Once you have gotten the keys to your first home, the fun begins. It is important to realize that the steps you have taken leading to the day of close will make a significant impact on your budget. Keep in mind that once you make it through the closing process, their are additional settling costs that can creep up for the first-time home buyer. Some of these costs can be mitigated prior to close. For example, make sure to get a home inspection done and have any items flagged addressed by the seller. A home-warranty is another item that can help offset the cost of any repairs to major items to your home in the first year. These steps will help to offset some additional expenses.
Expenses that you may encounter once you move in may include painting, cleaning, windows, window treatments, carpets and fixtures. When you are evaluating what needs to be done, identify what is cosmetic and what needs to be addressed. This will help you prioritize your budget. When you are completing this list, identify the work that you can or are willing to do yourself and what you have to hire out. This is important because it will impact your budget significantly. Once you have done this, get estimates and price out the projects. You may be very surprised at your findings. For example, window treatments can be very expensive. Therefore, you want to think about your needs versus wants and the impact on your budget.
Owning your first home is a wonderful experience full of excitement. Taking extra steps to prepare and evaluating your options will help you maximize your budget.
Home warranties can be confusing for anyone, especially for the first-time home buyer. Should you get one or not? Sometimes, the decision will be made for you because your seller will offer it as a part of the sale. If so, bonus for you. However, if you have to purchase it for yourself, you will want to do some due diligence. Home warranties can be costly and when you are having to pay for a battery of expenses going into closing you want to make sure that your money is well spent.
When you are searching for a home warranty, get some clarification about what is covered and what is not. Depending on the policy, home warranties can be pretty specific and limit what is covered, so do your research. They generally cover your heating and cooling and larger items. You can get home warranties to include additional items like a pool. However, they tend to be added on to your policy, which will increase the cost but not significantly.
If you are buying a brand new home from a builder, a home warranty will not be necessary because most builders will guarantee their work for a year. Before you close, make sure to get the specifics in writing. Most reputable builders will stand behind their work, but you want to take the steps to protect yourself. If you have any questions, ask your realtor and builder. Find out what contingencies are in place in case the builder goes out of business during that time frame. It is worth it to ask the hard questions before you close while you still have leverage.
Home warranties offer peace of mind and are worth it. Just take the time to familiarize yourself with the details and go with a reputable company with good standing. This will help you protect you, while you get to know and enjoy your new home.
Being a first-time home buyer is a fantastic experience full of excitement and feelings of apprehension. The key to a successful experience is preparation and aligning yourself with professionals, who can help you. Before you even begin to look at properties, make sure to take the time to get pre-qualified. This helps to manage expectations and set parameters. Once you have those set, you should meet with several realtors and ask them some hard questions. Treat it as if it is a job interview. Remember, they work for you and need to help you find what you want. Therefore, you need to understand their experience and personality. You will be spending a great deal of time with this person, so they should have a personality that compliments yours. Seriously consider a realtor, who works with first-time home buyers. They have a unique understanding of the trials and tribulations of a first-time home buyer.
Once you have chosen a realtor and have found your place, you will need to go through the closing process. This can be intense but your realtor should be able to prepare you for it. Further, by taking the time to be pre-qualified, you will be in a great position to get your financing authorized. Once your closing date is set, you will need to set a moving and settling-in budget. You need to identify what you will need to spend to move and prepare your new place for your move. This is important because there are often hidden costs associated with moving that are overlooked. In addition to the actual cost of moving, you will have to consider paint, window treatments, and cleaning. Keep in mind that there are additional expenses that can creep up but the more prepared your are, the less likely you will be surprised by a large unexpected cost.