Buying your first home is a stressful but exciting experience. You’ve finally made it through the process of touring homes, picking one out, shopping for a mortgage, and you’re all set to move in, but are you sure you’ve checked everything off your list? Here are a few extra steps you’ll want to take care of before moving into your new home.
1. Know Your Rights
Depending on the home you ended up purchasing, it might be a good idea to contact a real estate lawyer for the final steps of closing on your home. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2014, there were 603,310 real estate lawyers in the United States. Real estate lawyers can help you know your rights as a homeowner during the buying process to make sure everything goes smoothly.
2. Stay Insured
While it might not be the most optimistic approach to buying a home, you’ll want to be ready in case your home is ever damaged or broken into. 93% of American homeowners have at least basic homeowners insurance, and you should look for a comprehensive plan that will keep you and your new home covered no matter what life ends up throwing your way. While it might seem like an added expense, you’ll be grateful if you ever find yourself in a position where you need to rely on your homeowners insurance.
3. Schedule Inspections
Before you move into the home, make sure you schedule a home inspection with a reliable inspector. A well-trained and qualified home inspector will notice aspects of the home you may have initially looked over and can tell you what repairs will need to be made immediately, versus those that can wait until you’ve unpacked your bags.
4. Make Repairs
Once you have the full list of repairs and updates that need to be taken care of, it’s time to contact a contractor. Prioritize larger projects that will be incredibly difficult to do once you’ve moved into the space, like replacing old windows. In most cases, a conservative estimate of window lifespan, assuming no abuse or impact damage, is between 20 to 40 years, though 50 years or more is quite realistic for vinyl windows. While it is possible to replace your windows once you’ve moved in, it’ll be more of a hassle. You’ll need to go one room at a time and move your belongings around to keep them away from construction. Instead, it’s best to replace major items before moving in so all major repairs are done before you get there.
5. Remember Your Budget
Throughout this process, it’s fairly easy to get carried away looking for items to add to your home and making expensive upgrades that aren’t entirely necessary. Set a budget for yourself and stick to it as much as possible, prioritizing serious home issues that need to be repaired and holding off on expensive but unnecessary steps.
Buying a home can be difficult, but these tips and steps can make sure you get through the process with as little issue and hidden expenses as possible. What advice would you give to someone buying their first home?
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