Buying a new home is without a doubt one of the biggest (and most stressful) purchases you will ever make. There is an endless amount of paperwork to sign, you have to drain your savings account to cover the down payment and simply the thought of making such a large purchase may leave your heading spinning.
Many new homeowners are in their 20s or early 30s and have never purchased a home before. Not only are they newbies when it comes to home ownership, they often lack experience when it comes to things such as finances, insurance and interior design. Because of this lack of experience, new homeowners can use all the advice that they can get.
So just what is the best advice for new homeowners? Well, that really depends on who you ask. There are countless things to know about managing your finances, decorating your home and making sure that your new home is secure from burglary. So, to help you from having to do the research, I have done the legwork for you.
Here is a list of the best advice from a number of different sources, all experts in new homes – a home builder, an interior designer, a financial consultant and a security expert.
Tips from a Home Builder
A home builder is the best person to get advice from on issues regarding home maintenance. Since maintaining your home is essential if you ever plan on reselling it or if you want to maintain the value of your home, make sure that you follow these tips straight from the mouth of a home builder:
- Water is the cause of structural damage to a home 90 percent of the time. Make sure that your basement, roof and foundation have the proper sealants and water barriers in place to prevent costly water damage and corrosion.
- Spray for bugs (especially termites) as soon as you move into the house and on an annual basis. You don’t want bugs eating away at the structure of your home.
- Refer to your home inspection report often. Try to tackle problems addressed in the report as soon as money permits.
Tips from an Interior Designer
How you decorate the inside of your home is often just as important as how the exterior of your home looks or where it is located. Here are some tips for new homeowners from an interior designer:
- Avoid strong tones like reds and purples in bedrooms and instead go for lighter hues like mossy green or beige. Use bolder tones in the living room.
- Make a plan for decorating each room. Take the measurements of each room and browse through catalogs for color swatches and furniture that you like. Take these items with you when you shop so that you can ensure that items you choose will fit into the room and compliment one another.
- Keep your budget in tact by shopping at garage sales, consignment stores and second hand shops. See if friends have anything that they want to get rid of if you are on a very strict budget.
Tips from a Financial Consultant
A financial consultant will always give new homeowners advice regarding paying off their mortgage and saving money on interest. Here is a list of the best advice given by financial consultants:
- Whenever possible, pay an extra $100 or more toward your mortgage. This will help you pay off your balance faster and potentially save hundreds of dollars in interest payments.
- Make sure that you incorporate your new mortgage payment into your budget and that you stick to it like glue.
- Get homeowners insurance that has replacement coverage. Photograph all valuables and keep a list of purchase dates so that you can be reimbursed if items are destroyed or stolen.
Tips from a Security Consultant
Protecting your home from burglary should be a high priority for any new homeowner. Here is the best advice on protecting your home from security consultants:
- Get an alarm system installed as soon as possible. Ideally, the system should have features in place to detect burglary, fire and carbon monoxide.
- If you are buying a house, swap out the existing locks for heavy-duty deadbolt locks. If you are having a house built, ask the contractor to install the most durable locks on the market.
- Get to know your neighbors. Watchful neighbors are often the best line of defense against burglary and vandalism.
Featured photo by Billy Brown.
Construction man photo by ODOT.
Interior designer photo by James Naruke.
Financial consultant photo by Center for Survivors.
Security specialist photo by Flickr user.