Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

Here’s some advice that every new homeowner can use.

Follow these tips for first-time home buyers and make things a little easier on yourself when move-in day finally comes.

  • Improve before the move. Consider taking care of major cleaning and painting prior to moving in. You could save yourself some major stress since you won’t have to combine living space with work space. Instead, the big projects will be done by the time you move your things into your new home.
  • Prepare for bigger bills. Switching from renting to homeownership frequently comes with more expenses. Expect insurance and utility costs to increase. You will also have to leave room in your budget for property taxes.
  • Change the locks. The previous owners may have given any number of spare keys to their friends and family. Get new locks to make sure you stay in control of access to your home.
  • Start an emergency fund. You never know when a leaky pipe or a blown fuse can escalate into a serious maintenance problem. Always make sure you have money available in case your home needs some critical work done.
  • Download and learn. If you’re inheriting appliances or electronics such as security systems, don’t assume that the previous owner kept all the paperwork. Go online to find the online versions of their user manuals so that you can learn the ins and outs of how they work.
  • Anticipate overruns. Always assume that home improvement projects will cost more than expected so that you can be prepared if the contractor comes to you asking for more time or more materials.
  • Get to know your neighbors. Not only will they be the people you see every time you take a stroll, they can also offer good recommendations for electricians, plumbers and babysitters in your area.
  • Locate your emergency shut-offs. Know how to quickly turn off your water, electricity and gas if the need arises so. While you’re at it, label your circuit breaker switches.
  • Don’t be afraid to DIY, but know when you’re in over your head. Contact a professional if a project looks too challenging for your particular skill set , especially when things like electrical work and plumbing are involved.
  • Make a list of seasonal maintenance projects. You’ll need a reminder that the gutters need to be cleaned in the fall, the foundation needs to be checked for cracks in the spring and so on. Organizing these chores will make them more manageable and help ensure that you don’t forget about any crucial tasks.

A new home deserves a good start

At this point in the process, another to-do list might be the last thing you want. However, following these tips will make the transition into your new home much less stressful.

Resist the temptation to cut corners. Giving your home the proper thought and attention from the very beginning helps ensure a positive experience, both now and in the long term.

For more tips and advice, visit community resource page.