4 New Homeowner Mistakes
You just closed on your new home—your signature sealed the deal. Now that you have the keys, don’t get ahead of yourself. After closings, I always offer the same advice to new homeowners—it’s time to take a minute, slow it down and strategize before making any big financial moves. It can be tempting to bust out a credit card to furnish your new space in style. However, taking on more debt after making one of the biggest purchases of your life can be a mistake. Here are the top four mistakes a new homeowner can make and my advice on how to avoid them.
1. Budget – Wrecking Redo
If you’re a homeowner, you know that nothing plows through your checking account faster than the long to-do list of home repairs and projects you want to tackle. Do your homework to make sure a wrecking redo will add value to your home. Instead, I’d recommend you save the money you would spend on the renovation for unexpected home repair emergencies. Then, live in your house for a few months, get a feel for what you like and don’t like before making a major change that you might regret later.
2. Don’t Ignore It
Whatever you do, DON’T PASS the home inspection in the buying process. Hiring a professional to check every nook and cranny of your new castle will save you big headaches in the long run. The inspector checks for plumbing, electrical and structural issues, among other things. The process also covers any leaky windows and doors to keep the cold out and the warmth in. Last, but not least, don’t ignore the condition of your roof—fix shingles or replace the roof before it fails you to save dollars and sense later.
3. Just Hire the Pro
If you’re feeling confident in your abilities to fix that leaky faucet, don’t pay a handyman for a job that is simple enough to do yourself. But if you’re unsure, you can save a lot of time and money by hiring a professional. Sometimes a do-it-yourself approach works, but what usually happens is that you wind up spending the same amount of cash on a project that takes 10 times longer to complete than it should. The lesson here? Call a pro.
4. Switch the Lights
If you haven’t made the switch from incandescent light bulbs to LED lighting, you’re losing money from an electric bill. Over its life span, an older bulb can use $180 worth of electricity, but a CFL will only use $41 worth of electricity over the same amount of time. Even better, try an LED bulb, which only uses $30 per bulb. Replacing those out-of-date bulbs could improve your home’s bottom line.
Pass along these four tips to cut maintenance costs in a new home to friends and family. If you know someone whose searching for their next home, we’re here to help. Visit remax.com to learn more.