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Tips for Your First Year of Homeownership

neighborhood path photoAre you a first-time homebuyer feeling more than a little confused about what you need to focus on during the first year of your home owning experience? Have you just bought a home for the first time in a long time and need a refresher on what this first year might bring? Either way, you’re in the right place! Buying a home is an exciting (and sometimes overwhelming) experience, but in the calm following the process, you may find yourself at a loss for what to do next. Should you dive right into remodeling? Should you save money? Below, we’ve listed our top 5 tips for the first year of homeownership, whether this is your first experience or you’re a pro.

Don’t Jump Right into DIY Projects
Maybe you bought your home with fun DIY projects in mind, and maybe you already know exactly what you want to get started on. Even if this is true, and even if you have plenty of money to set aside for these projects, don’t jump into them right away. Wait at least a few months before you get started on the kinds of home improvement that will take up most of your time, effort, energy, and funds. It’s best to wait at least six months, but three should do the trick as long as you’re sure you’ve got a solid budget in place.

Wait a While on Remodeling
Some professionals recommend waiting at least the first year before you worry about any remodeling in your home. Depending on your situation, this may not be practical or necessary, but you should wait at least six months until you’re settled in your new home and have decided for sure what you want to focus on with your remodeling budget. Your tastes and popular trends in home design may change quickly, so it’s best to “sleep on it” for a little while before making such big changes.

Fix Little Problems
While big projects can wait, if you notice small issues around your home, take care of them before they get out of hand. For example, if you notice your dishwasher makes a strange noise during one of its cycles or that your garbage disposal has quit working, take care of these problems as soon as possible. You never know when they could lead to something more significant that’s going to take a lot more money and time to fix.

Make a Budget
This is great advice for anyone in any situation and any walk of life, but it’s especially true for new homeowners. Make a budget and try your best to stick to it. This way, you’ll be able to put aside plenty of funds for savings that can be used at a later date to get started on those DIY projects and remodeling changes, too. And this will also mean you’ve got some extra padding in your budget for those inevitable times when a major appliance gives up without warning or a storm knocks down your fence.

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