This is the second half of our September 2019 newsletter that focuses on home ownership. We have tips that every homeowner should know. If you are thinking of buying a home or already own a home these tips will help you navigate the costs and concerns of life’s biggest purchase.
Consider a home warranty. If you didn’t negotiate one at closing, buy one. Many policies cover problems with appliances, heating or cooling systems and even interior plumbing.
Do not expect a major tax refund. Many people believe they will get a significant tax refund the year they buy a house. This is not always the case. Especially if you purchase your home in the second half of the year, you will only have a partial year’s worth of deductions. You can write off property taxes and mortgage interest but not the mortgage principal payment.
Maintain the exterior. Appearance matters, it helps maintain property values. Learn water rules. In many cities homeowners can be fined for watering their lawn on the wrong day. Ask sellers about landscapers. Find out who takes care of the yard, you may need to hire someone, or get the contact information for the current landscaper or gardener.
Prepare for the worst. Make sure you are prepared for potential hazards such as earthquakes, hurricanes, floods or brush fire.
Know your renewals. If your house has an annual termite inspection, or an alarm system contract, know when to renew. Most companies will not notify you of a renewal date.
Think security. An alarm system may save money on insurance premiums.
Take photos and/or a video of each room. You can use the video or photographs when making insurance claims.
Finally, expect expenses to be more expensive than you thought. We can guarantee this one!