Buying your first house is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your life. So you want to be sure that you’re doing things correctly. With such a complicated process, there are bound to be problems and mistakes, but it is important that you know what to do as you establish your home. Otherwise, you could find yourself dealing with both minor and major frustrations as you’re trying to settle in. Here are four tips for first-time homeowners.
Don’t Skip the Inspection
When the real estate market is very competitive, some people decide to skip the house inspection. This can give them an advantage over other buyers, who are being more careful. While it might be tempting to do this, do not skip the inspection. The house inspection is your opportunity to find any major problems before spending any money on the home. If you decide to skip it, you might buy a house that requires thousands of dollars in repairs in order to be safe to live in. These repairs will be your responsibility.
Your inspector can also point out any minor problems that you’ll want to address if you buy the home. For instance, the O ring on your pipes might not be installed correctly. It should be slightly stretched, with the stretch at 1% to 5%. A repair like this is not a dealbreaker, but it is very useful to know before you buy.
Budget for Major Repairs
Once you spend all the money on your down payment, you still need to pay for maintenance. The best way to do so is to establish a savings account for your future home repairs. Make them part of your budget. If you buy a new home, you’ll have time to save up. Most homes need minimal maintenance up until 10 years, when they’ll need a little more. After it is 20 or 30 years old, you’ll likely need to make major repairs to things like your roof. If you’re prepared for these expenses, they won’t be as difficult to manage when they arrive.
Consider Energy Efficient Upgrades
Even if you love the house, you know it isn’t perfect. You’ll want to upgrade some things about your home. This is a great opportunity for you to consider how to make your home more energy-efficient. This could start with smaller things, like improving your insulation and windows. But you can also make it part of the major upgrades to your home. For instance, choosing the right roofing material can decrease your home’s energy needs by 30%. This could have an enormous impact on your utility bills, saving you money. So, while you’ll need to invest money upfront, you could end up with a nice new roof and lower energy bills.
Change the Locks
One of the first things you should do when you move in is change your locks. Have a professional locksmith come over and change all of your locks. This is an important security measure for your home. While you might live in a perfectly safe area, you don’t know who had keys to the house when the previous owners lived there. By getting new locks installed, you’re starting fresh. You’ll know exactly who can access your house at any time.
Buying your first home is both scary and exciting. It is a major investment and represents a new chapter in your life. You need to juggle a lot of different concerns, including your safety, your budget, and how you’ll make this house into your home. Use these tips to make the transition to homeowners much easier for you.