If you’re reading this, you’re probably a first time homeowner. If that’s the case, congratulations! Buying a home is a huge accomplishment! Now that you’ve purchased a new home, you may think the hard part is over, but wait, there’s more unfortunately. After you buy the home, you’ve got to maintain it, which can be a daunting task in and of itself. To be a successful homeowner, you need to try to stay away from the most common mistakes new homeowners make. You probably don’t even know about these, but it’s hard to know what you don’t know.
What are Common Mistakes Homeowners Make?
There are five common mistakes that many homeowners make. If you are not too careful, then you might make a mistake, too. Having a home can be tricky, sometimes. It is a lot of work and commitment, on your part. But, you should figure out what the common mistakes are, so that you can avoid them. Some of the most common mistakes are neglecting your home’s maintenance and buying a house that you might not be able to afford. Additionally, you might have forgotten to keep an emergency fund or ignore house-related expenses in your budget.
Forgetting About Home Maintenance
When it comes to home maintenance, most people forget about that. Once you buy the new house, it typically comes in good condition. Additionally, you could forget that you need to maintain your utilities and your home’s general condition. You might ignore a leaking pipe or dry leaves in the gutters. The problem with forgetting about your home’s maintenance is that it could lead to increased damage to your home. To make matters worse, you could find that the damage from neglected maintenance could cost you a lot more than you expected.
Neglecting To Keep An Emergency Fund
There are many events in your life that could happen unexpectedly and take you by surprise. Sometimes, the best thing to do when those hard times come up is dip into your emergency fund. Whether it is to get out of a tight spot or repair broken pipes, then you can always use your emergency fund to save the day. But, the problem is that you might have neglected to keep an emergency fund. If that happens, then you might be in trouble later on. You will not be able to afford any repairs and you might just have to wait a while to fix your home.
Disregarding Home-Related Budget Expenses
When you buy a house, it does not involve only paying the monthly mortgage payment. There is more to it than that. Buying a house is a big commitment and it requires that you stay dedicated to keeping it in good shape. (Both inside and out.) There are many costs that you might not have taken into consideration, which could affect your financial situation. These costs include: housing association costs, utility bills, and other housing-related costs. You should keep in mind that home-related budget expenses can be relatively expensive. So, you should not disregard them or else they might pile up.
Buying a House That Is Out of Your Reach
When you are planning to buy a house, then you should not look for a house that is outside your price range. Most potential homeowners are swayed by the idea of buying a house that they cannot afford. This takes place from looking at “desirable” offers and payment plans that claim to make it easier on you. However, that is not the case. Most often, you will find that you are stuck in a beautiful home, but you do not have the financial capability to pay it off. If that happens, you might find yourself in a declining financial situation and the worst case scenario is that you will not be able to keep your home.
Making Changes To Your Home Too Soon
Once you take possession of your home, you will find that it is in relatively good condition. However, there might be aspects in its design or structure that you do not like. This could lead to you making changes in your home. But, making changes in your home’s design or structure is a very expensive thing to do. You might not be able to afford it, or you might be spending all your money on the remodel. It is best that you hold off on making changes in your home. Also, if you plan on making changes in your home, then you should not change everything at once. It would be best for you to do things at a gradual pace, so you do not lose money.
What Can You Do To Prevent Making These Mistakes
As you can see above, these mistakes are very common with homeowners. It is not your fault, of course, since you might not be aware of these mistakes. But, in order to save yourself financial troubles (and a really bad headache), you should try to follow these tips. That way, you can enjoy being a homeowner without the downfalls and disadvantages of purchasing your first home.
Perform Regular Maintenance on Your Home
In order to avoid damages and expensive repairs on your home, you should perform regular maintenance. You or a specialized expert can perform regular maintenance on your home at least once a year. This way, you can ensure your home’s best performance and avoid any expensive repairs. You should make sure that you clean out your gutters and fix any water leaks. Also, clean out your filters for the Heating, Venting, and Air-Conditioning System (HVAC) to avoid any mold to form.
Establish a Piggy Bank For Emergencies
To prevent getting into a tight spot, financially, you should always save up money for an emergency fund. It does not have to be a lot of money, just enough to get by. This will help you maintain your financial situation without spending too much money on your home. Additionally, you should consider looking through cost estimates of different home repairs. In that case, you can understand how much you might spend for home repairs, in the event that something happens and damages your home.
Create a New Budget for Your Home
In order to avoid being blindsided by housing costs, you should create a new budget that has all of the housing expenses included. This includes housing association fees, homeowner’s insurance, property taxes, utility bills, and maintenance costs that are needed you’re your home. In case you plan on DIY-ing your landscape or your interior, you will need to buy materials and equipment for the remodel. You should make sure you include the expenses of the equipment and materials for any remodeling in your budget.
Do Your Research Before Buying a Home
Before you buy a home, you should conduct proper research on potential properties. You should look for potential homes that are within your price range. Instead of falling into a “property purchase” trap, you should consider looking for homes that suit your financial situation. Make sure that the home you buy offers you all that you need, in terms of amenities, and does not decline your financial situation. (It might be a tough find but you will find it eventually.)
In conclusion, it is very common for first-time homeowners to forget about maintenance or choose to purchase a home that is out of their price range. Sometimes, homeowners disregard emergency funds and home-related expenses. You should not be one of them. In order to avoid these mistakes, you should perform regular maintenance on your home and look for homes that are within your price range. Additionally, consider creating a budget that includes all home-related expenses and keep a piggy bank for a rainy day. (Also, congratulations on the new house!)