Practical Advice for New Homeowners
There's nothing more exciting than opening the door to your first new home and knowing that it's actually yours, that you actually own it! No landlord bothering you about every little thing. No silly rules about what colors you can paint or what renovations you want to make. Finally you can do whatever you want to do in your home!
And while this is a great feeling, and the pride you feel is natural and well deserved, don't allow yourself to get too carried away with your newfound freedom. You worked hard to earn this opportunity and you don't want to potentially jeopardize your investment by letting your emotions get the better of you.
If you've recently bought your first home or you plan to do so soon, take a few moments to think about the practical side of home ownership before you start making any major changes or renovations. Doing this will help ensure that your first home becomes the personalized place you always wanted and worked so hard to get.
Get properly insured – Before you decide to build or tear down anything, be sure that you are properly insured. Even if you enjoyed the full $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers (or the full $6,500 tax credit now available to qualified "repeat" buyers), sit down with your insurance provider and make sure you're covered on all fronts before you do anything. It doesn't make sense to spend your tax money upgrading your home if you're not protected in advance.
Maintenance before makeover – It's true that you no longer have a landlord looking over your shoulder for every little thing. But, you also don't have a landlord to turn to if something should go wrong. So, before you think about beautifying your new home, think first about fortifying it. Invest in necessary repairs first and avoid surprises down the road.
Go with the pros – When the time does comes to make those changes, be sure to hire the best, most qualified people. This doesn't mean you can't paint or do the little things that can make a big difference. But when it comes to the big stuff, hire the pros for the best results and to avoid injury. Remember, your new home is an investment and it deserves the highest care and attention you can give it.