Post # 1
We just signed all the documents needed to put our first offer on potentially our first home. We are so close I can see the finish line….and I’m starting to see glimmers of what’s after the finish line, too. It’s raising questions like what then? Neither of us grew up in a home so I am feeling like a fish out of water. Is there a guide I can buy ? Haha. But seriously…I’m thinking is there a book I can buy (like wedding planning 101) that goes over what I should do after closing? For example change locks, change address etc etc?
Post # 2
Congrats! We just bought our first home this spring. Definitely make sure to update your address-not just the post office but work, bank, credit cards, driver’s license, etc. Also set up autopay on all of your utilities. We were so wrapped up in buying furniture and general home excitement that we totally forgot to pay our first month’s mortgage!
Post # 3
You should ask your Realtor. I am a Realtor, and I have a template that I cut and paste in to an email for Buyers before completion. I tweak it a bit for each one, but it’s basically the same for everyone. It covers it all and has contact info for all the utility companies, insurance, Locksmiths, HOA if applicable, etc. Plus some extras like snow clearing companies, landscapers.
Post # 4
Get the book The Virgin Homeowner! I have a friend who gave me a copy when I was buying my first home. It’s a complete guide to surviving your first home and has so many great tips and explains the various systems of a house. It’s wonderful!
Post # 5
Not to be a downer, but my first tip is to not get too excited just yet. Offers get rejected all the time, inspections fail, financing falls through, etc. I didn’t let myself get excited until I was standing in the house with keys in hand. Then I worried about the rest. Good luck!
Post # 6
wedding2017 : change the locks, for sure
Get some estimates on anything that you know will need work, so you can start saving up for those repairs.. if nothing, even better haha.
My husband and I allocate some money to our house fund each month. Furniture, upgrades, and repairs come out of that account. That way if/when we need to repair our sewer line or whatever we have money set aside for it. The first few months we burned through that budget as quickly as we put it aside (buying curtains, furniture, etc..) but now we have a decent little lump sum for whatever happens..
As a PP said though.. a lot happens between putting in an offer and closing. I hope it all goes smoothly, for you! If you didn’t do a pre inspection make sure you get a GOOD inspection. Our inspector definitely made some mistakes and luckily it worked out (some stuff he missed was costly but other stuff he thought would be costly wasnt actually a problem so it was a wash) but if he hadn’t made mistakes in both directions we easily could hhav e been looking at $10-20k more in costs than we had budgeted for.
Post # 8
Change locks, look at space for furniture if you’re furnishing bigger areas like we did, we painted while it was empty, and tons of little things will have to be done unless it’s in perfect condition. Almost all the doors were missing door stops, needed a sliding door screen, new locks, garage openers as there were none, new flooring, had to replace some outlet covers, deep cleaning needed to be done so lots of cleaning supplies. Had to buy appliances but had to make sure they fit. Everything adds up so make sure you have funds set aside to pay for everything unless you already have big ticket things. We spent 10k on everything. It goes very quickly too.
Post # 9
As others have said, be prepared for the costs. You’ve probably thought a lot about the mortgage, and probably added in property taxes and homeowner’s insurance. (Be prepared for your property taxes to increase, as well…) PMI if you’ve put less than 20% down.
Maybe you’ve planned to set aside some money for upkeep, but maybe you haven’t thought about it yet. Often people say 1% of the purchase price annually, sometimes 2 or 3%. But it really depends on your circumstances. I’ve spent nearly 4% annually in the first three years, because of one major upgrade (HVAC) and the realities of acreage upkeep (including buying a lot of new tools). Probably we’ll keep paying much more than 1% on average, because we need to maintain a well, a septic tank, and we want to upgrade various things.
I would try to set aside 3-4% of your purchase price for annual maintenance, until you’re several years in and have a better handle on what you and your property needs.
Post # 10
- Wedding: August 2017 - Orange County, CA
wedding2017 : Change the locks! The first weekend we were in our new home a woman tried to open our door at 2 am. She said she was “looking for her uncle.” Our neighborhood is gated and safe, so it was more odd than scary, but still!
Also! Don’t decorate all at once! I wanted to go out and buy furnishings/decor for all the rooms that first month, haha, but Darling Husband talked me down and it’s so much nicer to collect pieces over time (way less expensive too!)
Post # 11
Is your home brand new? If not, get yourselves one of those “covers it all” home insurance policies. They cover things like the fridge, stove, a/c and heating units, water heater, washer, dryer, that type of thing. Not very expensive for the coverage.
When I bought my first as a single mom, (a condo), the Seller had put that one year policy in as an incentive for Buyers I guess. Well, lo and behold about 4 months in, the air conditioner went out and it was 100% covered. It was hundreds of dollars (in 1988, so yeah, it was a LOT). I was so relieved to have had it.
Now not for long term, you need to have savings but when you inherit those a/c and heating units especially they are so costly to have repaired. Since the buying of the home can put a dent in your monies, you should consider it.
Our daughter and SIL have always put one any home they buy and have always come out way ahead cuz something always breaks.