Don’t Fall Victim to Any of These 8 Common Homeownership Mistakes

Within your first year as a new homeowner, there are eight crucial mistakes you should avoid.

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Becoming a homeowner can be incredibly exciting. But, as difficult as it may be, it’s important not to become overzealous. 

Once you’ve got the keys to your first home in hand, the first thing you should do is to take a step back and examine whether all the little changes you want to make are actually a good idea. Making uninformed decisions in the heat of the moment can be a very expensive habit in the long run. 

If you aren’t careful, you could find yourself faced up against one of the many costly missteps new homeowners tend to make within their first year. Today, we’ll list just a few of these mistakes. 

1. Going with the lowest repair bid. After getting multiple contract bids, many homeowners assume that whichever option is the least expensive will be their best choice. However, there is something to be said for the old adage, “You get what you pay for.” Make sure that all bids you receive include the same project scope. Sometimes, one bid may be cheaper because it doesn’t actually include all the details and steps involved in the process. 

2. Submitting small insurance claims. The maddening reality is that filing a claim (or two), especially in a relatively short period of time, can trigger an increase in your premium. It’s kind of like a driving record, where the more tickets you have, the higher your insurance will be. It’s the same thing with insurance. Your best bet is to take good care of your home from the beginning so that small claims don’t even materialize.

3. Making improvements without checking the return on investment (ROI). Spending $30,000 upgrading all of your home’s windows may not necessarily bring you back that same value if you decide to turn around and sell your home after just a couple of years. New windows can be a great investment, however, if you plan to stick around for a while. The important thing to remember is that just because you personally value an upgrade, it doesn’t mean the market (or the new buyer) will. So, always check with an agent or appraiser before making expensive home upgrades.

Making uninformed decisions in the heat of the moment can be a very expensive habit in the long run.

4. Going on a furnishing spree. Try to exercise retailing willpower. Investing in high-quality furniture over time is much smarter than filling your house full of discount items and particle board all in one go. Live in your home for a while and get to know your space before you fully furnish it. 

5. Throwing away receipts and paperwork. When it comes time to sell, having proof of the small repairs you’ve made over time can serve as a “resume” of sorts to support your list price. These documents can also be useful in the event that something breaks down and you need to fall back on a warranty. 

6. Ignoring small items on your inspection report. Use your inspection report as your very first homeownership to-do list. You should address these items before you even begin to think about comparing paint swatches. Appraisal issues that drop the value of your home can cause major problems if left ignored.

7. Remodeling without doing research. No one wants to be a Negative Nancy, but there are benefits to understanding the potential worst-case scenarios for a given project. Before undertaking any major remodels, ask detailed questions of professional contractors so that you can get your timing, budget, and expectations all in line with one another.

8. Buying cheap tools. You don’t have to break the bank, but investing in high-quality tools within your budget will make a big difference down the line. 

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

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