If you are like most home buyers, purchasing a new home is by far your biggest financial commitment. Mortgages typically last between 15 and 30 years and can have a big impact on your life. Once you have signed the documents and bought your first home, consider these often overlooked aspects of your move.
Insuring your home is giving your greatest asset a safety net. A standard homeowner’s insurance policy covers unexpected damage from disasters or damage to your personal belongings. But destruction caused by floods, earthquakes or lack of maintenance are not usually covered. Speak to an insurance professional for advice about any additional policies you may need for your home based on its geographic location.
Is your home insulated? Particularly the attic and the hot water pipes? Lack of insulation can cost you thousands of dollars in utility payments, while affecting your access to heat and hot water. Some states offer financing or rebates for upgrading insulation — do some research to find out about any benefits in your local area.
When you rent a home, your landlord is responsible for any updates that need to be made. To ensure that you can maintain the safety and worth of your new house, start setting money aside that can help you do anything from buying snow shovels to repaving your driveway. A lot of potential issues can pop up when moving into a new home! If you think ahead, you can help prevent financial difficulties.
Balance Your Budget
Many new homeowners pay a higher percentage of their income for a down payment and a mortgage than they did for rent. If you haven’t already, take out your budget, and consider what you need to adjust to allow for an increase in housing costs.
Moving can be hectic, even if you’re staying in the same neighborhood! When you consider moving costs, explore all of your options: renting a truck and recruiting friends to help you move, or hiring movers to do everything. Moving companies offer a wide range of services and a variety of price points. Make sure that any movers are insured and have positive references. The last thing you want is to damage your favorite furniture.
Now that you have the financial and logistical pieces in place, you can embrace this chapter in your life. Purchasing a new home is not just about the practical aspects of the change, they are also about setting down roots. What are you looking forward to most about your new home?
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Consumer Education Services, Inc. (CESI) is a non-profit service provider of comprehensive personal financial education and solutions for all life stages and for all of life’s milestones. Our goal is enhanced economic security for everyone we serve.
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