What First-Time Homeowners Need to Know

What First-Time Homeowners Need to Know

Christyna Fong by Christyna Fong on Mar 30, 2016
Why you should care

If you’re looking to buy a house, make sure your bases are covered for better decision making.

Buying a house is a great step in the big adventure of adulthood. But most people don’t even know where to begin.

Before you embark on this (rewarding) commitment, make sure you’re well aware of these crucial considerations.

1 Finances

mansion with pool

SOURCE: tumblr.com

Take a good look at your finances and decide on a reasonable budget for your house. It can be a range, from your preferred budget to the highest you can go. Setting this amount ensures you know how much you can safely spend on your new home.

When considering your budget, factor in things like like how much you’d need for renovations, and whether you will have enough to cover one-off sums like the down payment and lawyer fees.

2 Location

Location is everything. Look at your priorities and start your hunt from there.

Do you want a place close to work? Is a good neighbourhood an important factor? If you have kids, how close does your place have to be to good schools? Decide what you need from your location and you’ll have a clearer picture of where to find it.

3 The House

luxury condo living area

SOURCE: architecturaldigest.com

When you’ve narrowed down the location, the next thing to look at is the property itself. What you need to consider (especially if you’re buying a secondhand house) are things like wiring, plumbing, and windows.

Once you’ve taken stock of all that, then you need to consider how much renovation work is needed, and if it fits within your budget.

With a very rundown property, even an asking price that’s well below your budget could still cost more in the long run.

4 Renovation

Most properties will require a bit of fixing up, especially new ones.

Before settling on a place, talk to a contractor that you trust on the approximate cost of all the fix-ups. You can even rope in the help of an interior designer if you know you want something done on a larger scale.

If you’re not sure about the difference between what a contractor and interior designer does, we explain it in our article here.

5 Miscellaneous

woman using drillThere are many small details that new homeowners tend to overlook, so make sure to take note of these:

  • Address change: Make sure you update the address for all your subscriptions. Extend due diligence to your work, bank, and security details to keep them up to date.
  • Pets: If you have any pets, your new place will have to be able to accommodate them. You’ll also have to take into consideration things like space and whether you’ll need to spend money pet-proofing the house.
  • Basic tools: You’re a homeowner now! Which means when something leaks or a switch doesn’t work, you’ll need to roll up your sleeves to get it fixed. Get the basic tools and learn to do the basics like changing a light bulb.
  • Change your locks: To be safe, make sure all the locks around the house are replaced with brand new ones, so the previous owners or anyone they know cannot trespass.
  • Get a Ladder: This will come in handy when you’re cleaning the fans, getting to the top of the cabinet, want to store something away on the highest rack in the closet, putting up the clock; it is an essential item to have around the house. If you live in a small apartment, a small or medium one should be sufficient.
Why you should care

If you’re looking to buy a house, make sure your bases are covered for better decision making.

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