- Buying a home can change your finances in many ways.
- It's important to rethink your budget accordingly and make sure your newfound expenses don't land you in debt.
Check these items off your list after you sign that mortgage.
So you've signed your mortgage, gotten your keys, and moved into your newly purchased home. Congrats! Buying a home is a big undertaking, especially in today's market. But it's important to take a few key steps immediately afterward to start off homeownership on the right foot. If you've recently purchased a home or are buying one this year, here are three items to put on your list.
1. Revise your budget
Once you purchase a home, your monthly bills might start to look different. Not only will you have your mortgage to pay, but you'll also have to account for things like property taxes and homeowners insurance. Plus, your utility costs might increase if your current home is larger than the last one you lived in.
That's why it's important to sit down and set up a new budget -- one that accounts for your various expenses and leaves you with enough room to cover them. You may end up having to cut back in some spending categories to free up cash to keep up with homeownership, but you're better off doing that than racking up unhealthy debt.
2. Order repairs and renovations by priority
Unless you're talking about new construction, there's a good chance you'll have a list of repairs and renovations you want to tackle to make your new home more comfortable and attractive. But rather than just dive in, take some time to order those items by priority.
Chances are, you only have limited funds to work with, especially if you recently spent a lot of money to move and put a down payment on your home. You'll need to make sure the items you're tackling first are the ones that will have the most impact.
Also, as a general rule, it's a good idea to put repairs before renovations. This especially holds true if postponing those repairs could lead to more extensive -- and expensive -- problems down the line.
Incidentally, you will need to know how you're paying for your various repairs and renovations. If you have leftover money in savings, that works, but if not, you may need to research options for borrowing affordably.
3. Figure out how you'll furnish your space
If you're upsizing when buying a home, there's another expense you'll need to grapple with -- furniture. As is the case with repairs and renovations, take the time to set priorities. If you can't furnish your entire living space at once, focus on the areas that will get the most use, like your kitchen, living room, and main bedrooms.
Tempting as it may be to get your home furnished quickly, you don't want to rack up too much debt in the process. If that means waiting a few months to buy a couch for your den and a dresser for your guest bedroom, so be it.
Buying a home is an exciting milestone. Make these key moves afterward to start that adventure off right.
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