Lifestyle

5 Mistakes You’ll Probably Make When You Buy Your First Home

Written by Chloe Harwood

So, you’ve finally taken the plunge and got yourself a mortgage. Congratulations! It’s a wonderful experience to own your home, and we hope you enjoy every last second. But, before you get carried away, we thought we would put the brakes on a little. You see, there are some common mistakes that many new homeowners make when they first move into their new property. Check out our guide and make sure you don’t join that particular club.

You take the DIY ethic too far

OK, so when most people move into their first home, a lot of thoughts enter their minds about making improvements. This is a good thing – but you can take it too far. For example, there are a lot of places in your house that you just shouldn’t mess with. The plumbing, for instance. Or the electrics. Unless you are qualified to look at any of your new home’s internal workings, it’s best to hire in a professional. Also, try to avoid any improvements that are a little above your station, unless you already have plenty of experience. Start small and work up is always the best idea when it comes to DIY.

You don’t arrange maintenance

If this is your first home, there’s a lot more to think about than when you are renting. Everything is your responsibility alone. There will be nobody coming out to fix your air con or boiler when it breaks down unless they hand you a huge bill after. So, you need to arrange regular maintenance to reduce the risk of the enormous costs of getting replacements should they break down. Cannon Services are boiler specialists, and they recommend you have yours checked a minimum of twice a year. If little problems get spotted, they get fixed. If they don’t, it’s going to cost you.

You bought the wrong insurance

Insurance is an important component of your house, as much as you probably don’t like it. When it comes to choosing a policy, make sure you are covered for everything that you own, and all your needs. It can be heartbreaking to find out you have had the wrong insurance cover when disaster strikes, and you will have to face all those costs by yourself. Furthermore, it’s important to understand that insurance is not a one-time purchase. If your situation changes in any way, you will need to update your policy. That could be anything from buying a new stereo to getting a family dog. Make sure that you are covered and update whenever necessary. Finally, you should always compare your insurance with another cover when your contract period is about to finish. Switching plans can save you a significant amount of money.

You didn’t install alarms

Another bonus of renting a home is that your landlord is responsible for giving you alarms. By law, they have to give you smoke alarms and CO2 detectors, but when you are a homeowner, it’s solely down to you. Please don’t make the mistake of forgetting about it. Annoying as they are when you burn the toast, smoke alarms are your first line of defence if something were to happen. And if that occurs while you are all asleep, it will have dire consequences. Similarly, you should also get a CO2 alarm. They are cheap and easy to fit in, and could save your life. CO2 is colourless and doesn’t smell, and if there is too much of it in your home you have no way of knowing. Unless, of course, you have a CO2 detector.

You don’t do a full inspection

For the first year or so of living in your house, you should be making regular checks for damage and security problems. Why? Damp can be a huge issue, and you may not realise it until the rainy season starts. Similarly, cracks could get wider when the sun begins to beat down, and tiles can slip off the roof if there are high winds. You just can’t afford to trust the judgement of the previous owners, so you simply have to make your own checks. And, if your home isn’t secure, you don’t need us to tell you what might happen. It’s all your responsibility, now!

There are many mistakes that new homeowners can make. However, we feel that these five are the biggest ones to watch out for. It would be a shame for something to break because you meddled with it, didn’t have it checked or weren’t covered. And it would also be expensive. Get these three common mistakes dealt with before they become an issue.

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Chloe Harwood

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