Buying a house is a life-changing decision. On the one hand, it’s a huge commitment that requires a significant investment. But, on the other hand, it’s also a dramatic change in responsibilities. If you’ve been a tenant all your adult life, becoming a homeowner means that, for the first time, you’ll be the one in charge when something breaks. Being in charge wouldn’t be so stressful if you didn’t have to face unexpected hurdles when you first move in.
Question N°1: Have you saved enough?
First of all, you have to be realistic. When you first visited the house, it’s fair to say that the then owners did everything they could to make the place look appealing, including quick repair jobs. In other words, you should expect a few things to require fixing or replacing. Even if the previous owners took the best care of the place, the process of moving could also lead to potential damages. In other words, it’s a good idea to consider additional costs when you’re applying for a mortgage loan. If you have unexpected extra expenses, you can also consider a quick loan solution. But as a rule of the thumb, you need to calculate potential renovation and repair costs in your mortgage.
Question N°2: Can you fix it by yourself?
Not everything that breaks requires professional skills to be fixed. If you have some DIY knowledge and the appropriate tools, you can get to repair a lot of things at home without breaking the bank. If you’re not familiar with DIY home maintenance, it’s a good idea to brush up your skills with a weekend course to better understand how to maintain your property. Simple skills such as changing electrical sockets or removing blockage from the sink can be a life-saver.
It’s the first of many
Breathe in. Breathe out. And remind yourself that it’s in the nature of things to break. It doesn’t mean you should give up all hopes on your homeownership journey or that you took a terrible decision when you purchased the home. As the saying goes, sh*t happens. You can’t prevent all breakage or home incident, but you can get familiar with the most common issues in a property. Reading about the typical risks can also make you aware of the first signs of troubles so that you can tackle small hurdles before they turn into a costly obstacle.
The more you invest, the more you get out of it
Last, but not least, your home is an investment. When you decide to delay repair to save money, you are putting your investment at risk. The more you put into your home, the more likely you are to enjoy a positive return, both in term of satisfaction and value if you decide to sell the house at a later point. In fact, increasing the value of the home is the main reason for investing in home improvements. In short, the hurdle is an opportunity in disguise.
In conclusion, a word of warning for all homeowners: things will get wrong. But, more often than not, you can manage most issues in no time. Besides, the money you put into turning your house into a home is never a wasted investment.
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