Turning a key into your lock that no other even landlord has access to, choosing that bright exhilarating color to paint your kitchen or even getting lost in a book in the hammock you fashioned last weekend is fist-time homeowner bliss. Getting swept up in all the excitement is great, but can also distract from responsible home ownership. Following are five tips every savvy homeowner should know.
Address important maintenance items
One of the major expenses new home owners tend to overlook that accompanies home ownership is making repairs. You no longer have a landlord or property manager to call when your roof is leaking or plumbing is backed up. Avoid neglecting any problems that put you in danger or could get worse and costlier over time.
Differentiate between repairs and improvements
Unfortunately, not all home expenses are treated equally when it comes to determining your home’s value. For example, the IRS considers repairs to be a part of home ownership which doesn’t necessarily increase the home’s value like an improvement would. Improvements such as replacing the roof or adding a central air unit increase your home’s value and decrease your future tax bill when you sell said home.
Seek help with your taxes
Even if you’re broke from buying your new home and loathe the idea of spending more money on hiring an accountant when you can normally do your taxes on your own, you won’t regret enlisting a professional that will ensure you’re your return is completed correctly maximizing your refund. Also, getting your axes done for the first year gives you a template to use in future years if you wish to continue finishing your return on your own.
Keep home improvement receipts
In line with distinguishing repairs from improvements and seeking help with your taxes, you should be vigil at racking all costs for your home improvement efforts. You can then use these costs to increase your homes worth which helps you maximize tax-free earnings when selling the home.
Whether you are a first-time or seasoned home buyer, money is often tight after you’ve just forked over a portion of your life savings for a down payment, closing costs and moving expenses. Avoid adding to the agony by limiting spending on furniture and remodeling. Both of which can usually wait a bit after initial purchase. Instead of trying to improve and upgrade everything at once, space out your spending and projects to help you stick to an affordable budget.