Edinburgh IIThe purchase of your Central Florida new home is a very exciting time, and the first year of homeownership is often as important as the first year of marriage. After the “honeymoon” period of “I will never have to pay rent again” has worn off, you will realize that owning a home comes with responsibilities you may have never dealt with as a renter. Here are seven tips from BrightNest that will help you protect your investment during your first year of homeownership.

1.    Prepare for Breakage. Things break, that’s reality, but when you own the home it is your responsibility to foot the bill. You can no longer call the landlord and have them fix the dishwasher when it breaks. To prepare for unexpected breakage, it is important to set aside some cash. In general, you want to save one to three percent of your home’s initial price each year to help offset unplanned expenses.  Fortunately, if you purchased a new Highland Home, you will also have a new home warranty covering most products in your home for the first year (and beyond).
2.    Form an inspection habit. During the first year, and each year after, make it a habit to inspect your property, from exterior to attic. Detecting certain issues early, such as pest infestation, cracks  or mold growth, can save you money in the long run.
3.    Buy a bunch of a/c filters. Changing you’re a/c filter regularly is healthy and helps save money. Not only will changing the filter help your air conditioning unit last longer, but it will improve your health because the air you breathe is cleaner. Purchasing one filter at a time isn’t always easy or the best use of time, so buy in bulk.
4.    Get to know your appliances. Each appliance in your home has different life expectancies (ie. furnaces last 15-20 years, water heaters 10 years, etc.), so it is important to know how old each appliance is and plan ahead for replacements. Luckily, when you purchase a Central Florida new home from Highland Homes, you can rest assured that each appliance is brand new and of top quality, and carries a manufacturer’s warranty.
5.    Take advantage of tax credits. Owning a home equals a whole new world of tax incentives. Homeowners can receive credits for things like installing solar panels or purchasing ENERGY STAR appliances. Do some research on the tax credits that may apply to you and in general your taxes will be much more complicated, so hire a professional accountant to offer guidance and assist you through the process.
6.    Start keeping records. While your new home may be your dream home, you never know when you might have to sale. Keeping record of every improvement or repair you make to the home will help increase your resale value.
7.    Beef up your insurance. Your new home is your largest investment and you want to take extra care to protect that investment. Carefully review your homeowner’s insurance policy and make sure there are no gaps, like lack of flood and fire protection. If you are not sure what you should be looking for or want a second set of eyes, hire a professional. Insurance is not something you want to skimp on.

These are just a few tips to help you along the way.  Make sure to also keep up with regular home maintenance to keep your home in tip top shape, to enjoy for many years to come.

At Highland Homes we can help you become a homeowner and purchase your dream home in Tampa Bay, Orlando, Lakeland, Winter Haven and Manatee County. With more than 30 stylish floor plans available, a wide variety of interior selections to choose from and a builder’s warranty to protect your investment, your first year of homeownership is sure to be a breeze. For more information on our Florida new homes priced from the low-$100,000s, visit the Highland Homes website today.