Homeowner Mistakes to Avoid

Buying your first home can be an overwhelming experience. Whether you are a brand-new house hunter or an experienced buyer, you can sidestep potential pitfalls by understanding the basics of homebuying and knowing which questions to ask. The tips below can help you avoid some common first-time homebuyer mistakes while house hunting, mortgage shopping, and moving in.

  • Not Anticipating Breakdowns: Something is bound to break down in your home eventually. It’s a standard part of being a homeowner. Taking out a home warranty is a great way to plan for these repairs. Home warranties typically cover the home’s critical systems and appliances from breakdowns caused by normal wear and tear.
  • Not Having a Safety Net: Don’t let your home purchase completely clean out your savings account. There may be unexpected home or life costs that pop up and if you don’t have an emergency fund you may find yourself unable to pay your mortgage or other bills. Most agree you should have 3 to 6 months of living expenses as your safety net.
  • Not Keeping Receipts: You should keep a record of all repairs and improvements to your home in case you ever sell your home. Prospective homebuyers may want to know when things were last repaired and having the record and receipts can greatly improve your asking price if you do sell.
  • Not Taking Advantage of Tax Breaks: Depending on where you live, new homeowners can often take advantage of tax benefits, credits, and deductions that might help reduce both your taxable income and the actual taxes owed. Make sure to consult your tax professional for more information and advice on what tax breaks are available to you.
  • Putting Off Basic Maintenance: Owning instead of renting means you are in charge of your own home’s maintenance. It’s important to never ignore issues or basic maintenance because a small problem can quickly turn into a much larger and more costly one. Try making a home maintenance checklist that you can reuse yearly.

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