Buying your first home is exciting. It is a new adventure and a new opportunity. You can decorate and design your home any way you wish, making it suit your needs exactly. Homeownership can also bring some challenges and first-time homeowners should be especially prepared.
What First-Time Homeowners Should Know
- Buying a home is expensive. When you start saving for your first home, most people focus on the down payment and monthly mortgage. There is so much more. When you are looking to purchase a home you may also pay a realtor for his or her expertise and help finding you a home. Then you have closing costs which include the title company fees, loan origination fees and more.
- Owning a home is expensive too. Homeownership comes with expenses, lots of expenses. From water and garbage bills to home repairs and HOA fees, first-time homeowners should be prepared to spend more money on their home. In addition, if you put less than 20% down on your home, you will be required to pay private mortgage insurance or PMI which will add a percentage to your monthly mortgage. You can typically discontinue paying PMI once you have acquired 20% equity in the home. You also shouldn’t forget property tax. If you live in a state that charges property tax you need to be sure you have the funds need to make your annual payment to the government.
- Repairs and finding the necessary resources to perform those repairs are now your responsibility. As a renter, when a pipe breaks or a roof leaks you can simply call the landlord and ask that it be fixed. As a homeowner you will need to find the proper resources to meet your needs. If your air conditioner goes out in 110 degree heat, you will want contact information for a reliable HVAC company. Similarly, you should have a plumber, electrician and handyman on speed dial, just in case.
- Upkeep is important. Keeping up your home and budgeting for that upkeep will make it a place you are happy to be for years to come. Roofs and air conditioning units are expensive items to replace so make sure you start saving now for future expenses that are sure to come.
- Homeownership means more freedom to make your dream home. As a renter, you constantly have to worry about things like putting nails in the wall or damage to the yard. As a homeowner you have the freedom to hang whatever you want wherever you want. Enjoy it! Make your home your castle and paint and decorate it however you want. A few small things you may still want to consider are HOA restrictions and resale value. If you don’t cook and want to have your kitchen removed, you may have a tough time selling the home down the road. Also, some homes are part of an HOA and will have restrictions in place.
- Buying your first home can give you a new found sense of permanence. When you finally own the place that you live you will look at it with fresh eyes. You suddenly have the world at your fingertips. You are free to choose any paint color you want and any interior furniture and decorations you please. Don’t be afraid to craft your home to truly reflect your sense of style and comfort. When you look at your first home you will probably be much more inclined to invest in the things you put in it and enjoy it in a new and special way.
What You Should Know About Homeowner’s Insurance
If you are buying a home for the first time you may not know the ins and out of homeowner’s insurance. Homeowner’s insurance is important for a number of reasons and may not be optional. If you need a loan to purchase your home, your mortgage provider will require you to maintain a certain amount of insurance. Because the lender technically owns the home until you are able to pay off the mortgage, by requiring you to carry insurance, the lender is protecting his or her property.
When you are reviewing your insurance policy options, make certain you understand what they include. Policies vary greatly from lender to lender. A standard homeowner’s policy may include coverage to repair or rebuild the structure of the home in the event of damage.
When considering an insurance policy, never take things for granted. Don’t assume things about your policy coverage. For instance, just because you live on a flood plain, don’t assume that your homeowner’s insurance will cover your home in the event of a flood. Not all homeowner’s policies are created equal. You need to shop around for the best coverage as well as the best pricing.
While you are enjoying the benefits of homeownership, don’t get bogged down with items like cleaning. Call Two Ladies and a Bucket and let us take care of your cleaning needs so you can get back to enjoying your new home.