First Year of Owning a Home: What to Expect
There are a few things that are more thrilling than transitioning from being a renter to being a first-time homeowner. Finally, the seemingly endless house hunt is over, and you are ready for the next chapter of your life. Beds are put together, pictures go up on the wall, and you are beginning to feel settled.
Getting carried away in all the excitement is a great feeling. However, some first-time homeowners tend to make mistakes, so it’s always wise to plan ahead and try to anticipate all scenarios as possible. It’s high time to prepare for both the expected… and the unexpected. Here’s what to expect, along with some helpful tips.
Avoid overspending to personalize
You have just spent a lot of money on closing costs, down payment, and moving expenses. As much as you want to upgrade some furnishings – like that temporary couch you have bought years ago – for something nicer, avoid going on a huge spending spree just so you can personalize everything all at once. Staying in your first home is just as important as getting it, and as nice as getting that linen sheets or solid maple office table might be, they are not worth risking your new status as a homeowner.
Allow yourself ample time to rebuild your savings and adjust to homeowner’s expenses. The linen sheets and solid maple table can wait until you can comfortably afford them.
Be ready in case of emergencies
Emergencies concerning your utilities are bound to surface, and you shouldn’t be caught unaware. Check the circuit box and learn, identify, and label which fuses and switches are which. Find the water main and learn how to turn it off. Test your sump pump – if you have one – and check if it works properly. Learn how to shut the gas off.
It is also wise to get a home energy-efficiency audit done by a professional so you can identify areas in your home where power usage can be curbed to help you save on your utility bills.
Get professional help with your tax return
Avoid scrimping when it comes to tax preparation. You might not like the thought of hiring a professional accountant to manage your tax returns, but it can pay off in the long run. It’s always a good idea to hire an accountant to make sure that you maximize your refund and get your return correctly. Owning a home changes people’s tax situations significantly, as well as the deductions they are qualified to claim.
Security and safety
Change the locks on your doors, other outside entrances, and the codes to the garage as soon as the house is yours. Have the keys duplicated in case one gets lost. Take some time to learn how to operate your home’s security system. Ensure that there are fire extinguishers on each floor of the house, especially in the kitchen. It is also a good idea to check if you have enough smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors throughout the house.
When it comes to home maintenance, delay can turn a small issue into something much costlier and bigger. The items enumerated below have to be maintained routinely. Create a schedule and be sure to perform these tasks on time.
- HVAC maintenance
- Water heater maintenance
- Dryer hose maintenance
- Refrigerator maintenance
- Gutter maintenance
- Sprinkler system maintenance
With the joy and freedom of owning a home come important responsibilities. Careful planning and maintenance will help you enjoy your home to the fullest.
“What You Can Expect Your First Year In A New Home,” Realty Times, https://realtytimes.com/consumeradvice/buyersadvice/item/1000420-what-you-can-expect-your-first-year-in-a-new-home
“6 key steps for the first year of homeownership,” Seattle Times, https://www.seattletimes.com/business/real-estate/6-key-steps-for-the-first-year-of-homeownership/
“The 5 Most Important Home Maintenance Tasks You’re Forgetting to Do, According to Home Inspectors,” Apartment Therapy, https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/home-maintenance-home-inspection-tips-36614651