Home Ownership for Idiots
Are you brand new to home ownership and have no idea where to get started?
Don’t worry. Start simple with these 8 can’t forget homeownership tips.
1. Estimate your budget
For starters – you should aim to keep your monthly housing payment under 30% of your annual income (pre-tax). This will save you a lot of heartache. Once you’ve determined what your monthly budget is, and how much of a down payment you can afford, then you can deduce how much you can spend on a home. Use our budget calculator to help!
2. Don’t Underestimate The Monthly Costs
Many people save up for the down payment of a home…but completely forget the other costs that come along with buying a house. Don’t forget about closing costs, inspections, repairs/renovations, mover fees, insurance, property taxes, and of course, furnishing your new place. All of these things add up!
3. Understand the Nuances of a Mortgage
Mortgages are not one-size fits all. Research before you sign yourself up for a 15-30 year loan and be sure you’re finding the right type of loan for your situation. Start here!
4. Get Help With Your Down Payment
Saving up for that down payment is hard! We get it. Don’t do it alone! There are plenty of ways for you to get help with your down payment, including our interest free down payment assistance program.
5. Create a Maintenance Schedule
Your house won’t take care of itself (and neither will your parents, or your landlord). Find a rhythm for routine maintenance, as well as unexpected repairs. You can check out our helpful guide here.
6. Factor in Utilities
Make sure your utilities are hooked up and fully functional. Be up to speed with: water, trash/recycling, sewage, electric, gas/oil, internet, phone, cable, and any other utilities your home requires. Pro Tip: Find out how to turn off your water supply!
7. Keep a List
Document everything! Keep records of any repairs, renovations, issues, or updates that go on in your home. Even key details like paint colors, wood stain tints, and what tools you used can come in handy. Take lots of pictures when you move in, before and after you build something, and before you sell the home.
8. Don’t Be Afraid of Change
Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and make your place your own! A house is rarely perfect when you buy it – it becomes a home as you make changes and adjust things to your liking. Lean into this and have fun!
There’s a lot more to home ownership than just these 5 simple tips – but this will get you started. You can find more homeowner tips by visiting our blog!