With a new home that’s all yours, life takes an entirely different direction. You enter that state of permanence – newfound freedom combined with a bigger responsibility. Goodbye lease rules and landlords, you are now in charge of all the decisions. But take note, every house decision that you make will also affect your finances. So above everything else, here is the best advice for every new home owner out there: Save Your Money.
To help you prepare for the coming mortgage payment and all the other unplanned expenses, take a look at these suggestions that will make you a smarter home owner:
Replace all the locks and keys.
Secure your new home with new locks. The last thing you want is a duplicate key just floating out there in the world. Remember, the door knob has been opened many times by builders, contractors, former owners, and heaven knows who else. While you’re at it, you may want to install a security system for an added peace of mind.
Go easy on the furniture shopping.
Lucky for you, if you’re able to purchase a fully furnished home; but for many of us buying a home will usually land us an Unfurnished “make-it-your-own” home. With this, resist the urge to spend a day of shopping at the furniture store upon moving in.
Calm those nerves and let the feeling of euphoria go down a little before you buy stuff for your new house. One of the worst mistakes that new home owners do is splurging money on furnishings that look pretty but do not blend well together.
As the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Start with basic items like a table, some chairs, and a bed. Take your time to decide the look that you what for your interiors. Do not be afraid to go to the thrift stores where you might discover unique items that will add character to your home design.
Postpone any planned renovation.
You must know that repairs are different from renovations. If you bought a fixer-upper, then, by all means, fix those unhinged doors or broken windows. But as long as the home is habitable and structurally safe, you can delay the renovations such as tearing down a wall or remodeling the kitchen. Let a few weeks and even months go by to see if you can live without changing too much in the house.
Get home insurance.
Say, you bought a house in Bryan County. Then you found out that Oklahoma gets a fair share of storms and floods in a year. So, getting flood coverage on top of your home insurance is a sensible thing to do. Well here’s some good news, according to the Oklahoma Conservation Commission, Bryan County has a strong flood control system in place. The dams in Bryan County are not classified as high hazards.
Seek approval for tax deductions.
One of the perks of being a home owner is the exemptions you can file on your tax returns. You can get deductions from the closing costs, capital gains, and equity loans. In Bryan County OK, a homeowner “who resides in the property on January 1” can apply for a homestead exemption at the County Assessor’s Office. The Oklahoma Tax Commission also grants property credits depending on the gross household income.
Set up a home savings fund.
This is where the rest of your supposed furniture splurge money should go. Now that you no longer have a landlord to rely on in case of broken fixtures, this will become your property maintenance budget. If you have bought a home with second-hand appliances, something might need to be replaced or repaired in the near future. Consider this fund as a buffer for an emergency breakdown.
To further increase your savings, replace all the bulbs throughout the house with energy efficient lighting. Caulk the window joints and frames to seal air leaks and prevent drafts. Test your main valve for water leaks. Label your fuse breakers so you would know which controls each part of your house. Replace your air filters and stock up on a few extras so your HVAC unit will work more efficiently.
Saving money is simply the best advice for new homeowners. A properly protected and well-maintained home will prevent costly repairs in future. After all, so much money has already been spent for the down payment, and more money is needed for the upcoming mortgage payments.
Are you planning to become a home owner soon? There are affordable properties in Bryan County OK. I can help you find your future home. Send me an email or call the office today.