Purchasing your first home is a major milestone. While it is an exciting new chapter for your life, it also comes with learning experiences. Navigating the home buying process is only the first learning curve as you head down the path to homeownership. After you get the keys to your first home, you’ll find that you probably forgot to think about certain responsibilities that come with owning a home. We’ve outlined some common mistakes first-time homeowners make and tips for avoiding them.
Not Budgeting for Homeownership Expenses
Your mortgage and utility bills are common expenses accounted for each month. However, it is important to budget for other expenses, such as necessary routine maintenance. As a renter, the landlord often takes care of these tasks, but it is your responsibility and helps ensure your home stays in tip-top shape.
Starting Home Improvement Right Away
Getting the keys to a new home is an exciting time, and many are tempted to begin adding their visions for the home right away. Whether shopping for dream furnishings for your new space or jumping into major renovations, you should wait until you live in the home for a few months. Your vision for the home will likely change the longer you live there, so only completing minor upgrades upon moving in will help you avoid the regret of a major remodeling project that ends up hurting the functionality of your new space.
Overlooking Routine Maintenance
Even when purchasing a newly built home, there are routine maintenance tasks homeowners must tackle. As a first-time homebuyer, putting off trivial tasks may not seem like that big of a deal. However, not keeping up with preventive maintenance tasks can end up costing you more over time, as small issues turn into major repairs.
Not Vetting Contractors
When it comes to home repairs or upgrades, finding the right person is key to a successful job. Ask your neighbors and friends for recommendations when you have an upcoming project, and ensure the contractors have positive reviews from previous clients before hiring them for your job. It is also important to verify that they specialize in fixing the problem your experiencing and understand the work and tools needed to fix it successfully and efficiently.
Forgetting to Winterize
With changing seasons, homeowners have a chore list to ensure their home is prepared for the changing temperatures and elements. Before cold weather hits, you should do some light winterizing to keep your home in tip-top shape during the winter and helps you avoid costly repairs. A couple of winterizing tasks that new homeowners may not think about is draining garden hoses to prevent busted pipes due to freezing or increasing the amount of insulation to save on the heating bill as temperatures drop.