Few things in life are as stressful as buying a home. That is, until something goes wrong with it. The real work of owning a house often begins after moving in, but you can start the journey well-prepared by being aware of these common pitfalls.
Many homeowners make the unfortunate error of underestimating how much their personal belongings are worth. Though it’s important to have your property appraised, that alone isn’t enough.
To get the most suitable coverage, factor in the value of everything inside your dwelling, too — not just what it would take to repair. From improvements you’ve made and appliances you’ve updated to furniture, clothing and electronics, you’ll need to account for everything that would have to be replaced.
Ignoring Routine Maintenance
All homes require upkeep, and some tasks are more vital than others. Realistically, neglecting routine maintenance could even lead to a fire or flood. In fact, homeowners are more likely to file insurance claims for water and smoke damage than any other type.
Since houses don’t come with an owner’s manual, it’s a good idea to make and follow a home maintenance checklist that includes doors and windows, your washer and dryer, and fire prevention equipment.
Making Assumptions About Your Policy
Do you fully understand your homeowners insurance deductible? If not, it’s important to get to know how it works and what out-of-pocket costs you’ll be responsible for in the event of an incident.
Generally, the higher the dollar amount or percentage deductible, the less you pay in premiums each month. But before you increase or decrease it, make sure you know how various claims would play out.
All homes, even new ones, experience unexpected issues now and again. Fortunately, many are preventable with a bit of know-how.