Taking a leaf out of my friend’s idea, where she shared some of the lessons that she has learned as a new homeowner, I’m also sharing with you guys the things that I wish we have done differently or made it to our must-dos as homeowners.
Unfortunately, there are some things here that we already sort of knew or people advise us with beforehand but did not follow (and regretted it). In the end, we took it as a charge to experience and vowed to never again repeat the same mistakes. So here I am sharing some “smart” moves that we should have done as new homeowners
Stop Overspending with Wanting to Make Your Home Feel “Personalized” or “Bespoke”
Okay, there is nothing wrong with wanting your home to really show off your personality. You can draw out your inner interior designer if your want to or add everything from your Pinterest board. It’s your home so you basically can do what you want design-wise. BUT take it from us who incurred huge credit card debt because of this – take a step back and be practical.
If you have the money, fire away, but if you’re like us who just shelled out our life savings for moving expenses, down payments, etc. plus loans to support us reaching our dream of having our own house, then think before you swipe that credit card.
We thought that we could just smoothly handle all the finances, but did foresee that a new house comes with lots of new costs like insurance and many many more.
Naturally, you will buy new items like furniture to match your new home, but don’t go on a spending spree all at once. Remember, you are in that house for a long time and it could even possibly be your forever home, so set a budget and a timeline, don’t go all-in at once.
Maintenance is important
When you are a homeowner, you won’t have your landlord to rescue you when you suddenly have a leaking roof or have some plumbing issues. My dad actually warned me about this. He even told me to have a list of contractors in my area for a specific possible issue or even just for scheduled maintenance. If we had taken heed of his advice, before moving in we should have already had our electricity, plumbing, roof and the likes inspected beforehand.
So it's probably no wonder that after just a few months in our new home, we were already facing some maintenance issues. We tried to do some DIY fixes in our plumbing and ended up with a bigger issue and spending more.
So take it from us, a small problem could snowball into something bigger and costlier (speaking of “snow”, please during the winter time, avoid the DIY route and just hire a snow removal service for your convenience. Add this as a part of your maintenance budget. P.S. my husband injured himself trying to plow our driveway, so…)
Don’t choose a handyman, hire qualified contractors, especially for major repairs and renovations
You can save up in other areas, but when it comes to home improvements and repairs, it's always best to choose the pros or qualified contractors. Always treat your house as an investment (you did spend big time on it), so it means you should also make sure that everything is done correctly. To ensure this, then you have to hire qualified contractors. Besides, did you know that you can’t just do any renovations and major repairs in your house? Some of these home improvements may need a permit, and a licensed contractor will know that and will take care of it.
Make sure that your home is properly covered and insured
As mentioned, treat your home as an investment. Make sure to consult an expert that will guide you on what insurances to take (not just limited to homeowner’s insurance) to ensure that in whatever event may happen, you and your family are well covered in anything property related.
Also since we are talking about some serious paper works here, don’t forget to ask for advice when it comes to your taxes. You may not know it, but becoming a new homeowner can help you with tax returns! For ideas on how becoming a homeowner can help with tax deductions, click here.
I actually still have a long list of lessons that we have learned along the way, but will just share them in another post 😊 The first four that I have shared so far should be part of your non-negotiables as a new homeowner, and remember, don’t let the excitement of having a new house lead to financial distress and make your experience a positive one, and you can generally do this by becoming a smart homeowner 😊