Owning your own home is very exciting; however, there is more involved than just paying a mortgage. This blog post is to inform first time home buyers of some important areas to protect their investment.
UPDATING YOUR HOME
Updates fall into three general areas:
- Cosmetic updates to personalize your home, such as: paint, window treatments, and new landscaping. This is what makes the house your home.
- Maintenance updates, such as: replacing an outdated HVAC system, repairing the roof after a wind storm, correcting your grading around the home, or checking your gutter and sump pump conduit lines. These items are often ignored until they become a problem. It is far less expensive to be proactive, and fix these areas before they escalate.
- Remodeling, to keep your home up to date with changing trends and life styles. Although these items are not required, they are important if you wish to maintain the value of your home. When you go to sell your home, the new buyers will want an updated home. The discount buyers expect on an outdated home is typically 2 ½ times the cost of the update itself.
TAXES AND INSURANCE
Typically, your taxes and insurance are paid through your mortgage payment; but, you should not ignore them. You should periodically check your insurance coverage. Your insurance provider will not necessarily know if your home has appreciated significantly, or if you have increased the value through renovations or updates. You want to make sure you are property covered. You also want to track your tax valuation. Your taxes are calculated on the value of your home, as determined by the county auditor. Amazingly, less than 3% of homeowners ever question the value. Many homeowners never know they are over paying in taxes, because they never question the value. For Franklin County, you can see my blog, http://blog.alfriendgroup.com/2017/09/19/answering-reappraisal-questions/ to understand how to appeal the value.
Trees and bushes grow, and too many homeowners fail to keep them trimmed. Roots from large trees, close to your home can cause problems with the foundations. Trees and shrubs too close to the home also attract pest, such as insects, mice, ground hogs, and squirrels. As the colder season arrives, these animals will attempt to find or create ways into your home. As warmer weather arrives, they rarely leave.
This is your home, but it is also an investment. Being proactive with just a little of your time and money will pay great dividends.