Becoming a homeowner is one of the biggest changes of your life, bringing both excitement and stress. Once the papers are signed and the keys are yours, the real work begins. If you’ve only rented until now, you know that when you’re renting the landlord is on the hook for any minor repairs or major upgrades. But once the space is truly yours, those things are your responsibility. Here are some key tips for transitioning from renter to homeowner.
Make sure you get the proper inspections – this will alert you to any existing problems with the properties. Even if it’s a new home, you’ll want the inspection to ensure that everything has been installed properly.
After the inspection, you should outline your budget. A basic rule of thumb for your maintenance budget is to set aside 1% of your home’s purchase price per year. So if your home is $300,000 then you should set aside around $250 a month for repairs. Even if there are no repairs, in the beginning, stay vigilant in setting aside the money because you never know when your stove will break down or when you’ll need a new roof etc.
Stay on top of the maintenance! And that doesn’t just mean yard work, gardening, snow removal and window cleaning. You’ll also need to do an annual survey of your major appliances. Don’t forget the more overlooked units such as your water heater, furnace or boiler, and AC.
Make sure you know how these things function when they’re performing properly and keep the name of a trusted professional handy in case you ever need them. Keep a close eye on your roof and any plumbing piped that are visible since these can be some of the most expensive repairs. Catching it early is key.
The first year you own a home your taxes will be much different. In fact, your home purchase can actually earn you money. But if this is your first time doing taxes as a homeowner, you should turn to a tax professional because things can get tricky.
When buying appliances and furniture keep in mind the time of year. Buying a lawn mower in May, for example, is much more expensive than buying one in January. “Last year’s” models are usually quite similar when it comes to appliances so keep in mind when the new versions are coming out. Floor models (appliances that have been out for people to look at) are also a good choice because they haven’t been used.
And congratulations on your new home!
If you’re ready to transition from renter to homeowner, click here to connect with a real estate professional