As a first time homeowner, there is no doubt that you will be overwhelmed excitement, but also with the amount of responsibility you will now face. Many new home buyers do not do the proper planning and research that will help put themselves in the best financial situation possible.
There are plenty of ways to save money beforehand, in addition to during the first year as a new homeowner. Here are some ways for new homeowners to save money that will help you now and in the long run.
When you move into a new home, you definitely want it to be close to perfect, but you must have realistic expectations/standards. This is just the beginning of your new home with your family, so there will be improvements you will have to make over time. Remember, this is your first home, not a mansion, so be enthusiastic but not blind to reality. You should seek to get the most out of your new home, so here are some tips to keep spending in check.
Don’t overspend on furniture
As a new homeowner, chances are that a lot of money was spent on your down payment, and having top of the line furniture is a luxury, not a necessity. Spend your money to create long- term value (i.e. energy efficient appliances) not just aesthetic appeal.
Check all toilets/plumbing for leaks
This may seem very basic, but by checking your home for leaks you will help prevent future costs that can be caused from leak damage.
Not every project needs to be a do-it-yourself activity (such as wood flooring installation), but small projects like painting, cabinet building, etc. should be done to cut costs.
Home maintenance checklist
You should develop a checklist that will help you keep up-to-date with maintenance tasks. A list like this can be used when seasons change or just annually to see what needs to be done to extend the life of home items.
Another way to save money as a new homeowner is from Uncle Sam (almost hard to believe!). There are options through the federal government such as the first time home buyer tax credit, which is a loan that can be used to buy appliances, do home improvement, or anything else that you would like. Depending on your location, the government may provide even more tax incentives to help first time homeowner, just be sure to research accordingly.
Investing in making your new home more energy efficient will definitely save you money in your first year’s utility bills, as well as long term. In addition to saving on utility bills and being environmentally conscious, you can also receive certain tax credits for having an energy efficient home (the energy tax credit was recently extended through 2013). There is a wide selection of windows, insulation, and even water heaters that will be able to reduce your energy usage, in turn adding value to your home.
Being a new homeowner is a great accomplishment and investment, so make sure to get the most out of your new home by cutting some costs as well as creating value.