First-time home owners may be filled with excitement at the prospect of finally having a home of their own, but they should take some important steps as soon as they move in, advises Dawn Bloch, agent for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty in the southern suburbs.
“By (doing so), you can offset many of the potential problems and are likely to save yourself a lot of stress, effort and money down the line.”
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Her suggestions include:
• Do a deep clean of the home prior to moving in.
• Change the locks and make spare keys as there is no way to know whether there are copies of the old keys floating around, and who might have them.
• Make sure you are properly insured, not just for the replacement value of the building, but all its contents.
• If possible, live in your home for 12 to 18 months before making big changes as any initial ideas may change once you have lived in it for a while.
• Don't overspend to personalise. Rather start with small things like new curtains or a coat of paint until you have adjusted to your new homeownership expenses
• Create a home maintenance checklist.
• Keep the receipts for all improvements as, when you sell your home, you will have to pay capital gains tax which is calculated from the difference between the original price you paid and your selling price. You can offset all improvement costs against this which will reduce your tax bill.
• Maintain an emergency fund for unexpected problems.