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How To Avoid First Year Homeowner Mistakes
Great expectations and sober reflections often dance together in the minds of those buying their first home. New spaces with crafted ambience, the joy of getting further established in life, and the opportunity to host new neighbors are balanced with added costs, maintenance responsibilities, and the unknowns of a new neighborhood.
Three practices will help the new homebuyer tread carefully in this new minefield of 21st century living.
1. Expect the Unexpected. Murphy’s Law seems well-suited to houses, in “what can go wrong, will go wrong.” You aren’t expecting an outwardly healthy tree to fall on or near the house, an older furnace to die in the dead of winter, or a landscaped wall to fall. Though a home warranty or homeowner’s insurance may pay for some repairs or replacements, they won’t cover them all.
Dave Ramsay, well-known financial advisor, suggests starting with at least a $1000 emergency fund available in the budget for the unexpected repairs or replacements.
2. Plan ahead for big life changes. Buying a house can be stressful. Getting married, changing jobs, trying to start a personal business, having a child, or moving to a one-income household can also add stress to the lives of busy people. So pace yourselves. Talk through the possible implications of any one of these kinds of plans. Though you can’t anticipate or even predict them all, you can choose to do some of them sequentially.
3. Avoid added debt. In times past in certain cultures, to be in debt meant going to prison until creditors were paid. Our credit-happy society encourages debt, so you have to be counter-cultural and decide to live within your means. As a first-time homebuyer, you may be investing in furniture, rugs, and various hardware. Also, you might be paying more for a new mortgage, utility bills, and and routine maintenance. So avoiding new car payments or school loans is prudent.
Enjoy your home by living more with less!
Roger has been a resident of Maryland for over 30 years. He brings a solid background in sales and customer service along with an expert knowledge of Frederick County and the local community. He is pa....
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