So you’ve gone through the full homebuying process; you drove through tons of neighborhoods, found your perfect home and finally closed. So what comes next?

Savings – For many first-time homebuyers, especially formally renters, the maintenance that comes with a home can feel overwhelming at times. Homeownership means a number of unexpected expenses like broken windows or replacement appliances. Try to keep a savings fund for household expenses, so when your heater goes out in the middle of the winter, you won’t need to get a hotel or crash at a neighbor’s house.

Maintenance – Performing regular maintenance can help you minimize repair costs by catching issues before an appliance breaks. Washers, dryers, dishwashers and especially heating and cooling units can benefit from performing annual maintenance.

Lawn work – One of the biggest changes for new homeowners is having a lawn to cut, weed and garden. When you buy a new home, make sure you can fit in the yard work, maybe on weekends or days off. If not, you may want to budget for hiring a law company, which saves your off days from being filled with housework.

Homes are Investments – Yes, your home is an investment that you’re slowly paying off and you can even leverage. This does not mean you should treat your home like it’s your retirement account. Everyone has seen the volatility of the recent housing bubble burst, and many young people understand that real estate is no longer going to fund your retirement. While the housing market is similar to the stock market and will gradually increase over time, it is very cyclical and can vary based on the economy. Another mistake that people make is thinking that their expenses will be drastically lower once their home is paid off. Yes, you will eliminate your principal and interest payment to the bank, but don’t forget that taxes and insurance still need to be paid annually after your home is paid in full.

When to Sell – Selling your home can be nerve-wracking, especially if it’s your first time selling. Unless you plan on selling anytime soon, ignore what the current housing market trends are, since you will only need to think about your investment when it comes time to sell. If you do have to sell suddenly and feel like your home has lost value, consider holding onto it for a couple years and renting it out to qualified and respectful renters. The renters can hopefully cover your monthly operating costs and you can sell as the market starts to turn around. Many people don’t know this, but you can actually contact Denver real estate agents to help you rent out your property for a small fee, or even hire a property management company that will collect your rents and help you maintain the property.

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