Living, Tips & Techniques

3 mistakes to avoid when becoming a Homeowner

Easy and painless buying.

words by: Natasha Marsh
Apr 26, 2022

Due to COVID, homeownership has been trending. Because of that, another aspect that has been trending is the hidden agendas that comes along with it. Being a homeowner truly comes with so many different considerations: How much space is enough space? What kind of school district do I want to be in? What neighborhood do I want to be in? And just how much can I afford for a down payment?


Because purchasing a home can be hard, here’s some common mistakes to avoid at all costs.


Don’t miscalculate your budget

Our first tip might seem like a no brainer, but it really is the most important. Creating a budget can be difficult, especially if it’s your first time being a homeowner. And by budget, we don’t mean how much you can afford or put down, but instead, how much you might spend on unexpected costs and fees.


Experts agree that the biggest mistake first time homeowners make is only focusing on surface-level expenses (car payments, rent, cell phone plans, credit card bills). It’s important to go deeper and really examine your bank account and credit card statements to see how much money is going where. You can do this with an app or by hand.


You must know exactly where money is going in versus what is going out. When reviewing, you might have to decide what you can and can’t live without. The best thing to remember is that a house is not a one-time transaction, it is an ongoing investment, and your budget should reflect that.


Don’t forget about curb appeal

You might not care about the front of your house right now, or push it to the back burner, but curb appeal is a big thing. Yard maintenance will sneak up on you and is one of the first things experts advise new homeowners to tackle within the first few weeks.


Things like hired help, lawnmowers, hoses, rakes, and other upkeep tools will start to add up. It might not seem like much at first, but the prices could easily climb. After the first time you do maintenance, the monthly costs are fairly minimal. Remember, whether you’re watering your lawn in the summer, or enjoy sprinklers year-round, water bills will greatly increase.


Keep in mind the extra fees

Many first-time homeowners fail to have an emergency fund, outside of the mortgage and up-front costs. This is a bad idea, especially if you have kids. If you’ve been saving for a house for a while, have another savings plan for regular life stuff like cell phone bills, date nights, socials, groceries, fitness, and things of that nature.


Keep in mind that if you have renovations on your list, these can be spread across years as your budget allows. Of course, appliances break, gutters need to be fixed, and unattended matters can become serious, so it’s important to understand what are immediate needs and what are wants. Once you get clarity on this, you can see where you have wiggle room and coin to spend.


When you’re planning out your budget, here’s 10 terms you need to know.