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New Homeowner Survival Guide: 5 Things First-Time Buyers Need to Know

Monday, October 19, 2020

Around one-third of home buyers are first time home buyers. While it's an exciting time if you are one of them, it's also the time when most people can use a new homeowner guide. After all, you can't rely on a landlord for decisions about the property anymore.

So keep reading for five new home tips that will help you survive the first year of owning your own home.

1. You Shouldn't Rush Renovations

Many people want their own homes so they can change things when they want. Don't rush.

It takes some time before you know your new home. Time can expose functional problems that you should address before making aesthetic changes.

If you can't stand the wait, consider taking on a small scale renovation like a bathroom.

2. You Should Change the Locks

Unless your house is brand new, there is a good chance a stranger has a copy of the key. Homeowners routinely hand out keys to babysitters, dog walkers, or friends.

The good news is that you can DIY changing your locks these days. If you replace all of your locks with ones from the same company, you often set them all to the same key. Many companies even include instructions for that in the package.

3. You Should Give the House a Thorough Cleaning

You can never know for sure how well a home was cleaned before you bought it. It might prove utterly sanitized or you might find hair in the shower drain cover. In the end, it's better for everyone if you play it safe.

Pay close attention to potential problem areas, such as:

  • Bathrooms
  • Kitchens
  • Carpets
  • Closets
  • Basements

These are the areas where you often find lurking pests or poor cleaning.

4. You Should Look into Title Insurance

title insurance policy is one of those things that most people get when buying a new home because the mortgage lender requires it. That kind of title insurance protects your lender if a problem affects your title down the road. For example, an heir comes out of the woodwork and disputes ownership.

There is also owner's title insurance. That policy provides you protection if a problem with title crops up after you buy the house.

5. Get an Energy Audit

An energy audit helps you spot where your home will drive up your utility costs. Think of the results as a roadmap for saving money in the long-term. A couple of common problem areas include attic insulation and poor seals around the door.

Getting the Most from the New Homeowner Guide

At the end of the day, getting the most out of any new homeowner guide starts with practicality. In other words, deal with the most practical things first.

Changing the locks and a deep cleaning fall into the practical category. Do those first. Title insurance and energy audits provide long-term practical value, so look into those next.

While renovations might top your to-do list, they often offer the least practical benefits in the first year. Hold off on those until you live in the house for a while.

Don't have an owner's title insurance policy and think you should? Contact Heartland Abstract today for questions.

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