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What To Know About Owning Your First Home

Moving into your own home can be a euphoric experience. You’ve finally got a roof over your head that you’re not renting, which means you can finally decorate how you want and even get a dog or two! And why stop there? You can take a wall out, you can convert the loft, you can design and landscape the garden, you can really do whatever you want!

But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, as we’re sure you already knew. However, we want to make sure you’re not in for a rude awakening here either! After all, your first home is going to be a lot of work, with long nights spent doing maintenance jobs, renovating, decorating, unpacking, and then settling in properly. 

And once that’s all over, you may find you hate the way you’ve set up the living room! Not to mention just how expensive your first monthly bills may be too! So let’s go through some big (and small) things you should know about right now. Before you get stuck in and make a big mess of your new place, it’ll be good to have some expert advice on your side. 

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Set Up Your Security Straight Away

You’re in a new house in a new neighborhood, and it’s going to take some time before you get to know what it’s like to live there. This means you need to set up for security so you keep an eye on your property for the first couple weeks. 

First of all, change the locks - you can never be sure who’s got a spare key and could let themselves in at any time. Secondly, get a camera doorbell and a motion light installed outside your front door. 

Both can act as deterrents for people looking to intrude, but if you do run into any trouble, you’ll have something to both warn them off and provide evidence to the police if need be. And never forget to hook up the alarm indoors either - don’t put it off, do it right away!

Look Over Your Contents Insurance Policy

You should have one set up and ready to go from the day you move in, but double check what’s included on it. You may have bought a few new things to go in the new house, and these may need to be manually entered into the coverage, as they may not be included under the typical ‘valuable items’ clause. 

You can also pay a bit more to ensure your items are covered in case they get broken accidently. During a move this is a likely possibility, and beyond that if you're thinking about pets now you’re in your own home. But don’t rush; take some time to think about what’s right for your situation and ensure that’s reflected in the policy you take out. 

Get Signed Up for Medical Care in the Next Couple Days

If you’ve moved to an entirely new area, you’ll have to sign up to a new primary care office. Do this within the first couple days of moving in, as you never know when you’ll need to make an appointment out of the blue. 

Of course, any emergencies can be taken straight to the ER, but if you’ve picked up a sniffle after moving in or you’ve pulled a back muscle from moving boxes around, don’t let yourself suffer for too long. Get on the patient list early to get medication on time! 

It’s Best to Immediately Start Filling the Saving Pot Again

A move is expensive, and that's something no one could dispute. Indeed, you’ve probably already drawn up a budget to help you cope in the first couple months while your bank account returns to normal. But have you included your savings pot on the spreadsheet too? 

You’re going to need some spare money now you’re a homeowner, so try to funnel away around $20 a week for the next 3 months - you’ll thank yourself for it later if you need a repair done! 

You’ll Have to Do a Lot More DIY Than You Think!

So you better have some basic skills! If you don’t, take a couple hours to brush up with some video tutorials. Once you’ve got some expert tips in your head, go round your house and check for issues with the structure. 

And these can be numerous, so get down on your hands and knees to double check the pipes, skirting boards, floor boards, and even the exterior foundation. If you notice any warning signs, you may have to break your toolbox out. 

Some repairs will be easier than others, of course. A crack in the plaster is just a patch job! But if you’re really not sure about your current skills in water line repair and you don’t want to run the risk of breaking the house further, call in a professional. Or feel free to phone up your dad if he seems to always know what’s going on! 

It’s a Good Idea to Declutter and Sell

Moving house is the perfect time to go through what you own and get rid of the dead weight. Old clothes, old crockery you don’t like anymore, a bit of heirloom jewellery you never wear - take pictures of them all and put them online to sell. 

Make sure they’re in good condition to get the best price, and then pop all that money back into your savings pot. It’s a very approachable way to rebuild your finances at this point in life! 

Buying your own home is something to celebrate, but don’t go too crazy before you’ve sorted everything out! So remember, budget first, then security and protection, then whip round to check for leaks and cracks, and then start trying to save up again. And if you’ve got some old stuff you can sell second hand, the more the better! Then you can relax and be proud of all the hard work you've done to get to this position. 

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