It is the dream of many to someday own a home. Yet if you asked a lot of people who are either on their second or third house or perhaps even experienced a foreclosure before about what they wish they had known before taking on such a huge responsibility, some of the things that they'd probably tell you is one, they wish they had done more research on what it takes to be a homeowner and two, they wish they had been more financially prepared to be in that kind of situation.
Luckily, if you are reading this article, you can read about a few things that directly relate to money lessons for homeowners. That way, you can look back on your experience of having your own house as one of the best things you ever did rather than it being more like a "money pit" that you just happened to live inside of.
Don't get a house that you can't afford. Yeah, it probably seems simple enough but you'd be amazed how many people find themselves in dire straits simply because they avoided this one important tip. Affording a home is not just about having enough money to pay for your mortgage each month, but also things like your utilities, home association fees and of course, your property taxes. All of this needs to be factored in before purchasing a house.
Don't agree to buy a home without having it inspected yourself. It's one thing for the owner of the home to provide you with a list of things that the house you are planning to purchase needs. It's another matter entirely for you to hire your own home inspector to look the house over. You don't want to "sign on the dotted line" only to discover that the house has some major plumbing issues or that you need a new heat and air unit within a couple of months. So definitely have the house inspected first.
Don't overlook energy efficient additions. If you're already in your home and it's time to get some new windows, another toilet or perhaps some more kitchen appliances, don't go the "cheap route". Instead, look into buying some double-pane windows, a low-flush toilet and some Energy Star appliances. Not only will these kinds of additions lower your energy costs, but they can help to raise the value of your home as well.
Don't get shoddy homeowners insurance. It is required of every homeowner to insure their home. However, when shopping for the right kind of coverage online, you will see all kinds of websites with captions that tell you to click this link, all the while promising you a great rate. While having a discount is helpful, if there's any kind of insurance that you get that needs to be top rate, it needs to be homeowners insurance. You don't want to wait until a flood or your house is robbed to discover that you didn't get as good of a deal as you thought so spend a couple of hundred dollars more to get the better coverage.
Don't wait to make repairs. If you have some loose shingles on your roof, fix them quickly; don't wait until your ceiling is leaking. If a plumber says that you need some new pipes in the bathroom, get them replaced before they do further damage. Do you see some small cracks around your windows? Fill them up with caulking before more air leaks out. The moral to the story here is that the longer you wait to do a home repair, the more expensive and the bigger of a problem that it can become. So, try and get them fixed just as soon as possible. For your sake, your home's sake and your bank accounts sake too.