If you’re in the market for your first home, you’re no doubt in the midst of a whirlwind of excitement and probably a little bit of terror too if you’re completely honest with yourself. Making the jump from a renter to a homeowner is really exciting, but it’s also the biggest purchase you’ll ever make, and one you should consider very carefully. Here are 5 tips to consider when purchasing your first home to make sure you don’t jeopardize everything you’ve worked so hard for.

1. Address Any Important Maintenance Issues

Now that you’re a brand new first time homeowner, there is no longer a Landlord or maintenance person on call to come and fix a broken pipe or the air conditioning free of charge, so you’ll want to make sure you keep on top of small problems as they arise and before they become larger, much more expensive problems. Your Realtor® should advise you on the pro’s and cons of a Home Warranty which can be extended after the first year is over. This is a great way to prevent the large bills of mechanical failures where you only pay the call out fee of around $100, a typical example of one of these is the Old Republic Home Warranty.

2. Don’t Over extend Yourself with New Furniture & Remodeling

Take your time, and budget, budget, budget. So you’ve just purchased your first place and might be thinking how nice it would be to have all new furniture, paint all the rooms, and get some new appliances to go along with it. That’s all great, but make sure you’re not overextending yourself. Some homeowners, many of whom have already forked over a large portion of their savings for a downpayment, dig themselves into a hole by spending too much money on new furniture, remodeling, painting and the sort. Be mindful of what you can afford and always set a budget to tackle these projects and more as you can afford to do so, you have a lifetime to sort it all out.

3. Use Qualified Contractors & Remodelers

When you do choose to tackle a home improvement project, remember that while the DIY route may save you money, it’s not always your best option. Hire qualified professionals for jobs like electrical and plumbing work unless you really know your stuff–you could end up injuring or even killing yourself, or presenting a hazard in your home down the road. Let the professionals handle the tough stuff. Please see my previous article, ‘How To Choose Your Contractor In Richmond VA‘.

4. Keep Your Receipts

Please keep all of your receipts for any home improvement projects. By doing this, it can help you maximize all tax-free earnings on the home you’ll earn when it comes time to sell. You can earn up to a $250,000 tax exemption from the sale of your home if it was your or your spouse’s primary residence (if you owned the home with a spouse, each of you would be entitled to up to this amount).

 

5. Retain Your Sense of Humor

Owning a home is wonderful and will provide many great memories, but it will be the cause of stress and pressure at times. This can impact on both your financial security and on your family relationships. To prevent, or at least lessen the impact of this start a monthly savings plan today,(I have a savings plan with Virginia Credit Union), but all banks have them. This way when something goes wrong you have a fund to take care of it.

If you have any great tips or ideas that you wish to share, please leave them in the comments section below, everything helps!  #Britinrva.

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