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Monday, August 8, 2016

List: Ten things every future homeowner should know before making a purchase.

**Updated August 2020**

We just passed our 4 year anniversary as homeowners.  We celebrated with a glass of wine and conversation about how far we've come.  Thank goodness for the wine because it helped us laugh at our mistakes!

We prepared the best we could, but it's nearly impossible to prepare for the real thing.  We took note of all the advice from every wise homeowner we knew.  We saved and built a little nest egg to use in the case of an emergency.  We even paid for classes to prepare us professionally!  

Trust me when I say that no matter how well you prepare something unexpected will happen.  This post will hopefully help prepare you for the possibility of some of those unexpected treats most homeowners go through.


what you need to know before buying a house

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Ten pieces of advice for a future homeowner.


1.  Your nest egg and savings are two different things.
As things happen, you may take from your savings.  Your nest egg should always be full.  In other words, your nest egg is for an emergency, not to replace the gutters.  Don't spend on luxury items or improvements at the expense of your nest egg.

2.  Invest in a full area instead of one part of it.
Things are too expensive to not do it right the first time.  For example, avoid the temptation to buy the pretty couch until you can afford to redo the entire living room.

Idea:  Instead of making large purchases or doing large projects, invest in neutral decor that fits your taste like this fabulous pearl colored mosaic wall clock.  It's neutral enough to go with any decor yet tasteful enough to make a statement about your style.

3.  There is no reason to do everything right away.
It may take 10, 20, or 30 years to get the entire house to your liking and that's totally OK!  It took us over 6 months of living in our first house before we could afford to invest a penny into making it our style.

4.  Don't binge on trinkets to decorate your home.
Between gifts, picking up souvenirs on your travels, and window shopping, trinkets will come to you.  If you binge buy trinkets on moving day, you'll be sick of them and living like a hoarder by year 5.

Idea:   Like mentioned above, focus on neutral yet fabulous pieces that could go anywhere.  Ask yourself "Does think make a statement?  Is it functional?  Does it look like an impulse buy?  Will I regret this purchase later?".  For example, this is an investment and this is an obvious impulse buy.

5.  You shouldn't be working just to live in a house you own.
Make sure you can afford to own a home and still enjoy your life with vacations and the occasional night out.  Owning a home becomes old real fast when that's all you can afford to do.

6.  Wait 3 months until making any large purchases.
Take time to live in the home before deciding what's most important to you.  For example, I wish I knew about the bug issue or the electrical problem in our home before we invested in other things.  Now we either dig into our savings to fix them or live with only one appliance running at a time while squishing ants.

7.  There is a such thing as ground bees.
Look up ground bees before getting stung by a swarm of insects while innocently ripping out weeds.  I don't know who needs to hear this, but it's better than learning the hard way.

8.  There will always be something to fix.
Every time you think that you covered everything, another problem to solve will pop up.  If it isn't the house, something will go wrong with the car.  Be prepared to need to fix a minimum of one to two things at all times.

Idea:  To save money on repairs, invest in a starter tool set like this.  You're not handy so you think it's a waste of money?  Come back when you're strapped for cash, don't have time to wait for a repair man, or just want to hang up a shelf so you can tell me you changed your mind.  Besides, there's always our favorite teacher for home repair and maintenance - YouTube!

9.  Save everything until you know you won't use it.
Don't throw anything away before you move because you don't know what you'll need in the house.  I know it may tempting to toss stuff so that it's less to move, but avoid the temptation.

10.  Invite guests despite the condition of your home.
Your house will never be perfect in your eyes.  Don't avoid house guests because of silly imperfections.  YOU JUST BOUGHT A HOME!!  Be proud and show it off no matter what condition it's in.

What did you learn as a homeowner?

7 comments :

  1. I don't think I will ever live to become a homeowner!
    House does need a lifelong fixing... always...

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  2. Great advice as always Jax! When you redo one room, suddenly all the others look old and tired. It's a never, ending cycle.

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  3. #5 sooooo many get into and then they work and work and work and can't enjoy it. Screw that. Yep, always something to fix indeed.

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  4. This is super good advice. I've always entertained the idea of buying a home (now more seriously) but there's something about the responsibility that holds me back

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  5. I think many upsell themselves on houses. Never buy the house your bank tells you can afford. Always go lowers

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love your definition of nest egg! We'll be discussing it tonight after dinner...with dessert to make it taste better!

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