So you just closed on your new home - Congratulations! After the closing, I like to offer some advice to new homeowners: take a minute to slow down and strategize before making any other big financial moves. Its tempting to start charging up your credit cards to decorate your new home. However, taking on more debt after making such a big purchase can be a mistake. See the top four mistakes that new homeowners make, and some advice on ways to avoid them
1. Expensive Home Repair Projects
Once you become a homeowner, you should know that nothing runs through your savings account faster than a long list of home renovations and big projects. Make sure you do your homework; you want to be sure that your renovations will add value to your home. I recommend that you save some of the money you may spend on renovations for unexpected home repair emergencies. Then after you’ve been in the home for a few months, you can get a feel for what you like and don’t like before making a major change that you may regret.
2. Don't Ignore the Home Inspection
No matter what, don’t ignore the home inspection during the buying process. Always hire a professional to check every aspect of your new home - that will save you some major headaches in the long run. The home inspector will check the plumbing system, electrical and structural issues, leaky windows and doors, etc. Also, don’t ignore the condition of the home’s roof—fix the shingles or replace the roof before it’s too late. That can save you thousands of dollars in the future.
3. If You’re Not a Handyman, Hire a Professional
If you are handy and confident in your abilities to fix leaky faucets and other repairs, don’t pay a handyman for a job that you know you can do yourself. But if you’re definitely not a handyman, you can save yourself a lot of money and time by hiring a professional. Sometimes the do-it-yourself approach works, but what happens most of the time people end up spending the same amount of money on a project that takes five times longer to finish than it should.
4. Switch Out the Lights
If you haven’t made the switch from incandescent light bulbs to LED lighting, you’re definitely losing money. Over the life span of your lights, an older bulb can use $180 worth of electricity, but a CFL will only use $41 worth of electricity over the same amount of time. Even better, you can try an LED bulb, which only uses $30 per bulb. Replacing those old, out-of-date bulbs will absolutely improve your home budget.
Feel free to pass these tips along to friends and family if they have recently purchased a home, or If you know someone looking for a new home.