The New Homeowner's Guide to Domestic Bliss

After months of looking for a house, you’ve finally found your dream home, and your offer has been accepted. Congratulations! For many, becoming a homeowner is a memorable achievement that's rivalled by "life" milestones like graduating or buying your first car. Becoming a homeowner is one of the most significant financial investments anyone will ever make. For this reason, it's particularly important for new homeowners to start off this exciting experience on the right foot. 

Here are five essential tips to make your first home ownership experience one to remember: 

Keep All Your Important Paperwork in a Safe Place 

As a new homeowner, you're most likely going to buy furniture and appliances, with many of your items still under warranty. Make sure you keep all receipts and warranty paperwork in a folder that you can easily search and find them whenever necessary. You could also scan this paperwork and save it to your computer’s hard drive, the cloud or  a memory stick. The ink on receipts tends to fade, and when you need to return a faulty item or claim for warranty, the slip might turn out to be blank, rendering your proof of purchase worthless. 

Choose Your Home Insurance Provider Carefully 

Finding the right home insurance is one of the most important things you can do as a new homeowner. The ideal home insurance policy should offer financial protection from structural damage due to fire, theft, water, wind and storms. Like any other major financial commitment, it's a good idea to shop around for a while before making a choice. Finding an insurer is as easy as looking for insurance quotes online; you may even receive cashback rewards for doing things online. 

Have an Emergency Fund 

As a homeowner, you should be prepared for any unexpected and costly problems that might arise. These problems could include your geyser bursting, electricity or plumbing problems and issues with pests. Unfortunately, fixing these problems can be expensive, which is why it's helpful to have a safety net set up to pay for these types of unforeseen problems.  

Do a Renovation Audit 

Your house isn't likely to remain in the condition you bought it in forever. You're going to want to make some changes and make your house feel more like a home, which takes work! If you want to make changes to your home, it's best to take it one project at a time instead of carrying out a massive renovation in one go. This way, you'll have the opportunity to save money and pay for projects as you go. It's also helpful to first live in your house for a while to see which changes really need to be made, and whether making them would be conducive to your lifestyle.  

Focus on the Right Improvements 

In addition to taking as much time as you need with home projects, it's also wise to focus on the improvements that will yield the most return on investment. These projects include kitchen updates, paint jobs, bathroom remodels and garage extensions. Remember that if you do work on improvements or renovations which increase the value of your house, that your buildings insurance should reflect this too. Construction taking place at your house may increase your risk profile – so keep your insurer informed of the changes you’re making (or have already made)! 

Moving into your own house is a major milestone for many people, and a big achievement in life. Take the right tips to ensure your transition to a homeowner is as seamless as possible.

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