Advice for first time homebuyer

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
whigrean
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:51 pm

Advice for first time homebuyer

Post by whigrean » Tue May 15, 2018 8:16 am

About to move into first home. Modest-sized single level (with finished basement) and two car garage single family home in upper Midwest.

Interested in any advice Bogleheads would impart on someone in my circumstance. Anything you wish you would have known/done or pitfalls to avoid in first 6-12 months of home ownership.

Any advice is much appreciated.

Cheers!

livesoft
Posts: 60434
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Advice for first time homebuyer

Post by livesoft » Tue May 15, 2018 8:27 am

keep the bathrooms clean even if it requires that you hire maids.
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

Silk McCue
Posts: 862
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2016 7:11 pm

Re: Advice for first time homebuyer

Post by Silk McCue » Tue May 15, 2018 8:33 am

Congratulations on your home purchase. With all the excitement that comes with buying your first house it can be very easy to lose track of how much you are spending on "stuff" that you are buying to fill up the house. My advice is just to be aware of this upfront so that you can keep it in check.

Cheers

dsmil
Posts: 550
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2009 10:51 am

Re: Advice for first time homebuyer

Post by dsmil » Tue May 15, 2018 8:58 am

I'd make sure that the major systems in the home are in working order before spending a ton of money on appearance upgrades. We immediately spent $10k on carpet and paint, and then realized that the roof was on it's last legs and that the home could use some insulation/sealing upgrades It might be good to live in the house a few months and see how the roof, gutters, hvac, plumbing, etc. are working and take care of any issues in those areas first. A home inspection can catch some obvious issues, but you'll notice things by living in the house that a home inspection won't catch.

barnaclebob
Posts: 2654
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:54 am

Re: Advice for first time homebuyer

Post by barnaclebob » Tue May 15, 2018 9:01 am

A dry house is a happy house. Keep water away from where its not supposed to be.

Use your new home owner motivation to tackle as many of the little projects as possible before the honeymoon period is over. I've still got the motivation for the big projects but haven't fixed a couple of vents that need better drywall anchors or one lose doorknob that I couldn't figure out how to tighten.

User avatar
lthenderson
Posts: 3061
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:43 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: Advice for first time homebuyer

Post by lthenderson » Tue May 15, 2018 9:03 am

Do as much cosmetic work before your boxes enter the door like painting, cleaning the carpet/floors, etc. It is much easier than shuffling things around. Also, when having lots of help or hiring someone, we labeled all our boxes with a name and sometimes a letter like Bedroom A, Bathroom B, etc. Then before we started moving things in we taped up signs labeling each room that way one of us didn't have to tell whomever was moving a box what room it went into. They looked at the label and knew.

CedarWaxWing
Posts: 480
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2014 12:24 pm

Re: Advice for first time homebuyer

Post by CedarWaxWing » Tue May 15, 2018 10:15 am

If you are still in the looking stages... get your own inspection done by someone you select and be there for the inspection. Ask questions during that inspection and make an effort to look into the things the inspection person says is not part of his job.

bombcar
Posts: 383
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 6:41 pm

Re: Advice for first time homebuyer

Post by bombcar » Tue May 15, 2018 1:55 pm

Whenever you need to fix something, if there is a tool that makes it easier, AND you think you will have to do it more than once, get the tool. It's not worth fighting the wrong tool, and if it saves the cost of hiring someone, it's worth it.

Get to know the neighbors, talk to them, learn about the area/neighborhood, which can all be useful information.

Do NOT avoid buying a tool if it will really help - for example, the number of people who move to Florida because of too much snow but refuse to buy a snowblower first amaze me.

bobolinx
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2011 8:44 am

Re: Advice for first time homebuyer

Post by bobolinx » Tue May 15, 2018 2:40 pm

Get the floors sanded and refinished, ceilings and walls painted. Make sure it is weather tight and the furnace/ac are working. It will be useful if you keep 5K aside to make minor repairs, or help with moving costs. Best!

goodlifer
Posts: 285
Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:50 pm

Re: Advice for first time homebuyer

Post by goodlifer » Tue May 15, 2018 3:02 pm

Congratulations on your first home!
The first thing to do is learn how to shut off the gas, electricity, and water to your house in case of emergency. Turning off a single toilet is easy, but a leaking pipe will ruin your finished basement. Get at least some basic tools: level, wrench, screwdriver set, measuring tape, flashlight, hammer, multimeter, maybe a ratchet set. To get an idea of what you need, think of what would cause major damage and make sure you have the supplies to fix it, like the sump pump breaking during a storm. I would also recommend a battery back up for the sump pump. Ask your neighbors if they know any good plumbers, electricians, landscapers, etc and put their info where you can find it easily. Keep extra furnace filters, and mark a calendar when they need to be replaced. Get to know your fuse box, and be sure to turn the fuse off when you are doing electrical work even if you don't think you need to. Live in your house for at least a few months before doing any remodeling, even if it is just paint. You might waste money on new paint and counter tops and then realize your kitchen layout just doesn't work for you.

whigrean
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:51 pm

Re: Advice for first time homebuyer

Post by whigrean » Tue May 15, 2018 4:05 pm

Thanks for all the great insight.

livesoft
Posts: 60434
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Advice for first time homebuyer

Post by livesoft » Tue May 15, 2018 5:32 pm

You already know where the main water shut-off valve is, right? And how to use it?
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

audioaxes
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:16 pm

Re: Advice for first time homebuyer

Post by audioaxes » Wed May 16, 2018 1:08 pm

paint the whole house before moving in. Much less hassle doing this with an empty house. Same goes with any flooring upgrades.
Remember to deduct the prorated property taxes (different from initial escrow front load) you pay during closing when tax season comes around if you itemize. This will most likely not be included on your 1098 from your mortgage company so you have to remember to pull out that closing statement and add it yourself.

Post Reply