Joining the ranks of homeowners for the first time is exciting, exhilarating, and a bit overwhelming. Thankfully, it’s easy to find lists of tips for new homeowners online, and reviewing these checklists can make it easier to sort out what you need to accomplish and why. As an added bonus, it can also help you avoid costly missteps and oversights. Check out our handy list below.
Tips for New Homeowners
According to the National Association of Realtors, 34 percent of all homebuyers between July 2016 and June 2017 were first-time homebuyers. If you’re one of these new homeowners, you probably have some projects that you’re eager to dive into in order to make your new home feel like your own. You probably also know that there are less appealing tasks that are absolutely necessary. How do you know where to start? It’s best to take a little time to review both the practicalities and the possibilities of your situation so that you can prioritize the use of your time and resources appropriately. That’s why these tips for new homeowners are so valuable. They can help you map out an effective course as you set out on the adventure of homeownership.
Secure Your Doors
You’ve got the keys to your new home. Do you know who else does? The Simple Dollar points out that if you haven’t changed the locks, you can’t be sure. Since you have no way of really knowing who might have a spare key to the locks that are on the doors when you purchase a home, securing the property by putting on new locks should be one of your first moves.
Familiarize Yourself With Your New Home
Another priority for homeowners after taking possession is familiarizing themselves with the property. As houselogic indicates, not knowing where the shut-off valve is for your main water supply can be disastrous in the event of a plumbing catastrophe. Basically, you don’t want to wait until things go wrong to learn where the important features of your home are located, so make it a point to explore the building.
Learn where shut-off valves are and find your electrical panel. If the circuit breakers inside that panel aren’t marked, you may want to make an effort to identify what each controls and label them. You’ll also want to check out your home’s various systems, including the water heater, heating and cooling systems, and any fireplaces and chimneys. Do they require any repairs or maintenance? Speaking of maintenance, now is a good time to make a list of all the routine maintenance tasks that you’ll need to accomplish to keep your home functioning smoothly. Decide what needs to be done and make a schedule so that you can stay on top of your to-do list. Doing so will help you avoid unexpected failures, extend the life of your systems, and save you money.
Set Up Your Utilities
As Bob Vila notes, you’ll need vital services like electric, cable, phone, Internet, gas, and water to keep your home a comfortable, productive space. Setting up your utilities might involve contacting the same providers who served your previous residence, or you may have to find new providers. As you get things set up, be sure to double-check that they have the correct billing address. You don’t want to find your services shut off suddenly due to a bill that never reached your door. You might also want to look into any budget plans that are offered. With the extra costs involved in a big move and the unpredictability of expenses during your initial stretch of homeownership, the steady pricing of a budget plan can make your financial life easier.
Your mortgage lender will require that you have homeowner’s insurance in place, but according to Investopedia, selecting that is just the start of the insurance decisions that you’ll need to make as a new homeowner. Should you get life insurance so that your family won’t lose the home if something happens to you? Should you arrange for disability-income insurance so that an injury that interrupts your professional life won’t cost you your home? Do gaps in your car insurance put your home at risk? To protect your family and your investment, you’ll need to review your existing coverage periodically and make changes as necessary.
Make It Your Own
After being restricted by your landlord’s rules as a renter, the freedom to make your space your own can be heady. However, the home-improvement experts at The Family Handyman encourage caution. Since trying to accomplish too much at once can create a dizzying amount of confusion, it’s best to focus on one project at a time. It’s also smart to try living in your home for a while before making any major changes. After all, the idea that seems perfect before you actually live in the space may pale as you spend real time there. As you do make improvements and repairs, be aware that one project often inspires another. Save your receipts and watch your budget. If you overspend on furniture or remodeling, you may run into financial trouble if an unexpected repair or home-related expense arises.
Homeownership is quite an adventure. It’s also complicated. Taking advantage of the insight offered by these tips for new homeowners will allow you to move forward confidently. By providing you with an opportunity to explore considerations you might have otherwise overlooked before they cause problems, these clever tips can make your transition from renter to homeowner smoother and more successful.
Are you looking to buy a new house? Contact PrimeLending if you live in the Kansas City area. Our committed team will help you navigate the home hunting process so that you can purchase the home of your dreams. At our branches located throughout Kansas City, we can help you explore our wide variety of loan products and programs. Plus, PrimeLending utilizes delegated underwriting, local appraisers, and cutting-edge technology to accelerate the underwriting and closing processes. We’re more than happy to navigate you through the process of buying your first home. Plus, we can offer even more tips for new homeowners. When you’re ready to learn more, please give us a call at 844-701-5626.