What could be more exciting than making the leap from renter to first-time homeowner? You turn the key in a lock that no landlord has access to, you can read in a hammock in your own backyard, and you can even paint your dining room bright red, if you want to!
Getting swept up in all the excitement is such a wonderful feeling that sometimes the first-time homeowner loses their head a little and makes mistakes that could jeopardize the home they’ve worked so hard to earn. Don’t be one of those people.
Take a breath, and think about the things you need to take care of to ensure your first home becomes the place of comfort and financial freedom you’ve hoped for all these years. Here are a few don’ts for the first-time homeowner:
Don’t overspend on furniture and personalizing
Everyone wants to personalize a new home and upgrade what may have been temporary apartment furniture for something nicer, but don’t go on a massive spending spree. Money is usually tight for first-time homeowners. You just used a large portion of your savings for a down payment, closing costs and moving expenses. Not only is your savings account depleted, your monthly expenses are probably higher as well. So, take a few months to recoup your savings and then go out and buy new furniture for your new home!
Don’t ignore important maintenance items
The hardest part for first-time homeowners is realizing there is no landlord to call if your roof starts leaking or the toilet gets clogged. The positive side to that is, there won’t be any rent increase notices taped to your door. While you should restrain yourself from purchasing nonessentials, you should never neglect problems that put you in danger or could get worse over time, turning a relatively small problem into a much larger and costlier one. Take a look at our Handy Hints for New Homeowners to help you settle into your new Long Lake Ltd. home.
Don’t hire unqualified contractors
When the time does come for you to make any repairs or improvements, don’t try to save money by making them yourself. Your home is not only the place where you live but it is a big investment and deserves the same level of care and attention you would give to anything you highly value.
There’s nothing wrong with painting the walls yourself, but when it comes to problems with the electrical or plumbing, you should always hire a professional. This is the best way to keep your home in top condition and avoid injuring – or even killing – yourself. (For tips on finding qualified workers, read The Better Business Bureau’s Tool Belt For Saving Cash).
Don’t forget your tax situation changes
Even if you hate the idea of spending money for someone to do your taxes, you might think about hiring someone to make sure you complete your first return correctly so you can maximize your refund. Homeownership significantly changes your tax situation as well as the deductions you’re eligible to claim. Having your taxes done professionally the first year will give you a template to use in the future if you choose to do your taxes yourself.
Long Lake Ltd. has been helping first-time homebuyers become happy homeowners since 1997! We’ll walk you through the loan qualification process, help you find the perfect home for your family, and be right there with you every-step-of-the-way.
Contact us today to find out how we can help YOU realize your dream of owning a new home!