Owning your first home can be very exciting and a confusing process for the novice home buyer. I bought my first home, which was a fixer upper, while my children were still young. I actually found the house while going to garage sales. The asking price was very low to begin with, and I was able to talk the owner down another $7,000. I really thought I had found the bargain of the century. Homeownership had a few surprises for me. There were several very important lessons that I learned from owning my first home.
1. Always have legal representation when buying a home. I really thought that I could buy the home without having a lawyer. I learned that there are many complicated issues involved in the purchase of a home. Some of the issues lawyers deal with every day and have a good understanding of what they mean. There are so many papers that have to be signed in a closing. It is to your advantage to have somebody who can explain everything that you are agreeing too. One example is that my new home had previous termite damage, and I had to agree to accept the house ”as is” which meant I was left to foot the bill for any further damage. The former owner was released from any responsibility. 2. Make sure you know your property boundaries and any utility line or water lines that are on your property. I had a water pipe burst near the curb in my front yard. I had to argue with the water company about the boundaries of my property. They tried to tell me that it was my problem to fix, but the pipe that burst was on city property. I did get it settled, but it took a long while. 3. Be prepared to pay for repairs. As an owner you are responsible to pay for repairs to your house. 4. Make sure you have the proper equipment for yard-work. The lawn in now yours for better or for worse. As a homeowner, you are responsible to keep your lawn clean and grass cut. The city in which you live may fine you if your lawn gets overgrown. Keep your neighborhood beautiful! 5. Purchase in an area you want to live. You bought it, it’s yours, and this is where you will reside.