From fear to elation, first-time home buyers experience a lot of emotion throughout the purchasing process, and even after they have taken possession of their new property.
Once the fireworks are over and you’ve settled into your new home, you may think, “Wow! What now?” Unlike moving into a new rental where you unpack and you’re all set up, the responsibility to take care of your investment now falls squarely on your shoulders and for savvy homeowners, will become part of their regular routine. The suggestions below can help you get started in your new life as a homeowner.
If you haven’t already, start an inventory list of the items inside your home. Doing this on a spreadsheet where you can write the name of the item, a description and an approximate value is best. Take photos of each item and stick them in the same document if possible. If you should experience any type of incident where you need to file a claim to recover those items, it will be incredibly helpful to have that list handy. Update it as you add or remove items from your home. And remember to keep a second copy at work or store it in the cloud should your computer be one of those items that needs recovering.
Create a Home Maintenance Plan
There are a bevy of apps out there that help with this. Countless articles can give you an idea of where to start. Long story short, your home is now yours to care for and maintain, so do it. The best lists have weekly, monthly, semi-annual and annual maintenance items on them. Some even go into every five years and more. Don’t forget that home inspection you got while in the process of buying. You can use it as a project checklist for the first few years of ownership. No amount of home maintenance is too much. Preventative care of your home can save you thousands down the road.
Protecting Your Home from Mold
Build an Emergency Fund
Speaking of saving thousands, it may seem crazy to start a savings when you’ve just spent your life savings on your home, but you don’t want to be caught off-guard with unexpected expenses. Now that it’s your house, if the fridge quits working, you have to pay for it. If the sewage backs up, something that is rarely covered through homeowners insurance, you are going to need to get someone over there and fast. Putting a home repair budget aside will go a long way in times of need.
Avoid New Debt
When you get a mortgage, credit lenders tend to come out of the woodwork. All types of vendors from credit card companies to furniture stores will be interested in doing business with you. Be cautious about taking on any new debt until you are completely comfortable with your mortgage and your new financial obligations. Besides, a lot of times, buying a home can actually improve your credit score significantly. Make your mortgage payments on time and eventually, you will qualify for far better interest rates and a better debt situation down the road.
Purchase the Right Insurance Policy
Just like when buying your home, consider shopping around for your home insurance quote. Make sure the company is financially sound (sufficient reinsurance is a must!), offers a comprehensive product portfolio to meet all of your needs, has a thorough understanding of the unique risks faced by Florida home insurance customers, and provides the technology and service solutions you deserve. Visit American Integrity Insurance at for a free, no obligation home insurance quote.
Buying a new home is an exciting time. Be sure you keep years of good decisions and investment ahead of you by considering some of these tips.