There is an excitement that comes with being a first-time homeowner. It’s a pretty good feeling to know your landlord can’t up the rent and that you can paint the walls whatever color you want. But with this new freedom, it’s easy to get carried away trying to make things more perfect than they already are.
Many first-time homeowners try to make so many changes in the beginning that they incur unnecessary expenses. Here are some tips to help you make smart decisions after purchasing your first home.
1. Buy a Binder
The process of purchasing a home has so much paperwork. Most of the documents are essential and should be kept in a secure location. Consider purchasing a water and fireproof box or binder to store these inspections, insurance, and mortgage records.
After you settle into your new home, continue using the binder to store other related paperwork such as warranties and guides of your home appliances. When making any home improvements, store the receipts to keep track of all the expenses. It’s necessary because the information determines your taxes. This binder can also help you retain useful contacts of contractors in case you need them for future projects.
2. Hold Off on Large Projects
It’s tempting to make home improvements to your house. But these often come at an expensive cost. Unless the house is unlivable, delay undertaking large projects until you settle in for at least six months. Take time to know your house and take note of the way things operate.
You can make home improvements after prioritizing the changes that you can’t do without. For example, you can live with the popcorn ceiling in the family room a little longer but you can’t manage one more week without setting up utilities and installing a dishwasher in the kitchen.
Waiting also helps you to research and save for all expected costs on the home improvements. You can start with small projects such as re-carpeting or painting before undertaking the more time-consuming and costly projects, such as tearing out walls.
3. Avoid Multiple Projects
No matter how tempting, don’t undertake multiple projects at the same time. Have a plan to start with the most demanding changes and start another project after completing the one you currently have. For example, you can start by setting up internet service before remodeling the master bathroom.
Remodeling can be stressful, and if you want things done the right way, you need to focus on specific improvements instead of multiple projects that can be overwhelming.
4. Don’t Ignore Important Maintenance
Becoming a homeowner means that all repairs and maintenance costs fall on you. You can’t call the landlord when something breaks or pipes burst. But on the plus side, you don’t pay rent or find a sudden notice to vacate when the landlord unexpectedly decides to sell.
Many first-time owners make a mistake by delaying necessary repairs, which often leads to other expenses. Before settling into your new home, consider a home inspection from a professional to know the immediate improvements you must handle first.
5. Use Qualified Contractors
It’s costly becoming a homeowner, and you are probably overwhelmed by the price. But this doesn’t mean that you should cut corners when making home improvements. Cheap labor can be costly in the long run if you hire unqualified contractors.
Now that you are a homeowner, you are solely responsible for making all the decisions. Ensure that you are decided before starting any project.