Buying a home is a life-changing experience. The step-by-step process can be exhausting and takes a lot of time, but we are here to help you with every step of the way!
Once you’ve closed on your new home, moving and getting settled will take some time, but it’s so worth it.
Owning a home comes with a new set of responsibilities, but it also comes with more freedom to make your home yours. Putting your personal touches on your living space is limited when renting. When you own, the sky is the limit depending on your budget.
Here’s a short list of how your life changes when you own vs. renting.
The Responsibilities of a New Homeowner in Virginia
Making Mortgage Payment
Your new mortgage payment is the most significant difference between renting and owning.
Part of what you pay every month will come back to you in the form of “equity”. In the early years of your mortgage, you’ll be paying mostly interest. As your mortgage ages, more of your payment goes to pay off your principal loan amount.
Between paying into the principle of your loan and appreciation, you will build home equity. The longer you own, the more equity you’ll have. Your home value will appreciate, and your loan principal will go down.
That is a huge difference between owning and renting.
Property Tax Payments
Property tax payments, if you’ve elected to have an “escrow” account maintained for you, will be paid a little at a time every month. If you’ve paid cash for your home, you’ll receive a bill for property taxes on the schedule of your county assessor.
Property taxes make owning a home more expensive than renting, but it’s worth it in the long run.
Water Bill Payments, Landscaping and Utilities
When you rent an apartment or a home, your landlord may pay for the water, landscaping, garbage, and sewer, depending on what’s common in the market.
When you own, you better buy a lawnmower and a hose!
Honestly, of all the great things about owning a home, doing yard work, as odd as it sounds, is very satisfying.
There are ways to save on these bills with research and some ingenuity. Here’s a link for catching rainwater and using it for the yard.
If you’ve got a great Realtor like us at Three Stones Residential, you should get a list in your closing packet with the names and numbers of the utilities in the area of your new home.
Generally, these services don’t cost that much, and your new neighbors can be a great resource in knowing what day to put out the trash.
Don’t forget to change your mail routing before moving out of your old place. USPS allows you to do this from the comfort of your device. If you have a community mailbox, you may have to visit your local post office and get the box for your address re-keyed for a small fee.
You’ll want to make sure you set up a home maintenance schedule to check on the home’s various systems at a regular interval. There are also seasonal duties like cleaning out the gutters, checking the HVAC system filters, and weather sealing doors and windows. Don’t forget pest control!
Keeping up with your new home’s maintenance ensures that your home will be well cared for if you ever need to sell. Houses where maintenance has been neglected, will not be as valuable as a home that has been well maintained. Maintaining your home is protecting your investment.
It sounds Like A lot!
Yes, it is a lot, but it’s worth it on so many levels. The memories alone of family gatherings, holidays, essential life milestones make owning your own home a unique part of life.
Please let us know if we can help you buy a home in Virginia, Maryland or DC! We’ll help you get just what you’re looking for with the least amount of stress and hassle. Please click here for our connect with us page, and we’ll get back to you personally and promptly.
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