3 Affordable Tips that All New Homeowners Must Learn
Buying a new home is one of the most exciting steps in anyone’s life. Whether it’s your first time taking the plunge — or you are on a second, third or even fourth go ‘round — it never stops being special.
But it sure can be expensive. Everyone understands the financial strain of a down payment as well as the mortgage rates and taxes ahead. You’re also probably familiar by now with closing costs and all the other fees and unavoidable expenses that come with finalizing the deal and getting into the house.
Then there’s all the rest. Between renovations, appliances, furniture and other immediate needs, you can end up spending thousands — or even tens of thousands — more if you’re not careful.
Facing all this pressure, every penny counts. So, to help you keep everything as reasonable as possible, the following affordable tips for new homeowners will ensure you stick to your budget and not go overboard.
1. Make Realistic Renovations
Some people are lucky enough to find their dream house right off the bat, while others will be happy to keep things exactly the same even if it isn’t perfect. But most new homeowners will fall somewhere in the middle and want to make at least a few small changes.
Then again, you can’t go crazy and try to do everything at once. Unless you already had a specific plan and strict budget for immediate upgrades, try to have some patience. Start small and prioritize the biggest needs or the renovations with the most certain return on investment. Once these areas are taken care of, you can then figure out what should come next.
It doesn’t matter if it takes a few months or a few years. The key is to be realistic and only move forward when it makes sense both financially and logistically. After all, you don’t want to continually set back your bank account or your day-to-day life by always having new projects taking over the house.
2. Take Small Steps to Create and Maintain Energy Efficiency
After you’ve looked at the big-ticket renovation options, you need to go after some smaller stuff. While each of these may not save you thousands by themselves, they do add up — especially over the 15 or 30 years of a mortgage.
Start with energy efficiency. No, it might not make sense right now to replace the hot water heater or re-insulate the attic. Those are big expenses. But make sure you set your hot water heater to no more than 120 degrees to save on energy costs. You can also install some ceiling fans in key rooms for the summer months, so you don’t have to waste so much energy on A/C.
Then, why not hang a clothesline? Dryers are nice, but you can often get by without them in the summer months. Additionally, replace any old lightbulbs with newer LEDs that save money over time. With just these simple steps, and others like them, you just saved hundreds of dollars.
3. Spend Wisely to Rest Easy
While you can’t do everything at once as soon as you move in, there needs to be some allowances for actual life essentials. And new beginnings are a perfect time to make some common-sense upgrades.
It makes sense to start in the bedroom. A lot of people may not even realize it, but buying a new mattress can improve your sleep quality and, in turn, your energy level. In other words, the better you sleep, the better you’ll feel. So, use this opportunity to get a new mattress.
You’ll also likely want to get a new bedroom set, either along with your new mattress for the master bedroom, for other bedrooms, or even a guest room. Ordering these online is easy, more affordable and convenient, saving you time and money as you outfit your new home with essentials.
Living Smart in an Affordable New Home
If you did your planning right, you are now on your way to a nice, comfortable life in a house you can afford. It’s not too big, not too little and you will be able to keep making the payments and needed upgrades over time without stressing too much about money every week.
But you can’t take your eye off the ball. Everything matters, and sticking to your budget will be more important than ever. So, stay realistic with any renovations, makes small steps immediately to improve energy efficiency, and learn how to rest easy by spending smartly on the right items.
If you can maintain this mentality, you will be able to afford your new home for the long term. And that peace of mind is one of the best investments you can ever make in your new life.