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The Complete Guide for First-Time Homebuyers

If you’ve just made the decision to buy a house, our guide for first-time homebuyers is a must-read that will help you avoid frequent trips, manage your time and money, and successfully transition into the joys of homeownership.

Congratulations on Buying your First Home! 

You’ve looked for and discovered a place that you adore. You’ve got a mortgage and handled it with real estate agents, attorneys, house inspectors, and insurance agents with ease. You’ve heard about closing charges and the mountains of paperwork that must be completed in triplicate in front of a notary public. 

Without a question, this has been an exciting and hectic moment for you. BUT There’s still work to be done, believe it or not! So, to assist you here’s a survival guide for first-time homebuyers like you:

5 Tips After You Buy Your First Home

A clear understanding of what to anticipate during your first year in your new home, and helpful advice on how to prepare for the most important aspects of being a new homeowner is listed below:

#1 Prepare for the Logistics for Mortgage and Insurance

If you have a mortgage, homeowner’s insurance is often required by the lender. However, it’s a good idea to reevaluate your insurance needs during the first six months of owning a property. You could realize that you have too much (or not enough) coverage. After the wind has calmed, go over your policy again and get a second round of quotations from insurers.

  • Escrow

Most mortgage firms require you to escrow your taxes and homeowner’s insurance, which means that the mortgage company totals those costs and charges you one-twelfth of the total each month. 

If you don’t have escrow, remember to budget for your tax and insurance costs! If you have escrow, be certain that the mortgage company is making all payments on your behalf on schedule; after all, it’s your home and your credit that is at stake.

#2 Configure your utilities

Make a list of all utilities that need to be changed to your name and work through them. Contact the power, phone, and gas companies. If your county provides both sewage and water, contact them. Is garbage/recycling picked up by the town, or do you have to hire someone? 

If you want more Internet and TV service than an antenna can provide, look into your alternatives and begin contacting for the best deal. With so many digital entertainment alternatives available, you may decide to forego cable.

  • Check Your Billing Address Three Times

Make sure that each service provider has your contact information precisely recorded—right down to the last digit of your zip code. If you do not get invoices due to an administrative error, your water may be switched off when you arrive home.

  • Get on Utility Companies’ Budget Plans

With so many new variables, the first year in a new house is always financially hard. Wherever possible, get on budget plans. Many electricity companies will estimate your year usage and divide your bill into 12 equal payments. This helps to prevent changes in your expenses throughout the year, which is beneficial. After a significant move, money might feel especially tight.

Are you Prepping the House…or not? 

Some tasks are easier to complete before you have all of your belongings in the house. Consider painting or refinishing your floors before your move-in date if your schedule and money allow. Do you require cleaning assistance? If you need professional assistance with anything, include it in your move-in budget.

Don’t worry if you don’t have any money for these items right now. It’s sometimes wiser to live in a house for a while before making decisions on paint colors, carpets, or a new kitchen backsplash. A house is a work in progress, and it takes time to become used to a new environment. Doing too much at once might be exhausting and detract from the enjoyment of the event.

#3 Prepare for Moving In!

  • Update the Locks

You can toss the keys you received at the closing—right after you change the locks! You don’t know who has duplicates of those keys, and it’s better to be safe than sorry. So, before you do anything else, either contact a locksmith or do it yourself—do it.

  • Prepare for the Move

Will you employ someone or complete the task yourself? When hiring movers, obtain as many references as possible as well as at least three quotations. Check to see whether anyone you’re thinking about hiring has insurance. Reserve your vehicle if you’re doing it yourself. Get one that’s a little bigger — and keep it for a little longer — than you think you’ll need. That’s one spot where you can de-stress.

  • Packing

If you’re packing your own boxes, pack them room by room and name them properly so they can be transferred to the correct location as soon as they’re emptied. Make some short signage that correlates to the box labels for each area. If you plan your move well, you should be able to park in the garage by the end of the week.

  • Unpacking

Make attainable objectives for yourself. You’ll most likely have several beautiful years, if not decades, to appreciate your new house, so you don’t have to finish unpacking in a single day. Set a limit for how many boxes you’ll unpack each day—one or two is fine—and stick to it. If you still have energy after unpacking them, shift your attention to another chore, such as installing window treatments or shopping for drawer organizers.

#4 Become Familiar with your House Systems

  • Inspects for Service

Plan to have your HVAC, hot water heater, fireplace, and/or chimney serviced, as well as any significant appliances that require it. Check for any filters that need to be replaced and replace them if necessary. In a nutshell, assess all of your home’s systems.

  • Labeling

Label all of the circuit breakers in your electrical box. Label your water and sewer service’s arriving and departing pipelines, as well as the shut-off valves. Investing a little time now will make it much easier to detect and resolve any issues that may develop in the future.

#5 Get a vibe with your land

  • Equipment

If you have a lawn, you’ll need to invest in lawn-care equipment or hire a landscaping company. Begin looking at lawnmowers and learning how to use a string trimmer. If you don’t already have them, pick up a rake, a shovel, and some trimming tools. If you decide to fertilize your lawn, you’ll need to buy a spreader or pay someone to do it for you. Your new neighbors should have an excellent track record.

  • Placement of a Utility

Before you begin any new landscaping, contact a utility locating service to identify the locations of all your utilities in the yard. You don’t want to destroy the water main or lose power when planting a tree or putting up a fence. It’s worthwhile to create a map for yourself to have on file for future reference.

Finally

Moving into your first house is, indeed, a lot of labor. But you’ll enjoy so many benefits: you’ll be increasing your equity, lowering your tax burden, and establishing roots in a community. Hopefully, some of your new neighbors will become lifetime friends. Congratulations on your new house once more! For help from a Realtor, call us today!

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