Buying your first home can be one of the most exciting events in life. There is nothing like that feeling that they are being given the keys and come in to know you own the place. But there is a new homeowner more than just turning on your services and choosing paint colors.
Here are some notable tasks to help you protect your investment and maximize your home ownership experience.
Reassess Your Homeowner’s Insurance
Before closing, you most likely got a basic property insurance for one year. “But insurance isn’t something you just put in a drawer and forget,” says an Allstate representative. Numerous factors can prompt you to re-evaluate your policy, which makes this probably the most essential advice for new homeowners.
Rebuild valuable and home replacement costs
Let’s say your home burns down after two years (hopefully not!). And let’s just say it’s not insured for up-to-date replacement costs. This means that the amount it will cost to rebuild may be higher as material prices and labor costs have risen. To protect your wallet – not to mention your investment – you need to reassess the “rebuilding value” of your policy from time to time. Thus it will match current replacement costs.
Why a new homeowner may need more liability insurance
A housekeeper may visit your home regularly and may be injured on your property. Or maybe your new dog could bite a neighbor. You want to be sure that your accountability policy covers everything it needs.
Materials also get worse as your home gets older. If a water pipe explodes in your home, or your toilet overflows, it can affect your neighbors as well. So your liability insurance needs to consider that.
What a new homeowner needs to know about coverage of personal property
As a new homeowner, you may not have many things to do. But as the years go by, people pile things up and upgrade from original furniture to favorite pieces. In the event of a fire or flood, the total cost of your property loss can be much higher a few years than what was covered by your initial policy. If you own items like art or jewelry, their value would probably increase, so it’s important to make sure you’re covering all of the current value.
Once you relocate and everything is unpacked, including new purchases, figure out what it will cost to replace everything. Then talk to your insurance representative and adjust your policy accordingly. “Things are changing,” notes the Allstate representative, “and it’s a good idea to readjust every two to four years.”
Think About Refinancing Your Mortgage
There are several reasons to refinance your mortgage, even as a new homeowner. Maybe you want to switch from an adjustable rate to a fixed rate, because that’s more stable in the long run. Or you want to shorten the duration of your loan because you got an increase and can now pay the higher monthly payments. Maybe you would like an income to refinance to renovate your new home. Whatever the reason, it’s a good idea to wait until the market is favorable and interest rates are low. Since you are basically applying for another mortgage, remember to calculate the closing costs in the amount of money you expect to save. It will help you decide if it is worth refinancing. If you are in a cooperative, remember that you will have to operate it beyond the board for approval. This A handy guide shares more about home loans.
Why New Homeowners Should Win Over Their Cooperative Boards
Let’s talk about the long game. Your new location will be your home for the foreseeable future. So, it is in your best interest to ensure that the odds will fall in your favor if support of the building is needed. And the best way to do that is build a coherent relationship with your collaborative (or apartment) board.
It’s all about support
Let’s say there’s a dispute between you and another shareholder, or you want to rent your apartment. In these situations, your reputation on the board could weigh in and help you gain support.
How new homeowners can build a relationship with their cooperative boards
A few months after the move, get to know each board member, or at least a good portion of them. Here are some ideas:
- Attend the building’s festive festivities.
- If you have a housewarming party, invite board members.
- Engage in informal conversations with board members.
- Allow them to learn a little about you as a new homeowner in the construction community.
- Let them know if you think they are doing a good job. Board members work voluntarily, and it’s nice to know that their efforts are appreciated.
Remember: Board members are just people. If they feel they know you personally, they are more likely to be flexible and trust you.
Don’t forget about the management company
It is also wise to make friends with the representative of your administration. You want this person to pay attention if you tell them you don’t have hot water or are leaking. So thank them when they took care of something, and show thanks with holiday advice. Consistent, positive interactions will inform them that you are a reliable, rational, and enjoyable shareholder to do things with.
Internal note: A cooperative board will often ask a board if they know of such in dispute. A good relationship with your management representative could affect the board.
What If You Are A New Homeowner With A Purchase Repentance?
Perhaps during the inspection something appeared that is an agreement and cannot be resolved. Or maybe you finally found your dream apartment elsewhere. If you haven’t closed yet, you can usually cancel the purchase. However there is some not so great news. Depending on the terms of your contract, it could cost you some or all of your deposit, as well as any fees you have already paid.
If you’ve already closed down and are officially a new homeowner, deciding that you made a terrible mistake is a little harder. In this case you have two choices: place or sell. If the latter is your choice, aim to do it during a sellers market so that you don’t lose money.
Definitely owning a home is more complicated than renting. You can’t just pick it up and move out within 30 days if you don’t like a place. But buying a home is about taking root, and although that requires a deeper investment of your time and effort, it also reaps more significant rewards.
Disclaimer: The content on this site is not intended to give legal, financial or real estate advice. It is for informational purposes only, and some links provided are for the convenience of the users. Please seek the services of a legal, accounting or real estate professional before any real estate transaction.