You did it! You are a new home buyer. It is time to relax on your couch, in your new living room, with a glass of wine or whiskey that you so deserve! It is all downhill from here, right? Not to burst your bubble so soon, but you still have a lot of decisions to make and things to do when it comes to finances.
A typical mistake new homeowners make is to not talk about the year ahead. What are you going to do to control costs as you are adjusting to this new chapter in your life? If you are searching for some advice, you are in the right place. Here are 5 things to consider when it comes to saving money in the first year of purchasing your home.
1. Pricey Personalization
There are so many spaces to fill in a new home! Like what about the bare dining room walls, or the back deck that has no patio furniture, or maybe you want to fill the living room with a new sectional because it will fill the space. Does any of this sound familiar?
Don’t give in to these urges so fast! Yes, you want it to feel homey, but you have a lot of adjusting to do when it comes to finances. It will be so worth it to wait and save for the furniture that actually fits your style, instead of rushing to fill a space. Chances are you won’t love the furniture and will spend money replacing it. This leads us to our next topic, budget battles.
2. Budget Battle
If you’re new to the homebuying game, then it might be difficult to know exactly how many hidden expenses actually go into buying a home. In a study done by Zillow and Thumbtack, the average homeowner spends almost $10,000 a year on utility bills, property taxes, insurance and basic maintenance.
Our advice? Give yourself a year to adjust to paying for these new expenses. You have a new disposable income, find out what that is. How? Take your monthly paycheck and subtract all of the monthly bills. Whatever you have leftover determines what you can budget for. Maybe the leftover can be put towardsthat home personalization fund! Also, make sure you start saving towards an emergency fund, you never know what life can throw at you.
It is best to talk to a financial planner or someone who works at your local bank. This way you can talk through it and they will help you see expenses you didn’t even consider!
3. Outdoor Renovation
Who doesn’t love a pool? Oh, or what about that outdoor kitchen with the new grill? Those things are great. However, is renovating an outdoor space really the way to go?
Maybe you spend a lot of time outside or have a dog that needs a fenced in back yard. This is understandable! Just make sure to make a reno priority list. Everyone has different lifestyles, so prioritize what works best for you!
When doing outdoor renos, make sure you research contractors. A good contractor can make or break your reno budget. Talk with others for reviews on contractors in your area.
4. Maintenance Blinders
It is easy to keep your maintenance blinders on. You know what I am talking about. Seeing a problem with your house, but saying “eh, let’s deal with it later.”
Maybe you found a space between your exterior door and the floor, but you would rather spend money on that expensive coffee maker. We get it!Realistically though, fixing the space that lets the heat out could save you just as much money in the long run.
In addition to that, it could lead to bigger more expensive problems later on. Let’s say you go up to the attic and see some puddles. In kick your maintenance blinders. Fast forward to a year later, you are told you need a new roof AND the attic floor needs replaced from all of the water damage. YIKES!
You can find out a lot about your house in the first year of living there. Chances are unexpected problems arise that you didn’t see when touring the property. Just sit tight and make sure you save!
5. Homeowners Insurance
What better way to save than on your insurance?We will break it down into two parts. You can save by having a higher deductible and updating your agent.
What is a deductible? It is the amount you have to pay the insurance company before they will pay anything on your claim. A higher deductible will result in paying less in premium. Home claims are infrequent, so the chances of you actually having to pay the deductible are lower. Meaning, you save money!
Secondly, talk to your agent. Make sure your insurance is updated so you have the best possible coverage. For example, let’s say that you are newly engaged (EXCITING!). That means you have a beautiful ring you should get coverage on, under your homeowner policy. Talk to your agent and update them so they can take care of that for you.
When it comes to insurance pricing, your agent can shop around for you. At Thams Agency we are an independent agency that can quote through multiple carriers. If you are thinking “why does itmatter and what is a carrier?” A carrier is the company that takes on your policy. By having the ability to quote through different carriers, we can offer you multiple quotes at different prices to fit your needs.
Let’s recap on how new homeowners can save money. Wait to personalize your home, budget, prioritize renovations, take off your maintenance blinders, and look into your homeowner insurance. Congrats again on your new home and on your next chapter in life!
If we can answer any homeowners insurance questions for you, please reach out to us. Thams Agency has helped new homeowners for many years. We would love to help make the rest of your homeowner experience smooth with the right insurance. Please call us at 712-263-3193 or email us at email@example.com.