10 Things First Time Home Buyers Should Know - But Usually Don’t
May 15, 2014 by Tricia L
First time home buyers are faced with a lot of decisions in a short amount of time. Once you own the house, however, you’re often faced with even more: do I remodel the kitchen first, or convert the garage? Do I need multiple home inspections, or is one sufficient?
That’s why we’ve created this list of 10 things first time home buyers should know – before, during, and after their purchase – to help you make your new home your own.
From Home Inspections through Home Renovations, Here’s What You Need to Know
If you’re just starting out in the home buying process, there are some important things to remember. Did you know?
- Home inspections aren’t required – but you want one anyway. Almost all first time home buyers look for ways to lower the initial costs of buying a home. But cutting out home inspections is a bad idea. An insured and experienced inspector can find potential problems that may not be noticeable to a buyer, such as roof damage, hidden mold or weakened support beams. A proper inspection could be the difference between a fresh coat of paint and thousands of dollars in home renovation costs. It’s extremely wise to pay a little more and have a builder / contractor walk through the house with home inspection agency you hire before purchasing as well. The experience and Knowledge a Builder / Contractor brings to the table can save you thousands, and we mean thousands in the long run. Buy with Power and proper representation, hire a home inspection agency as well as a Builder / Contractor. Here at Center Island Contracting Inc. we have helped new homebuyers to buy with confidence.
- You may be stuck with (or without) appliances. When you buy a home, your contract should list which appliances will be left with the house – but sometimes, sellers will leave more than expected. Make sure your contract is specific about which appliances you’re willing to keep, so you’re not stuck with a faulty fridge or a bunch of broken small appliances.
- Your roof and windows matter. If possible, find out how long the windows and the roof have been in place. You could find yourself with “hidden” home renovation costs if the lifespan of your roof or windows is near its end.
- Pools require separate inspections. If you dream of summer pool parties but you’re buying your home in the winter, you could find yourself with more hidden home renovation costs. If you can find someone who does pool and home inspections (as opposed to one or the other), you may save yourself time and money.
- Think carefully before you buy an “as is” house. An “as is” house can be a home remodeling dream – or a nightmare. Make sure you’ve looked at the structure of the home before you purchase it, lest your home renovation costs skyrocket unexpectedly.
Once you’ve signed on the dotted line, it’s time to start looking at which home remodeling projects are at the top of your list. Many first-time home buyers make the mistake of working on the “visible” projects first, such as fresh paint or buying new furniture. Those things are important, but here are a few things you should know first:
- New locks lower your insurance premiums. Replace all your locks first, even if you can’t replace your doors. Install deadbolts, too, and you’ll see a nice dip in your homeowner’s insurance.
- New windows and a new roof will also lower your premiums. Call some contractors for estimates for a new roof, new windows or new siding. You may get a discount if you do some of them together, and you may see another drop in your insurance rates.
- Landscape design increases your property value. It also increases your ROI if you decide to sell your home in a few years.
- Solar power = tax credits. Installing solar panels may increase your home renovation costs, yes, but you’ll get that money back in the end. Most solar panels end up paying for themselves because of electricity refunds, too.
- Start a slush fund for pet projects. After your pool and home inspections are done, figure out which projects can wait and which need to be finished first. Start a fund for the projects that can wait, so that you can afford to buy what you want once your renovations are finished. You’ll save time and money if you do.
First time home owners have a wide learning curve, and that’s okay. At Center Island Contracting, we can help you plan out your projects so you end up with the home of your dreams. Give us a call at 631-465-9765 or fill out our contact form for an estimate on your home improvement projects.