I have been working in the skilled trades since I was 14 years old. When...
Considerations For First Time Home Buyers
By Mike Holmes
Thursday, December 13th, 2018 @ 4:40pm
Buying a house can be a scary experience, especially if you are buying a house for the first time. After all, it is the biggest purchase you will likely ever make.
It’s very important to research your builder. Is your builder committed to building above minimum code and building energy efficient homes? Not only will a well-built home require less maintenance, owning an energy efficient home may qualify you for discounts through your mortgage provider. Some builders, like Innovative Residential in Saskatoon, even offer free down payment programs.
A lot of first-time homebuyers think that they will save money by tacking home maintenance tasks themselves. That is NOT where you should try to save money. It’s important to leave professional work to the pros. Consider these things when you move in as a first-time home buyer:
Know your limits
First-time homebuyers tend to watch a few DIY videos, a few episodes of a makeover show on TV and read some blogs and think they are capable of tackling home projects. DIY projects are great, but what you don’t see on TV is the crew of contractors working behind the scenes, the hours spent planning and the cost of the materials.
And while some of you may be pretty handy, I encourage you to take a step back and really assess whether you are capable and qualified of performing the tasks.
I admire people who want to do the work themselves and homeowners who want to put in the time and effort in fixing things around the house. I just want you to do your research to ensure you are doing the job right. Think about all the repair jobs that need to be completed before or after you move in and make sure you have the money saved up for that.
DIY jobs may cost you more in the long run
You may think you can save some cash by doing it yourself, but if things go wrong, it’s going to be a much more expensive fix to bring in a contractor to fix YOUR mistake. And projects you start can have unforeseen consequences. For example, work that you do outside in the yard can actually create problems inside. If you add a garden in the yard without paying attention to the grading, you could have water flowing right towards your foundation – and that can lead to an expensive fix down the line.
Cost savings through Energy Management
Here is where you CAN save money with simple steps. Installing a programmable thermostat is a great way to manage your energy bills. Setting timers on your lights and appliances is another small upgrade to making your home more energy efficient. Why have the power running on your appliances when you’re not home? Setting a timer will allow your appliances to power down when they’re not in use.
Many builders are now offering smart homes, which means many of our devices and appliances can be controlled through one app and one hub. I personally love Eaton’s home automation hub, Frank installed one in the Suburban House on Holmes+Holmes and the homeowner loves it. Even lights can be programmed to turn off when you leave a room-now that’s SMART!