Owning a property comes along with legal, financial, and moral responsibilities that can be difficult to get your head around. It’s even harder for first-time homeowners to figure out the complexities of buying and owning a property.
As complicated as everything can get when you’re buying a home for the first time, it’s best not to get caught up in the finer details. Keeping the major tasks in mind will minimize your stress and ensure the whole process runs smoothly.
The question is, what are the major things to keep in mind when you’re purchasing a new property? Let’s go through these things below so you don’t miss out on anything important. These tips will apply whether you’re moving from California to Texas or your new home is just down the road from where you currently live.
Set Up Your Home Insurance
When you buy a new home with a mortgage loan, you might be offered home insurance as part of the deal. Make sure to confirm the details of your insurance with your mortgage lender if this is the case.
There is also the option to set up your own home insurance. This is becoming the more popular choice for first-time homeowners because it enables them to find a provider that meets their needs.
Get your homeowner’s insurance plan for less by comparing multiple quotes from different providers and finding the cheapest deal. Make sure to organize this in advance so that the insurance policy can begin from the day you move in.
Failing to set up your home insurance could delay the buying process. You won’t be able to sign any contracts before you can provide proof of home insurance.
Set-Up Your Utilities
It’s scarily easy to forget about setting up your utilities when you’re in the middle of buying your first home but you don’t want to end up with no electricity or water when you move!
If you’re not happy with the current homeowner’s provider, you can switch to a new utility company. Contact the cheapest energy providers that you can find to see what deals they have available. You can organize a future date to start your contracts, so you’re not paying for anything before you move into the property.
Remember to arrange your providers for gas, electricity, and water. Usually, gas and electricity are provided by the same company, and your water will be supplied by a different provider.
Inform the Important People of Your Move
Another thing that might slip your mind amidst the chaos of moving homes is informing all of the necessary people. You need to let the necessary people and companies know about your change of address so that they have the right contact details.
Let your bank, loan providers, insurance providers, and employer know that you are moving. Make sure to also redirect your post so that you don’t miss any important letters.
But what about what to do in your new home environment?
Here are some things you’re going to want to know about being a homeowner if you haven’t already heard them at length.
1. Don’t be scared”
Owning your own home is a big decision, but it’s also an extremely rewarding one. It can be expensive, yes — and buying a home that you can’t afford is something that almost all of us have done at least once . . . or twice . . . or more! But the benefits will far outweigh the costs in most cases. And if you buy a house you cant afford and work hard on reducing your mortgage payments each month, there’s no doubt in our minds that buying your own home will be something that works out for you.
2. Pay attention to your energy usage
One of the biggest costs that a homeowner has to deal with is energy bills. If you’re a homeowner, you’ll probably want to know how much your home’s energy bills are — and this can help! You can buy energy-efficient appliances that will keep your bills down — like light bulbs and fridges (yes, even if they have freezer compartments). But there’s another thing that you may or may not have thought about: air conditioning.
If you live in an area of the country where air conditioning isn’t necessary for most of the year, then don’t worry about buying yourself that air conditioner! Just rely on fans or open windows to keep your home from getting too hot.
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If you live in a more temperate area, then you might be able to get by with just an air conditioning unit that has a built-in timer so that it turns on and off on its own. But if it’s always hot where you live, then you’re going to have to think about buying a dedicated air conditioning unit, maybe an inverter AC.
If you’re looking for energy-efficient AC units for your house, then you can search for them online, but we recommend reading reviews on them before buying anything. There are some really shady contractors out there who aren’t above trying to rip homeowners off when they try to buy ACs.
The water bill is another thing that will have to be paid for by you if you’re the home owner in your household. If you wouldn’t think of it, then consider how much of an expense bottled water can be, or even how many gallons of filtered water you go through each month on your own — and decide whether or not that makes sense for your lifestyle.
Water heater maintenance is something else that most homeowners need to pay attention to. If the water heater hasn’t been changed in quite some time, then it might be high time that you did so.
To help pay for these costs, consider looking into getting a reverse osmosis system for your home. This is something that many people have done to cut down on their water bills — and it can work out if you’re one of them. But if you only use a couple of gallons of water each day, then don’t worry about it!
4. Make friends with your Neighbors
Another way that homeowners can cut down on the amount of money they’ve got to spend each month is by making friends with the people who live in their neighborhood. (If you love being alone, then this might not be a good thing for you).
Some homeowners don’t even know what their neighbors do for a living. But by making friends with the people who live on either side of you, you might discover something that you didn’t know before: like how they save money on energy or good grocery stores.
Or for the people who live across the street, you can use them as a resource for things like babysitters and plumbers (LOL).
Most homeowners don’t think about how this can be beneficial — but it really is! Just ask your neighbor to help out with the bills once in a while, or do whatever they do that they’re good at — and they might return the favor.
There are a lot of things to consider when you buy a home, and we’ve just touched on the surface of it here. That’s why we recommend talking about your housing situation with someone who knows what they’re doing.
If you’re in the process of buying your own home, then talk to real estate agents or other people who have bought a home before — they can give you more insight into what it might be like so that you can make an informed decision before moving forward.