For many people, their own home will be the single biggest purchase they will make in a lifetime. Between finding the perfect property and the nerve-racking process of applying for a home loan, finally getting that key to your brand-new home will feel like a huge victory.
However, having a place you call your own is as big of a responsibility as it is a victory. From now on, you will be responsible for all maintenance and renovation works that will transform your new house into a home. But in doing that, you are bound to make mistakes along the way, and some are more expensive than others.
Here are some of the costliest mistakes new homeowners make when they should be avoided — at all costs.
Skimping On Contractors
Builders, interior designers, landscape engineers, plumbers, electricians — these are the people who will make your new home a perfectly livable place. Before you try to save a quick buck by paying for less than the best contractors for the job, think of what will happen to your precious new home when a pipe bursts open while you’re at work or when faulty wiring sparks a fire when you’re not around to control the damage.
The possible tradeoff from a botched job will always be exponentially greater than what you’ll ever pay for a highly capable contractor to do the job properly in the first place.
Failing To Weather-Proof The Home
Instead of being cozy and romantic, your first winter at your new house could easily turn into a disaster if you overlook weatherizing the home. Leaky ducts unsealed doors and windows, and a broken roof can all cause your power bills to skyrocket in the winter, not to mention make you vulnerable to uncomfortable cold drafts when the snow starts falling.
Generally, all you need is an energy audit before the cold months come creeping in to be sure that your home is ready to weather the snowstorm without giving you bill shock.
Spending Too Much On Solar Panels
Speaking of power bills, another costly mistake homeowners make, no matter how well-natured, is spending a fortune on solar panel systems. It’s never a bad idea to seek more renewable power sources for your new home, but you at least have to be aware that there are many ways to harness solar energy without panels.
A community solar project, for one, will save you a lot of money by allowing you to utilize solar energy without all the hassle of buying, installing, and maintaining your solar paneling at home.
Going All Out On Grass Lawns
Having a grass lawn will always seem like an amazing idea — until you get your water bills after leaving those sprinklers on for hours on end, week after week. To avoid all these extra water costs, new homeowners should truly familiarize themselves with the benefits of using artificial grass.
For one, it needs little to no maintenance and is less vulnerable to hostile elements, foot traffic, and extreme weather. They don’t even need fertilizer or weedkillers, so you won’t have to worry about accidentally poisoning your kids or your pets whenever they play out in the garden.
Too Much DIY
New homeowners think they’re smart with money by doing everything they can at home, may it be as simple as cleaning your hardwood floors or semi-foundational renovation work. As discussed earlier, though, haphazard work can only lead to more problems and expenses in the future.
While it’s good to improve on your handyman skills, even just for your gain, you still need another pair of professional eyes even if it’s to check if your work is good enough and will stand the test of time.
Going On A Furnishing Spree
The fastest way for homeowners to get knee-deep in debt is by going on a furnishing spree as soon as they get the keys to their new house. Understandably, you might want to fill up your new house ASAP, but you have to be smart with your money as a new homeowner.
First, try to bag some good deals from flea markets and furniture discount stores since you’re going to need to find your financial footing first in terms of paying your bills on top of a mortgage. You can always upgrade these later when you’re more stable as a homeowner.
As with most things, your instinct will still be the perfect compass to rely on while navigating your new status as a property owner. Always avoiding the mistakes discussed in this article should be a great start with that. Congratulations on your new home.