Now you found a home and have written a contract – how you love the home! You can hardly wait to make it your own…like watching paint dry on a wall.
Just how do you plan for homeownership while you’re in the midst of buying your first home?
You’ve never done this before, so you’d probably benefit from a bit of direction, a bit of advice to be wild about when you look back to this wonderful time in your life. Learn up front what will matter to you, as a new home Buyer. What can you do to make your life easier and less stressful? What will work to your advantage in the long run?
Make an Organized Move
Have a moving checklist – I love checklists. With the crazy, busy lives we all seem to live, nothing makes our lives easier than a checklist. Make a list. Check it over and over to make sure you’ve completed the items on your list. Forget about trying to store it all in your head.
Plan for any storage needs – Determine if a storage facility is going to be a need. Are you a pack rat that struggles with emptying out all those memories and collections? Do you just like your stuff? Depending upon where you’ll be moving to, if your home is lacking in extra storage space then a storage space will likely be on the table. Store it now and once in your new home you’ll know what will fit and what you’ll have to throw out or pack into storage.
Sometimes it’s easier to part with the clutter when you discard the excess gradually.
Ideally, it’s best to go through all your things prior to moving so you don’t have to have the additional expense of a storage facility when you could have simply thrown the items out, but sometimes, I understand, it’s just against everything you stand for!
Know who will move you – Do not wait until the last moment to hire a moving company. Get a few quotes from movers. Make sure they visit your home to provide you with a firm quote of what it will cost you. You don’t want to hire a mover who shows up on moving day, moves you and then tells you that you owe $300 more than what they quoted when they knew ahead of time of all that you had and what was being moved.
Also, many moving companies have storage facilities too, should your plans noted above include the need for a storage space.
Just like you carefully selected a Real Estate Agent to hire to help you with your home search, make sure you do the same with your mover selection. (You did carefully select your Real Estate Agent, right?)
Don’t Forget to Budget for Owning a New Home
Plan for emergencies.
Hopefully you’ve made the decision to not be house poor by buying a home at the top of your affordable price range, but rather towards a more manageable amount. You’ve received your mortgage pre approval so you knew exactly what you qualify for when you were ready to buy a home.
There will be air conditioners that break down, plumbing that leaks, updates you may want to make, sprinklers that malfunction, new furniture that you may want to buy that you’ve been searching the internet for to decorate your new home, or just about anything that can and will go askew in your home.
Don’t be fooled in thinking your home is in such good condition that nothing will ever go wrong. Have you ever had anything go wrong in your personal life? Sure you have, life happens to all of us. It’s a lot better to know you’re covered with money in the bank, when home repairs happen. It just will.
Plan for your pleasure seeking.
How many nights do you and your hubby/wife like to go out to eat and drink? Or how about drinks with your friends?! Do you like to dine at the local, pricey hot spots where you easily plop down several hundred dollars for a delicious meal?
Or what about those daily cups of espresso and latte? Taking a break from selling homes (what I do), I sit here writing this article at one of my favorite local coffee bars, The Seed, in Boca Raton, Florida. I glance up at the menu to see a latte tally out at $4.25 – day in and day out, you know how quickly $4.25 adds up?! If you love your coffee as I do, make sure that you budget for those coffee addictions.
Our homes are our comfort, our places where memories are made that last a lifetime, yet don’t let your home make you a prisoner. Life is too short to not get out and smell the roses, eat a delicious meal, peruse nightlife entertainment, view a movie, cheer on your favorite sport teams and travel across the the land.
If these are things that you enjoy, be sure to budget for them before you buy your home.
Don’t think that once you get in your new home, none of the things that you enjoy doing and that have eaten up a portion of your paycheck will matter any longer, as you’ll just be fooling yourself. Sure a bit of frugality can work and is often recommended…after all, look at how well you did in saving to buy your home. Plan for the occasional bowl of cereal for dinner. At the same time, attempting to rid yourself of all your favorite activities so you can buy a home, can have drastic effects on your well being and could even financially ruin you when you realize you can no longer restrain yourself.
Don’t ever put yourself in the position of regretting having bought the home you just did. Instead celebrate it knowing you can still afford to do all that you love and maybe just scaling it back a little is all you need to do.
It’s all about moderation.
Maintain Your Home
Now that you’re going to be a new homeowner, you now have the huge, added responsibility of caring for your home. It’s going to need maintenance. It’s all about making sure that all the parts, the roof, the A/C, the water heater, the appliances, and all other nooks and crannies, get the attention that they deserve. If you’re coming from renting as a tenant, you can no longer call the landlord to make any needed maintenance – it’s now all up to you.
Don’t panic with the thought of this as this is where maintenance comes into play so you can lessen the panic episodes by keeping ahead of the curve. Plus, by always being on top of any potential maintenance issues, you’ll home will shine as being a well cared for home that will bring you top dollar when the time circles around that you’ll be selling your home.
To Sum it up
In the end, you’ll find how really wild you are about the advice laid out here while in the midst of buying your first home. You’ll be so glad that you got off on the right foot. You’ll be glad that you had a moving checklist, glad that you planned for your storage needs, glad that you didn’t forget to budget for your new home and really glad that you maintained your home along the way, especially when it came time to put your home on the market after all the kids have grown and you’re now ready to move out and downsize, only to have received top dollar from the sale of your home because you realized the importance of maintaining a home over the years. All home home Buyers love a home that has been maintained – they stick out amongst those that have not. A well maintained home always fetches top dollar.
Real Estate Articles to further your knowledge as a First Time Home Buyer
First Time Home Buyer Maintenance Tips by Anita Clark
Staying Sane While Buying a Home by Conor MacEvilly
Homeowners Insurance for First Time Home Buyers by Bill Gassett
Interviewing a Buyer’s Agent when buying a Home by Kyle Hiscock
Today’s Real Estate article “Advice to Be Wild About While in the Midst of Buying Your First Home” was written by Lynn Pineda. You’ll find Lynn selling homes in Southeast Florida in the cities of Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Coral Springs, Delray Beach, Coconut Creek, Deerfield Beach, Margate, Parkland, Pompano Beach, Tamarac, Sunrise, Plantation and Ft Lauderdale areas within Broward and Palm Beach counties. Call Lynn if you have questions about Buying Your First Home at 954-464-1100.
Lynn Pineda, a licensed Southeast Florida Real Estate Agent serving Southeast Florida for over 11 years. Keller Williams Coral Springs Realty. Real Estate Promises Delivered. You can speak with Lynn by calling/texting her at 954-464-1100 or you can email her at: LynnP@ImagineYourHouse.com if you need to buy or sell a Southeast Florida home. Your local, trusted professional when it’s time to buy or sell a home. Real Estate promises delivered.