You found your lender, your realtor, and your home.  You made it through home inspections and closing.  Now you’re officially a homeowner!

When the excitement of purchasing your first home wears off you might start to notice some things.  A need for furniture in this room, a repair in that room, a fresh coat of paint in the bathroom.  The bills start to add up.

Budgeting for expenses after you’ve moved into your home is not just a great idea, it’s necessary.  Home repairs can really add up and take a chunk out of your savings or worse plummet your credit score.  In order to live a financially healthy life, and to enjoy your home our sponsor Howard Bank suggests you:

  1. Purchase home insurance. Depending what type of insurance, you purchase, you home could be covered in case of flood, fire, or any act of god.  Speak with your car insurance company to see what kind of bundle deal they can offer you.
  2. Purchase home warranty. A home warranty helps you remain financially solvent when your water heater goes right after moving in.  Typically, home warranties cover major appliances and electric between the first year and three you move in to your home.
  3. Save. Save. You might not need repair money this month, but putting away as little as $10 a month can really add up for your next home repair project.  Find an amount that’s comfortable for you.  If you have online banking you can set up monthly transfers to your savings so you don’t even have to think about it. If you’re dissatisfied with your bank, or do not have online banking, consider Howard Bank for all your banking needs.
  4. Prioritize repairs into two categories: Have To Do and Nice To Do. Identify all the projects, repairs and landscaping that needs to be done in your home over the next year, then break them down into what absolutely must get done this year and what would be nice to do.  It might be nice to change the color of the paint in your kitchen, but you might have to repair water damage in your kitchen first.  Think of your have to do list as list of projects that your house needs in order to be structurally sound and safe to live in.  Prioritize having heat, water and electric above cosmetic repairs.

Most banks offer loans for repairs if you have enough equity.  Howard Bank offers Home Equity Lines of credit if you have over 20% equity in your home.  If you know your home needs work, consider asking a Howard Bank loan officer about their FHA 203K loans and conventional rehab loans. Howard Bank is located at 7860 Wise Ave, Dundalk.

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