Of all the milestones we might have in life, buying a home is one of the most exciting.
However, it can come with challenges like everything worth our while.
Let’s explore the 4 most common and biggest mistakes people make when buying their new house!
Whether you’re just considering different choices or you’ve just bought your first home, these tips will help you in the entire process of making the most of your new purchase.
#1. Failing to plan an accurate budget
Budgeting is a life-saving skill, not to mention how useful it is in every situation. When it comes to buying a new house, this is essential.
Remember that the price of the house itself isn’t the only thing you have to pay. There are other procedures that have their own costs, like property taxes, insurance, maintenance fees, etc.
Once you have an idea of how much houses cost, research the market prices and budget as accurately as you can. It is also smart to leave some money for unexpected expenses you might have failed to consider.
Don’t overspend needlessly: think about the costs of keeping a house in good shape, compare it with renting, make a list of pros and cons… and add all of it to your budget.
This will help you avoid long-term financial issues.
To plan a good budget, take these factors into account:
- The cost of the mortgage: your budget should definitely prioritize this, and it’s reasonable to think that it can take up a big portion of your monthly expenses.
- Services: how much do electricity, water, gas, and internet cost? Research the costs and add them to the budget.
- Taxes you’ll have to pay on your future property: this varies greatly depending on your location and how much your house costs.
- Insurance for your house: protect your investment by making sure that you get paid if something happens. If you live in a tornado or hurricane area, this is essential.
- Repairs and house maintenance: this should also be considered in your budget. This way, if there’s an emergency, you can somewhat be prepared to fix things quickly. Nobody wants to spend their life savings on a leaking roof or a broken water pipe.
- Condo Maintenance fees (or HOA fees): if you have a homeowners association or if you live in a community, this has to go into your budget. You pay monthly fees, and you share some of the expenses with your neighbors.
- Commuting: how much does transportation cost in your new home? Is it well-connected to public transport, or is it located in a remote area?
- Household expenses: food, cleaning supplies, groceries in general. Add to this section the cost of your pet if you have one.
- Entertainment: consider budgeting for this as well because it can become a big portion of your monthly expenses.
- Savings: at least 10% of your income should go to savings, although some experts recommend making this 20%. In any case, this money can be destined for emergencies or improvements to your house.
This is a basic budget, but you can add or remove some categories to cater to your needs.
Make sure to review this budget frequently and assess your financial goals accordingly.
#2. Not paying attention to small issues
It’s easy to get caught in the enthusiasm of being able to buy a home.
Sometimes this means that people overlook issues that could become bigger in the future if they don’t address them right away.
Here are some examples:
- Water leaks;
- Electrical problems;
- Not enough insulation, especially in severe weather.
All these things might seem insignificant, but they are expensive to fix.
Don’t ignore these problems because they will get worse: a water leak can end up damaging your walls, the flooring, and even the foundations of your home!
If you live in the US, fixing water damage can range from $450 to $13,000 on average.
The same thing happens with electrical problems. Faulty wiring can lead to short circuits. This, in turn, can become a fire hazard, or it can damage your appliances.
Nobody wants to pay for a new, expensive fridge because it was fried with an overload of electricity.
To give you an idea, electrical repairs in the US have an average cost of $75 to $1,000.
Finally, if your future home doesn’t have enough insulation, don’t overlook it. Your energy bills will suffer, and you won’t be as comfortable financially as you could.
It can cost you from $3000 to $10,000 if you want to improve this situation. Even so, this type of expense is more of an investment.
Address every problem as soon as possible to avoid having to dip into your emergency savings.
#3. Not protecting your smart home
With the emergence of smart homes and intelligent devices, cybersecurity is a significant worry.
Unfortunately, a lot of new homeowners neglect to safeguard their smart homes against cyberattacks.
Hackers can infiltrate your home network by exploiting vulnerabilities in connected devices and endanger your privacy.
New homeowners may encounter these common security threats if they don’t take care of their home’s cybersecurity:
- Unauthorized Access: If you don’t safeguard your devices, hackers can easily enter and hijack them. They will control them remotely, and they can even steal personal information.
- Data Breaches: A lot of smart devices collects personal data: home security footage, credit card information, personal preferences, etc. If the system is compromised, this information can be exploited, and you’ll have to pay more to get things in order.
- Malware Infections: Anything that you connect to the internet can have a malware infection, including stuff like a smart fridge. These infections can come through dodgy links, emails, and even fake websites. Then, hackers can use your device to spread this malware or to spy on you.
- Privacy Invasion: Let’s move away from smart fridges for a second. Let’s say that you have a voice assistant or a security camera installed. Cybercriminals can spy on you and compromise your security if they penetrate these devices. Webcams, for example, are easily hacked even to this day.
- Device control: If you don’t secure your stuff, hackers can control it, harming you in the process. They can unlock your smart door lock or hijack your security system.
But what to do in these worst-case scenarios? The most essential action is preventing this from happening entirely. Another thing you can do is use a Chrome VPN to encrypt your internet connection. Finally, keep your firmware and software updated.
Never use the same password for anything; try to make them as strong as possible. Don’t give permissions that aren’t necessary to your smart devices.
These are the basic tips that could save you from a possible cyberattack.
#4. Not paying attention to the neighborhood
Relocating to a new home is thrilling, yet neighbor conflicts can arise as swiftly as food intoxication!
Explore this collection of usual clashes in even the most friendly communities. Prepare yourself, and let’s delve in, spiced with a touch of humor!
- Where’s your fence? Whose side are things on? Are you invading them, or are they invading you? You’d think a fence or a hedge might solve this problem, but it isn’t that simple. These battles can rage on longer than the thirty years war!
- Noises all day long: It can’t be stressed enough. Nobody can withstand unreasonable noise. If your neighbor is a metalhead who insists on playing music at 4 in the morning, you’re in for a bitter time.
- Parking problems: car owners know this too well. Who’s parking spot are you on? The choreography on this one might be complicated.
- Pet peeves: Pet disputes are more common than we think. I hate my neighbor’s dogs because they start barking and howling at 5 AM, and they wake me up every night. He hates mine because they have eaten his runaway chickens once or twice. Should we settle this like adults someday? Who knows!
- Trash talk: Bins that can’t take any more trash, dirty hallways and stairs… I’ve seen it all. Trash can be a concern and will definitely be the origin of many neighborly fights.
- The war of the flowers: As trees rise and plants encroach, green thumbs become green conflicts. May these disputes bloom into friendly exchanges of gardening advice!
- Smells like a problem: Scents from sizzling barbecues or exotic cooking can pleasantly waft in the neighborhood. Remember, sharing scents is caring, but excess can lead to… aromatic overload!
Let’s always bet on a friendly solution to all these issues.
Thus, fill a cup with neighborly goodwill, add a dash of humor, and ensure harmony hums in your charming neighborhood!
To sum up
To fully relish your new home, prioritize smart home cybersecurity, plan your budget diligently, uphold regular maintenance, and cultivate neighborly bonds.
Whether you’re purchasing or recently acquired a house, these pointers launch your homeownership journey smoothly.
Enjoy your new home, creating a cozy and secure haven for your loved ones!