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Your home is likely your biggest investment. You should plan for the responsibilities of homeownership even before you move.
Consider the following tips for new homeowners:
- Make your mortgage payments on time.
Late or missed payments can lead to extra charges and affect your credit rating.
- Anticipate the costs of operating a home.
Extra expenses may include repair and maintenance costs, snow removal and alarm monitoring.
- Live within your budget.
Check every few months to see if you’re spending more than you earn. If you are, find new ways to save more or spend less.
- Save for emergencies.
Set aside 5% of your income as an emergency fund to be ready for unexpected expenses.
- Protect your home and family.
Prepare an emergency evacuation plan and check fire extinguishers, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors regularly. Also, don't forget to test your home for harmful radon gases that can pose a serious threat to the health of home occupants.