There are a number of things to keep in mind, now that you’re a home owner. Home owners are rewarded financially and personally for regular maintenance and updates to the features of their home. Keeping it in good shape will benefit you and your family by providing a safe and friendly place to live and provide the maximum possible return when you sell it.
Make Mortgage Payments on Time
It’s very important to make all your payments on time. Your lender will set-up an automatic payment from your chequeing or savings account. You may want to inquire about overdraft protection for this account as additional protection. Late payments will negatively affect your ability to obtain additional credit such as credit cards or even a mortgage renewal. If you fail to make payments your lender may initiate foreclosure which may lead to a court ordered sale of your property.
Plan for Maintenance Costs
Set aside an amount each month equal to 25% of your mortgage payment as a cushion against unexpected repairs or planned updates. It’s much better to have these funds saved than it is to borrow for a new roof or emergency repairs. If you are buying a condominium you should save at least 10% of your payment to cover special assesssments, repairs, or to replace appliances, etc. Periodically, these accounts can be put toward paying down the mortgage more quickly, if you are interested in doing that.
Set a Household Budget
It’s a good idea to create a new budget even before you buy your home. Try to live within this budget for at least six months to be certain you are ready. After you buy, adjust this budget to allow for savings for maintenance but also personal savings of at least 10%.