Whether it’s your first or third time going through the process, homebuying can be complicated.
After you finish taking out a mortgage, learning a series of complex real estate terms, and digging through HOA records, you’re ready to settle in and start living in your new home.
Before you settle into your deep-seated leather sofa couch for a much-needed snooze, consider these five practices to protect the investment you worked so hard to achieve:
1. Build your pro contact list
Compile a list of reliable professionals to call when you need help or in case of emergency.
These may include:
- A plumber
- An electrician
- An HVAC technician
- A homeowners’ insurance agent
And instead of storing their contact info, hourly rates and quotes on scraps of paper in your junk drawer, create a Keep account and log them in, where they’ll be organized and easily accessible on any of your devices.
2. Engage with your community
There are so many good reasons to get to know your neighbors.
Beyond the benefits of social interaction, you can:
- Share supplies and tools
- Keep an eye on each other’s places when you’re away
- Have someone to chat with about your local taxes and services
- Swap recommendations
If you live in an HOA, it’s important to participate in that too. Ways to do so include:
- Attending meetings
- Keeping an ear out for volunteer opportunities
- Paying your dues on time
- Joining the board
3. Keep up with regular home maintenance
Regular home maintenance saves you time and money in the long run. It also helps you build and protect your home value and equity. And it makes your home a safe and enjoyable place to live.
Need help remembering what to do and when? When you create a Keep account, you can find seasonal checklists, articles, and other resources, along with a handy place to create and manage your own to-do lists.
Remember: A small repair now is more affordable than a major replacement later.
4. Stick to a household budget
Being financially responsible is especially important as a homeowner. Budgeting and saving helps ensure your ability to pay your bills on time, get through emergencies, and save for the future.
Keep has a handy tool to help you create a monthly budget based on your income and expenses.
Your budget should include:
- Money for regular home maintenance
- Savings for major repairs
- Recreational expenses
- Emergency savings
5. Longterm financial planning
Owning a home isn’t just about the here and now. Homeowners have long-term goals, too.
Maybe you’re building equity to tap into to fund a small business or to pay for a college education, or you plan to complete a major renovation sometime in the future. Perhaps this is a starter home that you intend to sell in a few years.
Stay in the know about home prices and interest rates. Research topics like refinancing, equity, and lines of credit so you’re familiar with your options for when the time comes to make a change.
One final thought
These practices get easier over time. Before long, they’ll become become habits that will help you make the most of your investment. You’ll be prepared for emergencies when they pop up and your home will be that much more of a comfortable and secure place to live.
This post is brought to you by our friends at Keep by Framework™. Make home maintenance management easy when you create your Keep account.