Emergencies occur when we least expect them, and to ensure long-term financial stability, it’s best to have a plan to weather them. When an emergency happens, be it a natural disaster, illness, or job loss, many people can find themselves struggling to keep up. Here are five essential tips to help you save for an […]
Owning a home is a big responsibility. Here’s how to succeed in your first year of homeownership.
Owning your first home is an exciting time and one full of new opportunities and responsibilities. Your home is one of the biggest responsibilities you will have in your lifetime!
At Smartmortgage.com, we want you to be a successful homeowner, so here’s some advice on how can you succeed in your first year of homeownership.
Avoid making large lifestyle changes for now
Now that you have bought a home, it is time to settle down for a bit and avoid major lifestyle changes, like changing your job. This is especially important if your final loan has been approved before you officially closed, as your lender will check to verify that your employment and income hasn’t changed before closing.
Remember to get small repairs done sooner rather than later
That little drip in the faucet may not seem like a big deal now, but it is important to get small problems fixed before they become a larger problem down the road. Not only will they be easier to fix when they are small, but save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
Maintain a safety net in case of emergencies
Emergencies happen and are usually unexpected, so it is best to be prepared. Unfortunately, many first-year homeowners do not maintain a safety net, which will help you pay for bills in an emergency and not drain your savings in the meantime. It is recommended that you have at least three months of emergency savings.
Even home insurance can’t cover every scenario, so it is good to be prepared.
Always keep receipts & accurate documents
Be it banking records, receipts from a home repair, or a bill from your water company, keep your receipts and documents accurate. This is essential if you need to make an insurance claim if something was stolen or you want to refinance your home in a few years.
Keep a file system for all bills, receipts and other important documents so they are easy to find. You may also want to consider a fire- and water-proof lock box for papers like birth certificates, marriage licenses, and home closing documents.
Take advantage of tax breaks
One of the many perks of being a homeowner is the tax breaks available to you. You can take a mortgage interest deduction to deduct the interest you have paid on your home loan, among others. For example, mortgage interest credit gives you up to $2,000 in tax credits.
The Mortgage Credit Certificate Tax Credit will vary considerably depending on the MCC Program, state, county, or city and the amount of the homebuyer’s loan, their interest rate and the term of the loan.
Not sure what breaks you qualify for? Ask your tax or financial advisor and they will be more than happy to help.