So, you’re taking the plunge and have decided to get on the property ladder once and for all. Your about to join the first time home buyers’ club and the excitement is building. I have yet to buy my first home, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t think about it – often! Buying my first home is one of my goals in the near future. I am determined to make it happen.
Lots of people will no doubt have filled you in on all the expenses involved in buying a home, from survey fees to stamp duty to legal fees. But one thing that many first time home buyers forget to budget for is actually decorating your house when you’ve moved in and equipping it with all the things you need to make a comfortable home. You may of course be very lucky and move into somewhere that is decorated just to your taste, so that you don’t really need to do anything to it. But to be honest, for most first time home buyers this would be a rare phenomenon. Unless you’re a whiz kid City Trader the chances are your budget is not going to set any estate agent’s pulse racing, and you’ll probably end up looking at houses that are a little shabby and could use a little ‘updating’ so to speak.
So, what should you set a little money aside for? Well, if you’re looking at older houses that haven’t been modernised in a while you may want to think about budgeting for a new kitchen or bathroom. Unless you’re very lucky, it would be rare to come across a great deal on a house that had both a brand new kitchen and a modern, funky bathroom with a power shower. If you’re on a tight budget, then consider what is more important to you. Some people aren’t too fussy about the kitchen as long as they can cook in it and would much rather have a swanky bathroom, while for others, it’s kitchen first all the way.
The other thing you’ll need to budget for (though it shouldn’t break the bank) is painting your new home. Even if the house you’re considering buying doesn’t look too shabby on the inside, the colour schemes may not be to your liking, and it just won’t feel like yours until you’ve spent an afternoon looking at the colour charts in B&Q. Painting your home really lets you put your own stamp on it, and in a strange way will help you settle in.
And finally, don’t forget the sofa! If you’ve been renting for a long time you may not have bothered investing in something comfy to sit on, but now that you’re going to be properly settled, the sofa shopping can begin. Remember how I furnished my apartment for $600? Expect to shell out any amount from about $750 upwards for a really good one. But remember, it’s an investment.