30 September 2019

First-time buyer? Here are some things you may want to think about when you buy your first home

5 min read

 

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Moving into your own home can be both an exciting and daunting time. Although you're likely to be thinking about decorating and furnishings, it's also important to think about the following:

Small purple dolls house

Buildings insurance

It’s a good idea to have buildings insurance. This is cover that insures the building you live in, the bricks, mortar and everything else in the construction. It is completely different from contents insurance, which covers your possessions inside the home.

Buildings insurance covers the structure of your home from things such as fire, flood or weather damage, as well as things such as burst pipes. Though it’s not something you might want to think about right now, you’ll be glad of it should anything happen unexpectedly. Because home insurance isn’t a legal requirement, it’s something many people don’t think about until it’s too late, but good planning now could help alleviate headaches down the line.

Life insurance

You might not have considered life insurance as part of the home buying purchase. It's most likely that your mortgage is going to be one of your largest monthly outgoings. So it's worth considering how any dependants you provide for financially would manage, were you to suddenly pass away.

Life insurance can help pay off a mortgage and leave your loved ones with enough financial support to manage if you weren't around.

Insulation

There might be very little left in the pot after you’ve paid estate agents, solicitors and everyone else. But one thing you can do to ensure you don’t lose out long term is to check your house’s insulation. If your house is inadequately insulated, this could cost you a small fortune in heating. Besides, you might be able to get financial assistance thanks to the Energy Company Obligations (ECO) scheme, a UK government initiative offering financial incentives for energy efficiency.

Boiler maintenance 

You could save considerable money getting your boiler upgraded (and, thereafter, regularly serviced). Hattie Hasan, of Stopcocks Women Plumbers, says: ‘Boilers over eight years old are less efficient and cost more to run. Prevention is better than cure. Service your boiler as it costs more to call out an emergency plumber for a winter repair.’

Home-making

This should be the fun bit, but don’t have so much fun that you forget to plan properly. Keep records of the shiny new tech you invest in. Remember when your warranties run out and keep your new fixtures maintained. By all means buy 27 tester pots and try them all in each room, but when you settle on your eventual colour scheme, keep a note of what paint and wallpaper you use and where you got it from; note down all room measurements, too. This will pay dividends three years down the line when you make adjustments to the house and want to patch up the decoration.

Keeping copious files about your new home might not be what you had in mind when you made the initial offer, but careful planning could keep your home the haven you want it to be for a bit longer.

Life insurance from Royal London