What could be more exciting than turning the key and walking into a new home? Probably making the leap from renter to first time homeowner. Since it’s easy to be swept up in all of the excitement, our St. Louis mortgage lenders at USA Mortgage have a few smart steps for you to take when it comes to walking into your first home.


STEP #1:  Don’t confuse home repairs with home improvements. The IRS considers repairs to be part and parcel of home ownership – something that preserves value, not enhances it. Improvements would be something like adding in central air conditioning, which will decrease your future tax bill when you go to sell your home. Repairs would be the line items the previous owners did not fix, such as plumbing malfunctions. In that case, you would receive a discount on the sale price.


STEP #2:  Watch your budget on furniture and remodeling. Money is typically tight for new homeowners. The down payment and closing costs are known for depleting the average person’s savings. However, personalizing your new home is often times the best part of the entire homeownership experience. Build yourself a modest budget to slowly decorate your home. If you have a 30-year fixed rate loan through a St. Louis mortgage company – like USA Mortgage – you will have plenty of time to make your home reflect you and your loved ones.


STEP #3:  Know who you are hiring to do work on your home. If hiring landscape contractors, roofers, or other construction developers, make sure you are hiring qualified individuals. While getting more bang for your buck may be your priority, hiring the wrong help could take you 10 steps backwards on the road to a perfect home. Consider some DIY (do it yourself) challenges – like devoting a Saturday morning to painting the walls – so you can have some extra money to hire on the experts for the big projects.


STEP #4:  Keep receipts! Not that we want you to think about selling your home when you just walked into it for the first time, but make sure you hold onto receipts if that day comes to sell your home. Maybe you are anticipating moving to another city within the next decade or a different part of town when you decide to start a family. That will – more likely than not – require you to sell your home. When (or if) that time comes, keeping your receipts on any home repairs or improvements will help you to maximize tax-free earnings.


STEP #5:  Properly insure your home. Not only will your St. Louis mortgage lender will require you to purchase homeowners insurance, but they help to make sure that you purchase enough of it. Purchasing the right amount will help to make sure your property is replaced in the event of a total loss. The primary income provider in the household will need a life insurance policy to protect their spouse and/or child (named as the beneficiaries) in the event that the main income provider passes away. This will allow the beneficiaries to keep the home. There are other options, such as disability-income insurance that can protect you, your home and your family.


At USA Mortgage, we know all things homeowner related, but we specialize in providing you with the finances to take that first step through the door. For more homeowner advice, how-to’s and ideas, check back with our blog! To get started with the process to homeownership, contact us at USA Mortgage today!