First-time Homeowner? Follow these 3 tips for a smooth financial transition

By Gary Bordeaux

Special to the Financial Independence Hub

Becoming a homeowner is an exciting, pivotal and sometimes overwhelming time in a person’s life. A home is likely the largest investment you’ll ever make, so it’s important to go into it with a clear head and a solid (yet still flexible) plan. Even though everyone’s experience will be different, there are still some things that remain similar for everyone adjusting to life as a homeowner. If you’re embarking on this journey and could use some direction, keep reading. Here are three tips to keep in mind that will ensure this transitional time is the best it can be.

1.) Make essential upgrades that will improve functionality and save money

When you purchase a home, you’re also purchasing any essential items that might come with it, such as appliances, water heaters or even a home security system. Since all of these are major parts of a home, pay attention to their condition regardless of what the inspection report says.

It’s not uncommon for new homeowners to have to spend money right off the bat on either repairing or replacing these types of items. This adds up, so pay attention to where (and how) you’re spending your money. So, while it might be tempting to go on shopping sprees for new furniture and home decor, try to wait it out until you have a grasp of how everything is working. There’s not much worse than being short on funds when you need them most!

For instance, maybe your new home came with an older water heater that doesn’t heat efficiently. Maybe it’s too small to meet your needs, or maybe it just doesn’t work consistently. A simple call to a firm like this water heater company in Thousand Oaks can determine the best course of action to take to ensure your hot water situation improves quickly. A more efficient water heater also means more money saved, so you can go ahead and buy that new piece of art for your new mantel.

2.) Prioritize Convenience

When you purchase a home, you might have certain things in mind that you’d like to do, such as installing new flooring or painting throughout. Both can be costly and time consuming, and both have one thing in common. They’re much easier to do when your new home is empty, before you’re actually living in it. This is a situation where it’s important to prioritize what will make your life easier, especially when the projects are inevitable. As you’ll quickly figure out, you will have plenty of decisions to make along the way and some will carry more weight than others.

3.) Get a Home Maintenance Plan together (and stick to it)

As a new homeowner, you will quickly realize how there is always something that needs to be done. If you don’t set up some sort of schedule or guide to manage to-dos, your new adventure can quickly become a huge source of stress. Since nobody needs that, make sure you don’t skip this part. Breaking it down seasonally is a great place to start, also including recurring tasks such as cleaning and landscaping.

If you can afford to hire out certain tasks, go for it. However, don’t forget to take different opportunities to learn as you go. Being handy will go really far as a homeowner, especially when you’re able to fix that leaky faucet or install a new light fixture by yourself.
Each day you’ll learn more about your home and will get closer to finding your niche as a homeowner. It is a totally different way of life and you might find you’re pressed for time or in over your head, but it balances out. Don’t forget to take the time to research other helpful hints to make this a more enjoyable transition for you and your family. You’ll be glad you did.

Gary Bordeaux is a real estate professional and company owner based in Portland, Maine. As a retired real estate agent, he spends his time and energy investing, and writing about what he has learned. His goal is to help entrepreneurs and small business owners achieve their full potential.

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