You just bought a brand new home! Yay! Fist bump! Congratulations!
Buying a home is a number goal in the “American dream” book. Securing your little piece of heaven on earth, your oasis, a place you call mine!
I remember my first time! I didn’t really go through the whole process of looking, make offers, and get pre-approval, and all the other fun and scary stuff.
I was a young twenty-something about the get married, and we bought a cozy little overpriced townhome from a relative.
It was during the market boom, everybody and their mama were getting approved for loans even me!
(I would suggest never do that, but that’s a post for some other time.)
Nevertheless, the little overpriced dump was mine! A couple of handymen and several Home depot trips later… little dump became magazine worthy!
It was bliss!
So you see, it doesn’t matter if your first home is a dump fixer-upper or a palace, it is yours!
There is nothing like the feeling of owning your little piece of the American dream!
However, that beautiful dream can quickly turn into a financial nightmare if you are not careful.
From market crash to property tax gouge, there are a million and one unexpected things that can turn your euphoric bliss into paralyzing night sweats. To avoid all that mess I have come up with a few pieces of advice that will help you get on the right track and preserve your homeownership bliss after home buying.
The first thing to do is go on a budget freeze.
You need to save everything you can, you need to go into squirrel mode.
You need to cut all unnecessary expenses. You are about to be adulting HARD!
Going out, eating out, concerts… NOPE!
It’s exciting to have your new home! You want ALL the things!
Everything at HomeGoods and Ikea is calling your name and telling you “look how cute and cheap we are”
You want all the cool decor and furniture to make your place Instagram and Pinterest-worthy. DON’T!
Chill out! You’re going to have all the time to play with your home decor and cutesy up your abode.
This can wait. You need to get acclimated to your new mortgage. You want to make sure your property taxes didn’t go up, your electricity bill may not be the same if your new place is bigger, there will be a lot of changes. Believe me from one way or another you are going to get slammed with some unexpected expenses. You have to be ready!
When I bought my house, one thing I wasn’t ready for was the well water filtration system and my property taxes. Between those two I had to shell an extra ten grand in unexpected expenses.
Boy did that hurt!
If the market is doing good, (probably why you decided to buy a house in the first place) property value will climb up causing your taxes to climb up with it. Causing your escrow to inflate and your mortgage payment to be way higher than you previously planned.
You see why you need at least a year-round to get acclimated with your payments and subtle fluctuations.
You want to be very mindful of your budget and protective of your coins.
Have a flexible Budget for home depot runs
You are going to live at home depot. When you own a home, a lot of time you are going to have to learn to be an expert DIYer because calling a company for every little trick is going to get expensive. You are going to learn how to do things whether from YouTube University or from binge-watching HGTV…You’re going to need to learn to use these hands, from changing light bulbs, upgrade showerheads. Some stuff is tiny you have to just do it. Even when you do have a handyman, you’re going to need to get the supply to do work for you. Every single time it’s going to require a Home Depot trip, or whichever hardware store is near you.
Secure a reliable handyman
There are things you’re not going to be able to DIY! Some projects are bigger than you and you will need help. Sometimes you just don’t want to fool with things. Sometimes it’s cheaper to pay someone who knows what they are doing than do a crappy job yourself.
Sometimes, there is something happening and you have no idea what’s causing it, you need the help of a reliable handyman who is familiar with different aspects of a home who can either fix it or advise you on what to do or who to call.