Your Responsibilities As A New Homeowner
Being a homeowner gives you a lot of freedoms that you wouldn’t otherwise have as a tenant. However, these freedoms come with a whole lot of new responsibilities. As a property owner, you need to make sure that you’re on top of these new obligations to ensure that everything goes smoothly in your new home.
If you haven’t owned a property before, the whole experience can be quite overwhelming. During the first month of homeownership, you’ll find that there is a lot more to owning a house than just paying your monthly bills. You have to also worry about regular home maintenance, landscaping duties, fencing laws, renovation restrictions
and so on.
To help you navigate the world of homeownership, we’re going to discuss the three main responsibilities of new property owners.
- Choosing a reliable and capable builder
Way before the foundation of your home is even laid out, you have the responsibility of choosing a builder that’s right for you and your budget. This is a key decision that will influence a lot of things during the construction of your home and even long after completion. Your choice of builder will determine how fast your home can get built, the quality of the build, and the overall desirability of your property.
If you work with a substandard builder, you might experience delays during construction, overruns on the budget and other problems that arise from poor planning. Additionally, after the home is built, you will likely discover a lot of problems like plumbing issues, faults in the home’s structure and faults in your electrical systems. In the long run, fixing all these problems can cost you a fortune.
It’s also important to understand the specialisation of your chosen builder. If you’re looking to get a townhouse, make sure that your townhouse builder has a proven track-record of working with multi-unit complexes.
If you’re having trouble finding a reliable builder, talk to your friends and family and see if they can refer you to any companies in your area. If possible, ask them if you can have a look at their property so that you know what kind of home you can expect from the builders.
- Figuring out how much your monthly payments will be
To budget properly, you need to know what your monthly bills are. You will need to calculate your mortgage payments, utility bills, internet bills and so on.
When it comes to the mortgage, it’s important to be on time with your payments. If you fail to make a repayment on time, your credit score might get affected and you may get charged with a late repayment fee. Typically, most lenders will give a 7 to 15-day grace period.
If you miss too many repayments, the lender will take possession of your property and then sell it to make the money back that they’ve lent you.
You also need to factor in the interest, which can differ depending on if you’re on a fixed or variable rate. If you’re on a variable rate loan, the amount of interest that you pay will depend on the official cash rate set by the Reserve Bank of Australia, which in turn, is influenced by economic circumstances. Because of this, you won’t know exactly how much you need to pay each month. As such, with variables, you might need to save a little bit more money each month to account for unexpected rate hikes.
- Home repairs and maintenance
To make sure that your home remains in great condition for many years to come, you need to stay on top of home maintenance and repair work. Your flooring, lawn, fencing, HVAC system, plumbing system and roof will need to be regularly inspected and maintained.
If you don’t take the time to maintain your home, you might have to pay for expensive repairs later down the road.
Pests are another problem that you have to be vigilant about. Common household pests include rodents, cockroaches, and mosquitoes. All of these can carry harmful diseases and can exacerbate allergic symptoms. If you’re a homeowner, and more importantly, if you’re a landlord, it’s your responsibility to contact the right professionals to implement pest control measures in your home. It’s also important that the pest control methods that are used comply with the relevant safety regulations set by your local government.
While it’s possible to do some of this work yourself, it’s highly recommended that you hire professional contractors to handle complex issues. Working with reliable professionals will make sure that the job is done safely and properly. It also reduces the chances of another problem arising in the future.
As a homeowner, you’ll find that you have a lot more obligations than what was discussed in this blog post. However, if you’re able to stay on your toes and get the help that you need, you should be able to get through it and experience the joys and rewards of homeownership.