Just bought a home? Here are 4 money saving every new homeowner should know: from spring maintenance items to DIY home improvements.
Keep an eye on that spending! Whether you’re a homeowner for the first time or you’ve just moved into a larger home, there is a strong tendency to overspend at the outset. Here are some tips to help you avoid this common pitfall of new homeownership.
1. Get down and dirty with DIY
Speaking of decorating, here’s some golden advice for new homeowners: The possibilities are endless — and much less costly — if you’re willing to do a little bit of the hard work yourself. DIY home improvement projects such as painting and switching out hardware can make a huge difference in the look and feel of your new home without sending you spiraling into debt.
Note: Don’t spend time and money on projects that you aren’t qualified to do. Doing a project incorrectly can end up costing you quite a bit more time and money to fix. Play it safe. Stick to fairly simple projects until you get a better grasp of your home improvement skillset.
2. Get the boring stuff out of the way first
You’ve just shelled out for a down payment, closing costs and moving expenses. Your savings account is pretty drained, right? So what would be the worst thing that could happen right now to your home? A costly and unexpected issue — especially one that could have been avoided with some simple maintenance. Unfortunately, it’s not up to a landlord to handle these issues now.
Sure, your home inspector took a thorough look at the house before you purchased it, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t make your own rounds. Before you even consider picking out that new sectional or king-size bed, perform some new homeowner maintenance, including getting a head start on simple spring maintenance items. Then, make sure your budget stays protected by taking advantage of a home warranty — the rest-easy solution to those inevitable system and appliance breakdowns.
Bonus Tip: Was your new home vacant for a while before you moved in? Were some appliances missing, causing you to have to install new ones? Since you’re officially living there now, take a minute to ensure everything is hooked up and functioning correctly throughout the house. Any strange noises or smells? Water leaks? Have them checked out by a professional right away!
3. Get comfortable
Ask yourself: What absolutely must be done now, and what can wait? As exciting as this new lifestyle is, it will take some getting used to. Think about all the new expenses you have now, versus before. And the fact that you didn’t just want to get into the new house — you plan on staying there for a while. The best way to ensure that is to be smart with your money and take your time making this new place your home. Upgrading your master bathroom can wait until you’ve saved up for it. And adding on that deck doesn’t have to be something you do this year. Simply ensure you’re comfortable in your new home. The extra projects will happen. The new items will come. And they’ll be that much more exciting when you can easily afford them.
4. Get thrifty with your décor
Now that you’ve gotten the boring stuff out of the way, it’s time to get excited about adding your personal touch to the home. But how can you do that when your funds are running low? Open your mind to the idea that not everything has to be brand new — just new to you. Have your in-laws been talking about switching out their dining room chandelier? Tell them you’ll take it off their hands! Have your friends been talking about getting together for a group garage sale when the weather gets warmer? See if you can get a sneak peek of the items that they’re wanting to part with. And don’t hesitate to take advantage of all those resale groups online. You can find some incredible items in excellent condition at a fraction of the retail cost. No one will ever know the difference!