The Top 4 New Homeowner Investments
Getting your first house is an exciting time, but it can also be overwhelming. Knowing what investments to make as a new homeowner will help you save money upfront and in the long run. Here are some important areas you should be focusing on to make the most of your time and money, in addition to saving you down the road.
1. Energy Efficiency
An energy efficient household is going to save on your power bills, but it involves more than purchasing items with an Energy Star label on them. Having an HVAC unit with a high Energy Star rating will not be saving you as much as you think if your house is not properly insulated. Ensure that your windows are energy efficient and your home is air sealed. As light bulbs burn out, replace them with LED or CFL bulbs.
Believe it or not, these things can help you save on your next tax return as well. There are numerous tax credits out there you can take advantage of. Newer homes have stricter standards and tend to be more energy efficient to begin with, so these investments are likely going to be more beneficial to those moving into an older house.
2. Good Insurance
If you have a new car, you likely get comprehensive auto insurance to protect you and your purchase. Your dwelling deserves more, since it's a larger purchase and repairs are more costly. Hail damage to the roof of your car will likely only cause some cosmetic damage, however, damage to the roof of your humble abode can result in leaks and at least hundreds of dollars in repairs.
Ensure that you are covered in the event your house is unlivable, needs to be rebuilt, or your belongings inside are destroyed. It will be worth it to have some peace of mind that everything will be taken care of.
Naturally, people want to keep their premiums low. However, having a deductible that would be difficult to pay if you have to file a claim is not practical, either. Doing your research and talking to an agent whom with you feel comfortable will aid you in making a solid investment as a new homeowner.
3. New Locks and Security
This is something that will not apply if your residence is new. But if your house has been lived in before, change the locks as soon as you can—or perhaps even if you're the first to live there. It's reassuring to know you're the only one who has access to your home. You will also want update or add new locks if the current ones are not secure.
Installing deadbolts on your doors will save you money on insurance. An alarm system will save more money as well. They may even save you from having to file a claim. If you're not ready for this investment as a new homeowner, there are other measures you can take to make your home more secure. For instance, you can fake it by placing a fake security system sign in your yard to deter the crooks. Or, install intimidating plants around your windows.
4. Well-qualified Professionals
So, you got an older home that needs some TLC to make it energy efficient. Don't trust just anyone to do the work. Some things are easy to do yourself, but others are not. Ensure that any work you have done is by someone who is well qualified, and has the proper licenses and certifications.
Skimping on the upfront cost of someone with the proper qualifications and experience can result in causing your house to be less energy efficient and prone to damage. It's also possible that the work will not be, or look, up to par.
It's important to have a contractor who knows the local laws and codes so you do not run into any trouble later on. Violating these laws and codes can lead to costly fines and paying to have the work done again correctly, especially if you are trying to sell.
These investments are more important for a new homeowner than expensive furniture and cosmetic renovations. They can save you time, money, and give you peace of mind. It's not too late to take advantage of these if you are an experienced homeowner, too!
The bottom line is to spend a little more upfront to save yourself headaches and unnecessary expenses in the future. Your future self will thank you.