Whether you’ve just purchased your first home or are planning to become a first-time homeowner soon, budgeting for your first year of homeownership is essential. Here are our five best tips for new homeowners during those first twelve months:
- Understand your expenses
As a renter, you likely had one monthly expense: your rent. Now, it’s possible you’re paying various bills, including your mortgage, property taxes, homeowners insurance, and HOA dues. While these expenses may still add up to less than your monthly rent, they aren’t all due at the same time, and it can be easy to forget one when putting together your budget.
You’ll also want an estimate of what utility bills and maintenance costs will be in your new home.
Related: New Year’s Resolutions for First-Time Homebuyers
- Create an emergency fund
Whether you’re a renter or a homeowner, emergency savings are absolutely essential. But as a homeowner, repair expenses may arise without warning. You get the benefit of equity in your home, but you’ll also need to be prepared to protect your investment. The general rule of thumb is to save six months of living expenses in case of emergency.
Related: Starter Home or Forever Home: Which is Right for You?
- Set budgets for settling in
If you’re moving into a house that isn’t new, there’s a chance you might not be happy with the way the dishwasher runs, the air conditioning cools, or something else along those lines. Think about how much cash you have to upgrade appliances or make changes to the home. The same goes for furnishing and decorating. Set a budget, make a plan, then stick to it.
- Keep track of your spending
When turning your house into a home, it can be easy (and fun!) to splurge on furniture, decor, and so on. As long as you’ve budgeted for those items, no problem. Still, keeping track of spending and ensuring you stick to your limits can make that first year of homeownership less stressful.
Related: 5 Easy Ways to Refresh Your Bedroom
- Table some spending for next year
Can’t wait to install that outdoor speaker system? Replace the backsplash in your kitchen? These wonderful projects can help you enjoy your home even more. But home is forever, and there’s no rush.
Don’t be afraid to table some “nice-to-haves” until next year. At the end of your first twelve months of homeownership, you’ll have a better idea of precisely what your home is missing and how much cash you have to make those upgrades.
About True Homes
True Homes is an award-winning builder of brand-new, semi-custom homes in North and South Carolina. With gorgeous houses at price points that just make sense, we’re here to help you move into your new construction, semi-custom house of your dreams. To learn more about where we build and how to customize our floor plans, feel free to contact us anytime.