Moving into your first home is an exciting, fun, and expensive endeavor. When you get moved in day one, it is tempting to rush and start spending big to make the home your own. It is a good idea to take a little time before spending too big. Here are some common mistakes for new first time homeowners.
Not Saving for Repairs
If you are a first time homeowner, you have always lived under a landlord who had final say on things like painting and permanent decorations. Now that you have your own place, you can pick the colors, cabinets, floors, and fixtures.
It is tempting to start a big makeover right when you move in, but in most cases this isn’t a great idea. Get used to your new budget as a homeowner and start a savings account for home improvements and repairs. You need to have cash on hand to cover things your landlords used to cover like broken furnaces, water heaters, and unexpected plumbing problems.
Making Holes in the Walls
In the past, you had to pay big for hanging your favorite posters, painting, and artwork from the wall. Now you are only responsible to yourself.
Some people have learned the hard way that drilling into drywall leads to bad results when you hang a heavy frame or TV. The same goes for ugly patch holes when people get excited about hanging everything they have ever owned.
Before you hang anything heavy, buy a stud finder for about $25 and save yourself the damage to your walls. Additionally, make sure you have enough of the right color paint to patch and repair a hole if you change your mind later.
Ignoring Energy Efficiency
Utility bills are a lot higher in houses than apartments, and if this is your first time having your own single family home, you might be surprised by how much power and gas it takes to keep your house comfortable in the cold of winter and heat of summer.
Check on your attic insulation to see if you should add more to keep the temperature comfortable and for some big savings opportunities. Also check your windows, outside doors, and garage doors for energy saving opportunities.
Investments in energy efficiency are not as sexy as remodeling, but they pay for themselves a lot faster than new countertops and hardwood floors.
Bad DIY Projects
I know how to remove and install a toilet, but a lot of people don’t. I might know how to install a toilet, but I don’t know how to install a ceiling fan. Each of us has our own skills and knowledge, but going out and trying something new that we don’t know can be a costly endeavor. Also special projects require specialized tools. Not having those tools may show up in the results.
A family friend once was inspired by our new efficiency toilets that I installed at home and decided to go for it himself. After taking out his old toilet and breaking two toilets trying to install them, he gave in and called a professional for help.
If you don’t know what you’re doing, hold off on the project or hire an experienced professional to take care of it for you.
Not Taking Time to Relax and Enjoy
There is so much commotion involved with moving. Trucks, vans, boxes, arranging furniture, setting up utilities, dealing with banks, mortgages, title companies, and finding a quality real estate agent. The list goes on and on.
Take a few minutes to enjoy your new home. Don’t rush to make it more stressful. Take it easy and settle in before you start worrying about changing the place.