Helpful Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

Buying a home is a great investment with a lot of benefits, but it also comes with a lot of responsibilities. Here are some ways for first-time homebuyers to prepare for what it really means to own property.

For first-time homebuyers, purchasing a home is a big step towards achieving the American Dream. However, if you aren’t fully prepared for the level of responsibility that owning a home requires, it can easily become a nightmare. After you close, you’ll quickly come to understand the importance of home maintenance and record keeping and how both can save you time and money down the road.

Here are five things that every first-time homeowner should do after moving into their new home.

  • Teach yourself how to fix the little things. When you’re a renter and something breaks, you can call maintenance to fix it with little or no cost to you. When you own a home and something breaks, you can still call someone to fix it, but it’s going to be way more expensive and it’ll be up to you to pay for. Save money by teaching yourself how to make small repairs and learning how to handle mini-emergencies. Here’s a handy guide for 30 household problems that you can repair on your own.
  • Start an emergency fund. Sometimes major things break down, and as a homeowner you’re responsible for fixing them. If you don’t have any money saved to cover the costs, you’re going to find yourself in a very difficult situation. Do yourself a favor, and put away a little money each month in the event that any big problems ever arise. Over the past few years, Columbus and the surrounding towns have seen severe storms that have caused hail damage to roofs. That can be a costly repair, but you’ll have less to worry about if you have money set aside to handle those types of situations.
  • Pay attention. Try to notice small issues before they become big problems. Weird noises, sounds, and smells are indicators that something is wrong. Don’t wait until you have a much larger problem before you decide to handle it.
  • Make smart renovations. Your home is yours to do with as you please, but if you want it to be a worthwhile investment, you need to make sure that any renovations you complete will also be attractive to future buyers when you decide to sell. If you have renovations that you’re making solely for future resale value, make sure that you take the ROI (return on investment) into consideration. Just because you spend several thousand dollars on an upgrade doesn’t mean you’ll get several thousand dollars back later.
  • Save receipts, warranties, and other information and keep them in one place. You should be able to quickly and easily access information about your home, appliances, and any work you’ve had done on the property. Keeping everything together in one organized place will prevent you from scrambling to find what you need should an issue arise.

The most important tip for first-time homebuyers is to enjoy it! There are so many wonderful Columbus properties on the market and finding one that you love is a big deal. As long as you maintain the property, you should have a positive homeowner experience, and you should see a return when you decide to sell. There are so many benefits to homeownership, but it’s important to understand the responsibilities that come along with it, too.


Tamara Oakley is a hardworking real estate professional based in the Columbus, Ohio area. As a top Listing and Selling Agent at Coldwell Banker King Thompson and a 2015 recipient of the Columbus REALTORS®’ Twenty-Five Million Dollar Club Award, Tamara understands the importance of staying knowledgeable and informed about the ever-changing climate of real estate.

She is committed to continuous growth and stays up-to-date with real estate trends and new information so that she can provide superior service to her clients. That, in combination with her local expertise, have allowed her to become the highly-skilled agent that she is today.

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