Purchasing and owning a new home is such a joyful time, and the first year is particularly exciting! There are so many projects that probably come to mind, like personalizing a powder bathroom with wallpaper, tackling the landscaping out front to create curb appeal, or creating the master bedroom you have always dreamed about.
But there are some homeownership mistakes that you will want to avoid making as you settle in that first year.
Avoid Making Major Changes
If you are an activator and like things done “now,” this may be a tough pill to swallow! You should avoid making any significant changes in the first year in your new home, like combining any rooms or adding additional square footage. Live in your home for a while to get accustomed to it, and weigh the cost-benefit of any changes that you plan to make. Are they the right decision, or something you want to be completed right now?
Forgetting About Tax Breaks
Don’t forget about tax breaks that come with homeownership! Start researching some of the available tax breaks that are available to you (both state and local), and talk to your financial advisor, CPA, or tax professional about any incentives that may apply. Also, hang on to all of your receipts for anything that you spend on your home too!
Ignoring the Little Fixes
Sure, we mentioned not engaging in any major construction projects, but that doesn’t mean that you should ignore the little fixes that will undoubtedly pop-up during year-one. If you see any leaking landscaping equipment like sprinklers or have a toilet that runs continuously, get those things checked out before they turn into much bigger foundational issues. Don’t put off getting these little items fixed because they can potentially snowball into much bigger problems.
Cheaper Doesn’t Mean Better
When it comes to homeownership, most people will tell you that you get what you pay for when it comes to home improvement projects. You should absolutely solicit multiple bids before you start a new project, but as you’re comparing them, keep in mind that cheaper does not always mean better. Do your research, because what might seem like a good deal up front could cost you more money down the line!
Putting Off Saving
Remember those days as a renter when something would break and you picked up the phone, called the property manager or landlord, and they handled it? Well, as the homeowner, you’re the responsible one now! Start creating a savings account for your home, and contribute to it monthly. Yes, there will be some home costs that you can plan for, but chances are, something will come up out of the blue, and you will be glad that you started putting away money just in case. Home repairs can be costly, so get out in front of them and be prepared!
If you need a handy reference or would like to share these tips with a friend or family member, please take a look at our downloadable infographic!