Buying a home is an investment. You save up money, purchase a home, and then when you decide to move, you sell your home for (hopefully) more money than when you purchased it because it incurred value. Even if you don't intend to sell your home and you're comfortable living in it for the rest of your life, the house is still an investment. It's just an investment that you don't happen to be selling at the moment. If you ever happened to want to sell it (say you're suddenly offered your dream job in the Caribbean), you would still want whoever is buying it to pay you the amount the home is worth; thus, your home is an investment. Now, most people wouldn't take $300,000, go to Vegas, and gamble it all. So why do homeowners gamble with their home investments? The world may never know, but with Landmark's handy post on how to protect your investment, you won't make that mistake. Here are some of the things you can do to make sure you're not gambling with your home.
GET A HOME INSURANCE POLICY
When you first buy a home, you'll need a homeowner's insurance policy. Usually a bank requires home insurance so many homeowners get the cheapest policy just to get it over with. However, it makes sense to put home insurance on your home, because it will take care of damages to your home caused by natural disasters and more. Make sure to purchase a policy that covers your home completely, in the unfortunate event that you would have to rebuild. Also, make sure to go through your policy to add things on your policy that match where your home is located. Homeowners in Utah would probably put earthquake insurance on their policy, but not hurricane insurance.
Many experts say you can save money on home insurance by increasing your deductible, or by installing smoke detectors, dead-bolts or burglar alarms. Homeowner's insurance can also be purchased with auto insurance from the same company, which could get you a loyalty discount.
DON'T USE YOUR HOME'S EQUITY AS AN ATM
Homes build up equity as long as you take care of them. Banks will sometimes let homeowners take a loan out on that equity, or value of the home. The biggest mistake a homeowner can make, though, is using that equity as an ATM. There are times when a homeowner might need extra money. Maybe to pay for a college education or a much needed vehicle. Those are both things that home equity can and should be used for. What gets troubling is when homeowners begin to use the equity in their homes to go on lavish vacations or other items you don't need. Use the equity in your home to finance much-needed expenses, not whatever desire you might have that weekend.
DON'T SKIP A HOME INSPECTION
Before you buy a home, don't forget a home inspection. Although you might think that you can easily see major issues with a home, nothing is further than the truth. You probably won't be looking at homes to purchase that have obvious issues; sagging roofs, broken decks or leaking pipes. Instead, the homes that you will look to buy will have lesser-known problems that won't be as easily seen. Walking through a potential buy with a professional can help you know what you're getting into with a home, and the professional can easily spot any code violations your potential home may have. That way, when you have purchased your home, you know what the house's weak points are, and what you need to pay attention to when you're maintaining your home.
MAINTAIN YOUR HOME
Would you ever buy a car and drive around in it for years, but never have the oil changed? Of course not ... if you did, you'd probably end up ruining your car! Same goes for a home. You live in it every day and you use its systems and appliances to make your life easier. So instead of waiting for the day when your "oil" runs out and you have to buy a new home ... start taking care of it now! Pay attention to your appliances and how old they are. Follow the manufactures' instructions and make sure to clean your systems and appliances properly. That way, when your home's systems and appliances do fail, they'll fail from normal wear and tear and you can save more money by getting a home warranty.
GET A HOME WARRANTY
The best way to protect your home's systems and appliances is to get a home warranty. As long as you maintain your home, when one of the systems or appliances fails from normal wear and tear, a home warranty will save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on home repairs. A home warranty works like this: you purchase a home warranty plan for a year (or more) from the best home warranty company you can find. Then, when something fails in your home that's covered in your home warranty plan, you call them. They will send a service contractor out to your home, who will repair or replace the failed item for a service call fee.
For more information on home warranties, go to www.landmarkhw.com. There you can learn more about home warranty plans, read home warranty reviews and see why Landmark is one of the best home warranty companies in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, Arizona, Texas and Nevada.