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6 Items for Your New Home’s To-Do List


6 Items for Your New Home’s To-Do List

 

Now that you’re settling in to your new home, there are some important things you need to consider. Table Rock Community Bank recommends the following tips.

 

1.      Create a budget.

The key to a good budget is including as much information as you can, so that you can adequately prepare and plan. It's important to keep accurate records of your spending so you can spot places to save money and know how much you can reasonably spend. 

 

2.      Protect your property.

Whether you’re a homeowner or a renter, you need insurance to protect your belongings. Check with your local insurance agent, you might be able to get a discount if you have things like dead bolt locks, an alarm system, or smoke detectors, or if you already have a policy with that company, like car insurance. Also, find out if you’re in a flood zone. If you’re concerned about flooding, you will need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy. Learn more at floodsmart.gov

 

3.      Protect your safety.

Make sure all of the locks on your doors and windows work properly. If it makes you more comfortable, look into having an alarm system installed. Also, check your fire and carbon monoxide alarms once a month to be sure they’re working. If you have a dryer, clean the lint from the entire system, from the dryer to the exterior vent cap. Lint is extremely flammable and poses a fire risk.

 

4.      Take your tax deductions.

Be sure you know all the tax deductions associated with your move and new home. If you use a portion of your home for business purposes or moved for a new job, you may be able to take deductions. Home owners can deduct mortgage interest, property taxes and loans for home improvements.

 

5.      Make your house – or apartment – your home.

Decorating your space will make it more comfortable and personal. If you’re a tenant,check with your landlord before making major changes like painting the walls or changing the appliances. Renters should take photos of the rental space before moving in to document the existing condition and insist on a final walk-through with the landlord. If you own your home, be smart about where you invest your money on improvements to ensure you’re building equity in your home. For example, updates in the kitchen and bathroom usually provide the best return on investment.

 

6.      Save up for a rainy day.

Although life may be sunny now, it’s a good idea to create a rainy day fund. The fund should have at least three to six months of living expenses in case you or someone in your household loses a job or becomes ill and unable to work.

MEMBER FDIC. EQUAL HOUSING LENDER 

For more information, visit aba.com/consumers


To Buy or Not to Buy?


To Buy or Not to Buy: 5 Questions to Consider Before
Purchasing Your First Home

 

            In recognition of American Housing Month, Table Rock Community Bank is highlighting five questions first-time buyers should consider before purchasing a home.

1. How much money do you have saved up?
Start with an evaluation of your financial health. Figure out how much money you have for a down payment or deposit on a rental. Down payments are typically 5 to 20 percent of the price of the home. Security deposits on rentals are usually about one month of rent and more if you have a pet. But be sure to keep enough in savings for an emergency fund. It’s a good idea to have three to six months of living expenses to cover unexpected costs.

 2. How much debt do you have?
Consider all of your current and expected financial obligations like your car payment and insurance, credit card debt and student loans. Make sure you will be able to make all the payments in addition to the cost of your new home. Aim to keep total rent or mortgage payments plus utilities to less than 25 to 30 percent of your gross monthly income. Recent regulatory changes limit debt to income (DTI) ratio on most loans to 43 percent.

 3.What is your credit score?
A high credit score indicates strong credit worthiness. Both renters and homebuyers can expect to have their credit history examined. A low credit score can keep you from qualifying for the rental you want or a low interest rate on your mortgage loan. If your credit score is low, you may want to delay moving into a new home and take steps to raise your score. For tips on improving your credit score, visit aba.com/consumers. 

 4.Have you factored in all the costs? 
Create a hypothetical budget for your new home. Find the average cost of utilities in your area, factor in gas, electricity, water and cable. Find out if you will have to pay for parking or trash pickup. Consider the cost of yard maintenance and other basic maintenance costs like replacing the air filter every three months. If you are planning to buy a home, factor in real estate taxes, mortgage insurance and possibly a home owner association fee. Renters should consider the cost of rental insurance.

5. How long will you stay? 
 Generally, the longer you plan to live some place, the more it makes sense to buy. Over time, you can build equity in your home. On the other hand,renters have greater flexibility to move and fewer maintenance costs. Carefully consider your current life and work situation and think about how long you want to stay in your new home.

MEMBER FDIC. EQUAL HOUSING LENDER