Six To-Do Tips for Your New Home

Tips for American Housing Month


June Is American Housing Month Congratulations on your new place! Now that you're settling in, there are some important things you need to consider. Burke & Herbert Bank recommends these six important tips:

Create a Budget
The key to a good budget is including as much information as you can, so that you can adequately prepare and plan. It's important to keep accurate records of your spending so you can spot places to save money and know how much you can reasonably spend. Our Personal Finance Calculators will help you review and manage your expenses.

Protect Your Property
Whether you're a homeowner or a renter, you need insurance to protect your belongings. Check with your insurance agent to determine if you qualify for a discount if your home has deadbolt locks, an alarm system, or smoke detectors. You also might get a discount if you already have a policy, such as car insurance, with that company. Also, find out if you're in a flood zone. If you're concerned about flooding, you will need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy. Learn more at floodsmart.gov.

Protect Your Safety
Make sure all the locks on your doors and windows work properly. If it makes you more comfortable, look into installing an alarm system. Also, check your fire and carbon monoxide alarms once a month to be sure they're working. If you have a dryer, clean the lint from the entire system, from the dryer to the exterior vent cap. Lint is extremely flammable and poses a fire risk.

Take Your Tax Deductions
Be sure you know all the tax deductions associated with your move and new home. If you use a portion of your home for business purposes or moved for a new job, you may be able to take deductions. Homeowners can deduct mortgage interest, property taxes and loans for home improvements.

Make Your New Place Your Home
Decorating your space will make it more comfortable and personal. If you're a tenant, check with your landlord before making major changes such as painting the walls or changing the appliances. Renters should take photos of the rental space before moving in, to document the existing condition; you should also insist on a final walk-through with the landlord. If you own your home, be smart about investing on improvements, to ensure you're building equity in your home. For example, updates in the kitchen and bathroom usually provide the best return on investment.

Save Up for a Rainy Day
Although life may be sunny now, it's a good idea to create a rainy day fund. It should have at least three to six months of living expenses in case you or someone in your household loses a job or becomes ill and unable to work.

Learn More
For more information and tips, visit aba.com/consumers.

This content first appeared on the American Bankers Association website, and is used with permission.

 

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