So you’ve just bought a new home? Beyond the housewarming party, here are some things to keep on your radar
Moving into a new house can be an exciting time and although you’re more likely to be thinking about home decorating than the gritty practicalities, it’s important to keep the following in mind.
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.
You might not have considered life insurance as part of the home-buying process. Chances are your mortgage is going to be one of your largest monthly outgoings, so have you considered how those you leave behind would manage without your income? Different types of life insurance can help clear the debt on the family home and leave your nearest and dearest with enough to help ease the worry.
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 British government initiative offering financial incentives for energy efficiency.
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 before the winter sets in as it costs more to call out an emergency plumber for a winter repair.”
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 sweet home sweeter for a bit longer.