Top 10 Tips For Preparing For Homeownership
When someone is moving into their own home for the first time, they may not realize all of the new issues that they will have to deal with that were not a part of their life prior to owning a home.
Shopping for insurance. Home insurance is one of the first things they will need to deal with, as it will be required prior to closing on the home. As with any insurance, no two policies are alike. Some comparisons should be made between different types of coverage as well as the price. Some insurance policies cover the cost to actually replace a dwelling and the contents, while others only pay a set amount, regardless of the replacement costs of items.
- Lawn maintenance. This is usually something that people have not had to deal with if they didn’t own their home previously. If you plan to do your own lawn maintenance, then you will need to purchase a lawn mower and perhaps a weed trimmer. You will also want to have a rake, shovel and watering hose available. If you plan to hire someone else to take care of your lawn maintenance, then you will want to check into the different companies that provide those services in your area.
- Utilities. It will be important for a new homeowner to know which companies provide the utilities to their home and contact them to set up their accounts. Trash pickup is one of those utility services that is often overlooked prior to moving in.
- Get to know the neighborhood. Taking some walks and drives around the neighborhood can be a good way to familiarize yourself with where things are and who lives where. Take note of where the nearest convenience store is located and where the nearest mailbox drop can be found. Find out who your neighbors are if you can. They can tell you a lot, like where the best parks are and the quickest route to the grocery store.
- Winter needs. If you live in an area that gets snow, you will also need to prepare for snow removal from your sidewalks, driveway and possibly your roof. A good strong snow shovel will be your minimum need, but you may want to look into the purchase of a snowblower as well.
- Recommendations for repairmen. If you own a home, eventually you will need to call on repairmen to deal with things like a furnace that doesn’t work, plumbing issues or appliance repairs. Rather than looking through the phonebook when that time comes, it is a good idea to get the names of repair services that others have used and would recommend. That way you will have someone reputable to call on when the need arises.
- Security. If you were previously living in a secure apartment building, homeownership comes with a different level of security. You are now responsible for how much security you need for your home and how you want to provide that. To start with, you will want to make sure that all your entrance doors lock securely and have deadbolts installed. If you want a further level of security, you may want to check into purchasing a monitored security system.
- Tools. Every homeowner needs to have some basic tools around the home for simple repairs. A hammer, pliers, various screwdrivers, an adjustable wrench, a utility knife and a measuring tape are a good list to start with. You may also want to add a shop vac and a power drill to the list.
- Extra finish items. If this is your very first home of any type, there will be several small items that you may need to purchase before you move out on your own. Shower curtains and window blinds may be needed. A rug or entry mat at the front door would be a good idea. You may need to purchase waste receptacles, a vacuum cleaner, and a broom as well.
- Budgeting. Carefully budgeting for the new expenses involved with home ownership is very important. You will want to include fluctuations in your utility bills and funds for miscellaneous repairs and improvements in your budget. There can be many other expenses involved with home ownership than just the mortgage payment, insurance, and taxes.
A little thinking ahead will keep the move into your new home, not only smooth but exciting as well. Your first home, should and can be, a great experience.
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