Homeownership can be confusing and comes with a lot of expenses. Even after you write that big check for a down payment, you’re still going to feel like you’re bleeding money. New furniture, DIY updates, fixing this and that…it all adds up! It can be overwhelming.
So today we wanted to give you some tips on how to prioritize all of those early expenses. What should you splurge on right from the start? What should you wait on to help you save some cash? We answer all of those questions…and more!
What to do first?
A fresh coat of paint can instantly transform any space by making it feel cleaner and fresher! Don’t wait to paint a fresh coat on the walls, trim, ceilings and doors, as it’s an awesome way to start your life in your new house. Plus, painting is a heck of a lot easier when there is no furniture to move! Consider doing this before you even bring a single piece of furniture into your new place.
Freshen Up the Floors
If your new home has hardwood floors that are in bad shape, you may want to think about repairing them before you even move in. Sanding and restaining hardwoods create a huge mess, and dust will cover just about every surface of your new home afteward. If you wait to do your floors, you will have to remove absolutely everything in your house (yep, including in the closets.) We recommend redoing the floors now, so you can get the inconvenience out of the way immediately. Yeah, it’s a splurge, but it’s worth it when you love your floors right from the start.
If your new house has carpets, we recommend getting them steam cleaned right off the bat. This will remove any dirt, grime and smells from the previous homeowners. Get this task out of the way now so you can start totally fresh in your new home.
Adding recessed lighting can be very expensive, but if you’re planning to add it to your home eventually, you may want to consider getting it done as one of the first things you do. To start, an electrician will need to change the electrical in your ceiling, which creates a big mess. That being said, we don’t think you need to change out all of the light fixtures in your right away. Live in your home for a while to see how your style evolves, then find fixtures that are right for you. Bottom line: Splurge on recessed lighting now. Save up for light fixtures you adore.
Then Save These Things For Afterward
We know it might sound crazy, but consider living in your house for all four seasons before you make a big landscaping plan. Yes…that’s one whole year. We told you we were crazy, but hear us out! You’ll really want to see how your home functions during every season. Will you do a lot of backyard BBQ-ing or entertaining on the patio? Will that corner of the property be the perfect home for the shed you hope to build? Getting the answers to these questions before jumping into new landscaping or outdoor expenses is crucial for making the right decision for you.
One of our biggest pieces of advice for new homeowners is to wait to buy new furniture. So many people jump the gun and purchase items for every room in their new home, but it’s important to live in a space for quite some time before you spend the cash. That way, you can figure out exactly what you need and what you’ll actually use. It’s okay if rooms stay empty! Save your pennies for your dream sectional.
We love “board and batten” and we’ve added shiplap to our homes a number of times. These easy DIY projects add so much character and personality to a home…but you don’t necessarily need to do them right away. Wait until things die down from your big move, then plan these weekend DIY projects for later. You’ll be glad you waited until you got the big stuff done first.
Bathrooms and kitchens are the most expensive rooms in the house. If you don’t have the money to design the kitchen or bath of your dreams, don’t sweat it. We recommend making small tweaks now – swapping hardware, adding a backsplash, painting, or changing lighting – while you save up for your dream space. You’ll find that living in your home for some time will also help you narrow down your remodeling wish list. See a trend here?
We hope this list helps you prioritize your new homeowner to-do list…sectioning off your to-do list will get you the home of your dreams while keeping your sanity intact!