Don't make these new homeowner mistakes

Owning your first home is a huge milestone and something to be proud of. Apart from paying the mortgage, there are lots of other responsibilities that come with being a homeowner.

Whether your dream home is brand new or needs a bit of work done, here are some common mistakes that you don’t want to make.

  • Rushing interior decor
    Injecting your personality into your space is a fun aspect that most homeowners look forward to. However, it is important to remember that you are probably going to be living in your new home for a while – so there is no need to rush the decorating. Instead, take your time when deciding what furniture to buy and what colour to paint the walls. Giving yourself adequate time to thoroughly think through the décor will mean fewer changes (and costs) down the road!
  • Not handling the small stuff
    You may be tempted to let some of the smaller fixes in your home go unattended to for a while, especially if you have some major renovations to tackle. However, even the small things can add up quickly, so be sure to prioritise your maintenance. For example, a leaky toilet or tap can become a major problem if you aren’t careful, costing you thousands of rands in water bills, and could also leave your home or the contents of your home with serious water damage.
  • Not tending to the outside
    It’s quite easy to leave the exterior of your house for later while you concentrate on the interiors. Keep in mind that the outside of your home needs proper care as well. Depending on the time of year, the outside of the home may need cleaning up (for example, lawn care and cleaning the gutters). It is also a good idea to have a well-maintained outdoor entertainment area for those long summer days.
  • Underestimating your DIY budget
    With all the materials and tools you’re going to have to buy (not to mention time spent) many homeowners completely underestimate how much little DIY projects will cost them. Make sure you take the time to figure out exactly how much it’ll cost to do it yourself. It may well be cheaper - or equally as costly to bring in a professional.
  • Knowing which jobs are not DIY projects
    From painting, to decorating, to filling small holes in the wall, there are many jobs that you can do yourself. However, there are some projects that are better left to a professional. These include: electrical works, plumbing, structural works and insulation.

    This is because these jobs require specific skills, materials and tools - and can be really dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing! These could also lead to very expensive repairs down the road. If you’re uncertain about how to approach any home project, call a professional for their opinion and a quote.

Don’t forget to call your insurer!

Any upgrade that could affect the value of your home, may also affect your policy. This is because the value of your house can increase in relation to the type and extent of the renovations that you make. So don’t forget to update your policy, or keep your insurer in the loop.

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