"It's easy to underestimate the real cost of home ownership." -Suze Orman

Sooooo you're a homeowner now, now what? Granted there are a million and one different things to discuss when providing tips for homeownership, but I figured I'd point out a few items that I receive questions on, often. Research shows that an average new home owner spends at least $30,000 to get their property up to their standards. So I wanted to share insight to assist those asking, where do I begin?

1. Home Maintenance is Your Responsibility and Yes, it Can Be Costly. BUT there are things that can help. Heard the saying, “better safe than sorry”. Yeah... so let’s be proactive when you notice something is wrong; okay pumpkin? Or look into a home warranty, if you haven’t obtained one already. Home warranties are like another sense of insurance, upon which you pay monthly and have a company's backing to assist with, what can be costly, repairs.

***New construction usually provide limited warranties, so be sure to review your home warranty and ASK QUESTIONS.

2. When you Find a Qualified & Licensed Contractor, Save their Contact Information! Be sure to check in from time to time, to ensure the information you have is up to date too. Never know when it will come in "handy", get it? Ha!

3. Know Your Property Lines. This helps with a multitude of things (i.e fencing, shrubs, code enforcement, etc.) and it’s important to know your property. In case you have to set a code enforcement officer or neighbor straight.

4. You Must Get a Permit to Build Structures. Yep! Want to build that outdoor (s)he shed? There are rules for that! Check with your local county office before you begin building. As you would have to pay to build and tear down.

5. Your Home is a Work in Progress. The beauty of owning allows you to be yourself. Want to apply some hot pink interior paint in a room, go for it! Express yourself! Try to strategize your game plan in advanced for the sake of budget and fully completing your projects.

House poor is a thing.

6. House Poor is a Thing. Do NOT I repeat Do NOT become house poor. My best advice is to stay within your means. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you do not want to be the best house on the block. Protect your home equity and pockets!

7. Tax Breaks. Why don’t mind if I do Uncle Sam! Yes, there are available tax breaks in owning property. Speaking of which, go ahead and mark your Apple, Android, Google or whatever calendar and be sure to set a date to file for your homestead exemption, please. Matter of fact, check out your county website and do so now. Pretty please and thank you!

8. Pride of Ownership. Last but not least, take pride in your home. Hello! You're a freakin’ home owner now! Enjoy!



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