Homeownership 101: What to Know

When you become a homeowner, it can feel like you are entering a whole new world. That’s because you now have this new home which took a long time to get! Homeownership may not be as straightforward as you expect. That is why it’s important to get a “crash course” when it comes to home ownership advice you should know. These tips can help guide you through the process of managing your property effectively.

What to Really Know About Homeownership

When it comes to owning a home, there are some general rules you want to abide by. This includes:

  • Don’t Overspend on Personalization
  • Don’t Neglect Essential Maintenance
  • Hire Professionals for Home Improvements
  • Get Help with Your Tax Return After Buying a House
  • Keep Your Records for Home Improvements

Don’t Overspend to Personalize

As a new homeowner, it’s natural to want to make your house feel like home. But resist the urge to splurge on expensive upgrades right away. The initial costs of homeownership can quickly use up your savings, and ongoing bills can add up.

Take a moment to become familiar with your new environment and decide which modifications will best suit you without jeopardizing your financial security. It can be especially beneficial to first focus on changes that can provide a return on investment (ROI).

Don’t Neglect Essential Maintenance

As a homeowner, you’re responsible for all repairs – no more relying on a landlord. While it’s important to be cautious about unnecessary expenses, neglecting essential maintenance can lead to bigger problems down the line that could cost more in the long run. It’s crucial not just for preserving your property but also ensuring safety. There are some big ticket items that you always want to be on the lookout for. Two in particular include roof maintenance and plumbing upkeep.

The Importance of Timely Roof Repair

Your home’s roof serves as its first line of defense against elements like rain, snow, and wind. Ignoring minor issues such as missing shingles or leaks can escalate into major damages over time. The average homeowner spends between $379 and $1,755 on roof repair. However, if left unattended, these small fixes could turn into a full replacement costing thousands of dollars on average. For example, the average roof replacement in Arizona is $15,000. On the other hand, the average cost for a roof replacement is $8,000 in Texas. Don’t let a small problem turn into a big expense.

The Need for Regular Plumbing Checks

Plumbing problems tend to worsen when ignored, much like with roofing issues. A slow drip might seem harmless initially, but it may indicate larger underlying issues that can result in costly water damage if overlooked. Regular inspections by a professional plumber help identify potential concerns early on before they become expensive disasters later.

Hire Professionals for Home Improvements

As a new homeowner, you might be tempted to DIY home improvement projects. But, some tasks require specific skills like electrical wiring or major renovations. It’s important to recognize when professional help is needed.

Why hire professionals over DIY?

Hiring qualified contractors helps to ensure the job gets done right the first time around, saving you from costly mistakes. Professionals are trained in safety protocols and building codes which reduces risks associated with improper installations or repairs. Plus if anything gets messed up, you may be able to recoup the costs!

Prior to initiating any home improvement project, check your local building authority rules. Some improvements may require permits or inspections to ensure they meet local standards and codes. Not adhering to these requirements could result in fines or even having to undo completed work.

Get Help With Your Tax Return After Buying A House

Buying a house changes your tax situation, and it’s easy to miss out on eligible deductions. Hiring an accountant may be beneficial, even if you usually do your own taxes, to guarantee that the return is done accurately and take advantage of any possible refunds. They can ensure correct completion and maximize refund opportunities.

The Importance of Accurate Tax Return Filing Post-Home Purchase

Filing taxes after buying a home can be complex due to new potential deductions and credits related to homeownership. These include mortgage interest, property taxes, and sometimes even private mortgage insurance premiums. However, new homeowners often overlook these benefits because they’re not familiar with real estate taxation.

An experienced accountant can save you time and stress during tax season. They’re well-versed in navigating complicated tax laws that come with owning property. Not only that, they stay updated about any changes in legislation that could affect your eligibility for certain claims or increase your chances for additional refunds.

Accountants can also provide valuable advice regarding future financial planning as a homeowner. For example, they can help you determine how much money to set aside for property taxes or whether refinancing might benefit you down the line.

Keep Receipts For All Home Improvements Made

As a new homeowner, don’t toss those home improvement receipts just yet. Retaining those records can potentially yield considerable financial benefits over time. When you sell your property, those receipts can increase its basis value. The basis value refers to the original purchase price of an asset plus any costs incurred for improvements. By raising this figure, you reduce your taxable income from the sale.

But that’s not all. Maintaining detailed records also helps in case of disputes with contractors over payment or quality work. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially when dealing with such large investments like homes. So start filing away those hardware store slips and contractor invoices right now. You’ll thank yourself later.


Owning a home can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time. However, you don’t want to go broke trying to make it perfect. Prioritize essential maintenance like roof repairs and plumbing checks. When it comes to home improvements, hire qualified contractors and keep receipts for tax purposes, and remember that not all upgrades add value to your property. In the end, being a homeowner may not be as stressful as it feels right now. There are plenty of things you can do to better manage your home!


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