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Buying your first home is a major step into uncharted territory for most, and with that can come some unexpected challenges and missteps. While there will always be some learning as you go, there are also some common mistakes that new homeowners can strive to avoid. Simply by being aware of these common difficulties and coming up with strategies to navigate them in advance can set you up for a successful transition into homeownership. Here are some of the most common mistakes to avoid:
Falling Behind on Maintenance
If you’re accustomed to renting, you might also be accustomed to relying on a landlord for regular maintenance. While that might be a perk of renting, the benefits of homeownership outweigh that for many. If you’ve made the leap from renter to buyer, it’s important to get clear with what maintenance you’ll need to do to keep your home safe and in good condition. It’s so much easier and often much less expensive to stay on top of maintenance rather than to wait for a problem to arise. A simple checklist and calendar can be incredibly helpful tools here.
Overlooking the Importance of an Emergency Fund
Again, new homeowners might not have had to prepare for the unexpected expenses of maintaining a property in the past, and that can create a real problem if they don’t have an emergency fund. While a roof that sprung a leak may not have come out of your bank account in the past, as a homeowner, it will. While you never know exactly what might pop up or when, it’s so important to start an emergency fund so that you’ll have a little cushion if you run into an unexpected repair bill.
Diving into a Major Renovation
The excitement of customization can throw some new homeowners into a renovation right away, but this doesn’t always yield the best results. You’re already moving into a new space. Before diving into a renovation, it’s often beneficial to live in the space a bit and see which aspects work with your life and which don’t. You might find yourself unexpectedly loving things you thought you’d want to change or being frustrated with something that you hadn’t even thought of.
Bringing Your Clutter With You
Moving is a perfect opportunity to declutter and start fresh. Though the process of becoming a homeowner can be overwhelming and packing is just one item on the list, it’s not one to overlook. It’s wise for new homeowners to give themselves ample time to go through their belongings and bring only the things they truly want to keep. There’s no point in needlessly packing up things you never use or don’t really want to bring along. By giving yourself a bit of extra time here, you can help set yourself up for an easier move and get a fresh clutter-free start in your new home.
Have you been a first-time homeowner? Looking back, are there any mistakes you made or words of advice you’d share? If you’re in the process of buying your first home, what are your top questions and concerns about being a homeowner? I’d love to hear what you think!