can save you money on home cooling costs in the summer.
Use These Tips for New Homeowners
Buying a home will be one of the biggest events in your life. But if you follow these tips for new homeowners, you can make homeownership a success.
We hope you found this article useful and informative. While you’re here, please check out the rest of our site for more homeownership tips and advice.