Becoming a homeowner indicates that you’ve reached a certain solid level of financial security, something that is usually a cause for celebration and happiness. If you’re a first-time homeowner, you may think that you’ve already figured out the hard part. You navigated the home loan paperwork, figured out the difference between various mortgage options and bought a home for you and your family members to thrive in.
The truth is, though, that the party is just getting started. Sure, you’ve acquired your home, but you still have to care for it and make sure you’re using it in the most lucrative way possible. After all, your new home isn’t just a roof over your head—it’s a financial tool as well. Now that you’re building equity in your home, you can take other aspects of your life to the next level. If your interest is piqued, keep reading for some tips every homeowner should bear in mind.
1. Get all your insurance coverages in order.
When you were a renter, you may have had renter’s insurance to cover your valuables in case of a dire event. Now that you own property, you need homeowners insurance as well. The specifics of your coverage will depend on where you’re living. For example, homeowners in the Florida Keys will need hurricane coverage, but someone in a new home in Southern California will want coverage for earthquakes.
While you’re figuring out homeowners insurance, be sure to look at life insurance and health insurance as well. Now that you’ve taken on the financial responsibility of a mortgage (likely for the next 30 years or so), you want to make sure that you’re not opening yourself and your family members up to any financial devastation due to some extreme event.
Life insurance will cover your beneficiaries in the case of your passing, while health insurance will keep you covered for unexpected and costly medical treatments you may need. Health insurance isn’t straightforward—it can be a knotty mess to figure out, even when you’re just navigating the difference between Medicare and private health insurance. The information differs from state to state, but you can read up on the nitty-gritty of health insurance on most state government websites, as well as useful blogposts. Of course, you’ll want to do your due diligence on life insurance as well by reading up on the difference between stepped vs level premiums before committing to a life insurance policy.
2. Consider delivery services for home basics.
When you’re a renter, you bounce from one apartment to the next all the time. Now that you know where you’ll be located for a few years, you can set up some services to make your life easier. For example, a home water delivery company can take care of your beverage needs without you having to give it a second thought. Fresh spring water delivered right to your front door, in water bottles or a water dispenser, whatever you prefer. That’s one way to make sure that you and your family members are drinking the best quality water out there. Consider signing up for subscriptions for pet food, baby products, and anything else you need on a regular basis as well.
3. Make a calendar to keep up on regular maintenance tasks.
Being a homeowner comes with lots of responsibilities. You need to keep the roof in good repair, the gutters cleared, and the structural beams sound. How can you keep up with it all? Make some recurring events on your calendar that will remind you to switch out the HVAC filters every six months, clean the gutters every fall, and have the roof inspected every spring. Add to those calendar events the names and numbers of trusted contractors you can call to do the tasks. Streamline your maintenance to take that load off of your shoulders.
4. Put your space to work generating passive income for you.
Your home costs you a pretty penny, but it can also make you money. There are plenty of businesses you can start from home, and if you work from home you may be eligible for tax deductions for the space you use as an office. Consider blogging, selling crafts on Etsy, and even renting out a spare room on Etsy to get some passive income from your home.