28 October 2015

5 things that have changed since you stepped on the property ladder

When you make the move from renting to owning it’s not just your address that’ll be different.

We look at 5 changes all new homeowners can expect to see in their first few years on the property ladder.

You’ve got an address book full of tradespeople

In a rental, most serious repairs are handled by a simple call to the landlord. But once you own, arranging fixes is all up to you.

If you haven’t done so already, it’s a good idea to update your address book with the name and number of a plumber, electrician and builder or handyman. If your dishwasher starts leaking soapy water on the floor or you need someone to fix a broken front gate, you’ll be glad to have done your research in advance. 

You’ve got a new set of responsibilities, and expenses

Your new home is likely the biggest investment you’ve ever made. And part of sustaining the value of your home is making sure you keep it well maintained.

Plan to keep some cash on hand for repairs when you move in. The Money Advice Service says that the average amount new homeowners spend on initial repairs is £5,750. Your initial survey may highlight repairs and these should be fixed straight away. 

You’ll also want to set some money aside for routine maintenance like having the gutters cleaned, sealing the bathroom or buying new bulbs or plants for the garden. Keeping on top of maintenance jobs will almost always save you money in the long run, and keep your home in tip top condition.

You’ve got the DIY bug

Now that you’re a homeowner, you no longer need to ask for permission to paint, hang art, put up shelves and rip up the carpet. 

While it’s tempting to tackle everything at once, patience and planning will help you keep your budget on track and make sure you don’t regret picking a trendy wallpaper or paint colour that loses its appeal all too quickly.

If you’re desperate to splash some colour on the walls after years of living with magnolia rooms, why not opt for feature walls in each room? That way it’s not too much work to redecorate if you fancy another change a few months down the line.

You’ve developed a sense of community

Now that you’re no longer renting, the people who live around you may be your neighbours for years or even decades.

Building good relationships with your neighbours can make your home life more pleasant. It can also be helpful as you never know when you’ll need someone to take in a delivery for you or keep an eye out on your home while you’re on holiday.

You’ve got a little extra cash every month

Chances are, before your big purchase you were putting away money every month to save up for your deposit. Now that’s paid, you’re able to free up the cash for another use.

During your first year as a homeowner, you may need that extra money for repairs and decorating. But after that, it’s a smart idea to work out a new use for those free funds, such as building your emergency fund or putting the money in a savings account for a special event like a wedding.

Find out more

If you have recently got your first mortgage you may find the information on our mortgage support pages helpful. It gives you information about what to do if you would like to make changes to your mortgage as well as more general information about mortgages.

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