You’ve signed the papers, paid the movers and the new place is starting to feel like home. Game over, right? Not quite. Homeownership costs extend beyond down payments and monthly mortgage payments. Let’s now examine some final tips to make life as a new homeowner more fun and secure.
1. Keep saving.
With homeownership comes major unexpected expenses, like replacing the roof or getting a new water heater. Start an emergency fund for your home so that you won’t be caught off-guard when these costs inevitably arise.
2. Perform regular maintenance.
With the large amount of money you’re putting into your home, you’ll want to make sure to take excellent care of it. Regular maintenance can decrease your repair costs by allowing problems to be fixed when they are small and manageable.
3. Ignore the housing market.
It doesn’t matter what your home is worth at any given moment except the moment when you sell it. Being able to choose when you sell your home, rather than being forced to sell it due to job relocation or financial distress, will be the biggest determinant of whether you will see a solid profit from your investment.
4. Don’t rely on making a killing on your home to fund your retirement.
Even though you own a home, you should still continue to save the maximum in your retirement savings accounts each and every year. Although it may seem hard to believe for anyone who has observed the fortunes some people made during the housing bubble, you won’t necessarily make a killing when you sell your house. If you want to look at your home as a source of wealth in retirement, consider that once you’ve paid off your mortgage, the money that you were spending on monthly payments can be used to fund some of your living and medical expenses in retirement.