Buying a first house is a major milestone for many people. It can be a confusing and often overwhelming experience. Here are three things that every first-time homeowner should know to get started on the right foot.
1. Your Mortgage Payment Is Just the Start
Your new mortgage payment may seem astronomical compared to previous rent amounts, but it is just the start of what you will need to pay. Try to develop a budget that also includes utilities, repairs, maintenance and any HOA fees. If you are planning on a renovation project in the near future, add in the cost of that, too.
2. It Pays To Keep Up With Home Maintenance
Routine maintenance is a normal part of owning a house. It may seem like a burden, and the costs can be surprising to a new homeowner, but it is far less expensive to maintain your home’s major systems than to have to pay for repairs. Making a list of things that need to be done is a great way to get started. Then decide what items you can do yourself and the ones, such as an annual water heater service San Ramon CA, that are best left to the professionals.
3. Always Check With Your HOA Before Making a Change
If you move into a home that is covered by a homeowner’s association, you want to check the paperwork very carefully. Then, run any changes you plan for the house or landscape past them to ensure it doesn’t violate policy. While some are more lenient, many HOAs are very restrictive and might prohibit something like parking a camper in your driveway.
Planning a comprehensive and realistic budget is a great place to get started in your new home. Be sure to keep up with routine maintenance tasks to keep everything working properly and check with your HOA before you make any changes to avoid fines.