5 Quick Tips for a New Homeowner
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Owning a home is something on everyone's list of accomplishments that they want to check off. A home offers so much: a safe place to raise children, open space, and privacy. Still, owning a home can be a little overwhelming at first, especially if you are young and strapped for cash. Follow these five tips to save money and you will lessen your financial burdens of owning a new home.
1. Get the best mortgage rates
Save up your money and make sure you don't overspend. Generally, you do not have your overall debt to exceed 36% so keep that in mind when buying a home. Also, just because you can afford a $150,000 home doesn't necessarily you need to buy one if you can find a good starter home for less. Mortgage rates are still historically low so you might be able to get a low monthly payment. Try to put down at least 20% of the home price as a down payment to avoid paying unneeded mortgage insurance.
2. Save money anywhere you can
There are tons of ways you can save money once you move into your new home:
- Alliances- Everyone is going green these days and you can save tons of money by purchasing energy efficient appliances.
- Lighting- Install LED and CFL light bulbs anywhere you can. These lights use less energy and last longer than incandescent light bulbs.
- Insulation- One of the first things you should do is check your attic to see if it is adequately insulated. Install more if needed as this will save you money on your energy bill.
- Programmable Thermostat- This can help you keep your home cool and warm when you need it to be.
- Hot Water Heater- Turn down The temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Keep your home safe and personal property secure
There are many things you can do to keep your home safe. To deter burglars, you could install a fence, a lighting system. Most important is a home security system. Websites such as homeseurity911.com provide a lot of important information on what you should look for when shopping for a home security plan. Keep in mind that home security is a combination of following best practice, and using a home security system that will instantly alert authorities in the case of a break in.
4. Take advantage of tax breaks and perks
The tax breaks to buying and owning a new home are plentiful and rewarding. First of all, any interest that accrues on your mortgage is tax deductible. Also, you can start a home equity line of credit. Essentially you use this loan to borrow against the equity that has built up in your home. You can do a lot of these with this money, such as pay off a credit card that has a higher interest rate than your mortgage. Moreover, when you go to sell your home, much of the money that you make on your home will be tax free.
5. Perform annual maintenance
There's a lot of maintenance a to owning a home, and you can save money by doing simple things like caulking your windows every year. You should also:
- Check your crawl space for water
- Check your deck for moisture damage
- Clean your furnace and change filters every three months
- If you have a chimney, sweep it and have it inspected
Owning a new home presents its challenges but it is certainly a great financial and life decision. Follow this simple advice and you can help alleviate the stress of owning a new home.