Smart tips for new homeowners
Special to the Sun
Becoming a first-time homeowner is rewarding and exciting, but can be overwhelming when it comes to responsibilities and maintenance. Educating yourself about how to care for a home and yard, can make the process much less stressful, and can better prepare you for the tasks that need to be completed. Here are a few tips to get you started off on the right foot:
STAY ON TOP OF MAINTENANCE ISSUES
Neglecting maintenance issues that can put your family in danger or get worse over time, can turn a small problem into a major one. This is especially important when it comes to water leaks, electrical shorts, heating and air conditioning issues, and structural problems. Also, document reminders on your calendar for seasonal tasks, and also for regularly changing-out the furnace filter.
DON’T OVERSPEND ON FURNITURE AND IMPROVEMENTS
While it is exciting to personalize your new home, do not invest too much money in the beginning on furniture and remodeling. After you have been in your home for awhile, you may decide you have a better plan for the way you want to layout furniture and the interior. Also, this will give you time to adjust to your new monthly expenses, which may be a bit less or a bit more than you had been paying.
GET PROPERLY INSURED
Your mortgage lender requires that you not only purchase homeowners insurance, but also enough to fully replace the property in the event of a total loss. If you share your home with a spouse or other family member, it also is important to have life insurance with that person named as the beneficiary so he or she will not lose the house if something were to happen to you and/or the primary home owner.
MAKE A HOMEOWNERS JOURNAL
Storing all of your house information in one handy place makes life easier when you are trying to find instructions and/or important documents. This can be done electronically by scanning in documents and keeping everything in a folder on your computer; or by filing paper documents, receipts, etc. in a 3-ring binder.
SEEK HELP WITH YOUR TAX RETURN
Homeownership significantly changes most people’s tax situation and the deductions they are eligible to claim. Hiring a professional tax preparer or accountant is a worthwhile investment. Just getting your taxes done professionally for one year can give you a template to use in the future years if you prefer to do them yourself.
For more homeowner information or to find a licensed real estate professional, please contact the Sierra Nevada Association of REALTORS® at 775.885.7200 or http://www.snar.org. The Sierra Nevada Association of REALTORS is the voice of real estate in Carson City and the surrounding areas. They are committed to building better communities throughout the region, and participating in the political process to protect the industry as well as private property rights.
Steve Bohler is President of the Sierra Nevada Association of Realtors. Back in 2003, he opened his own real estate agency, Pinion Pines Realty, in Wellington, Nevada. Please feel free to contact Steve at 775-465-2653 or firstname.lastname@example.org.