CHICAGO – Nov. 22, 2017 – Homeowners can make a lot of mistakes during that first year in homeownership, especially when eagerness may sometimes lead to ignorance. recently featured several of the most common and costly missteps homeowners make in their first year, including:
Homeowners may be smart about gathering multiple bids when, say, that HVAC system needs repairs. But they may be tempted to always go with the lowest price. HouseLogic recommends ensuring that all bids include the same project scope. At times, one bid may be less expensive but may not include all of the actual costs or details of the project, or the contractor may lack the experience to do a good job.
Owners shouldn't be in a rush to submit an insurance claim every time something goes wrong. Filing a claim or two, particularly over a short time, can prompt an increase to your premium. Amy Bach, executive director of United Policyholders, says it's better to pay out of pocket than to submit claims that are less than your deductible. "You want the cleanest record possible," Bach says. "You want to be seen as the lowest risk. It's like a driving record – the more tickets you have, the more your insurance."
Homeowners shouldn't believe that just because they seethe value in an upgrade, they will get an added market value for it when they go to sell. Owners can over-upgrade their home. "It's easy to build yourself out of your neighborhood" and invest more than you can make at resale, says Linda Sowell, a real estate professional in Memphis, Tenn. Homeowners should check with a real estate professional or appraiser before they start a project to learn whether the improvement will help boost their property value.
Homeowners need to keep good records. House Logic recommends keeping home improvement receipts, contracts and manuals in a three-ring binder with clear plastic sleeves. Or they can photograph documents and store them on a computer or in the cloud.
An inspection report can make a great first to-do list once moving in, HouseLogic says. Seemingly minor issues, like loose gutters or uninsulated pipes, may eventually cause bigger damage if not repaired soon. New owners should consult a contractor and make an informed decision about what needs to be fixed right away and what can wait.
Source: "8 Costly Missteps New Homeowners Make inTheir First Year," HouseLogic.com (2017)
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