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Here Are 5 Important Lessons You Learn as a New Homeowner

Beginner’s guide through the tricky waters of homeownership.

Building your dream home is an exciting prospect, that’s for sure. However, it can also seem a little overwhelming when you’re only just starting out on the journey. Many people get caught up in the adrenaline of being a new property owner and end up making rookie mistakes that cost a whole lot. But it doesn’t have to be as intimidating as it sounds – you just need a bit of extra research and planning.

If you’re a first-time homebuyer looking for a place to finally call your own, take note of these important lessons to ensure a smooth and painless transition into your new home.

1. Never rush into making a decision

Tampines GreenView by Versaform
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Buying a home will likely be your single largest purchase to date. Therefore, it’s important to figure out your personal and financial priorities before taking the home-buying plunge. Let’s be realistic here: rather than falling in love with a house that you may struggle to pay for, it’s a good idea to find out how much you can actually afford to shell out. Like any major investment, you need to weigh the pros and cons in order to make a well-informed decision that meets your budget and needs.

2. Don’t skimp out on home inspection

West Coast Drive by Le Interior Affairs
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Most homeowners tend to gloss over the home inspection process, which is the perfect opportunity to assess a home’s condition and pick out defects before future problems arise. Some of the common issues we typically find in new homes are water leakage, burst pipes, and faulty electrical wiring. Before starting on any renovation work, it’s crucial to identify any potential problems that might need repairing. The last thing you want is to discover a flaw just months after moving into your freshly renovated home.

But even if there are none , we highly recommend getting your home insured against such unexpected home emergencies. Water leakage, burst pipes, faulty electrical wiring – these can all be covered!

3. Take your time to plan the renovation carefully

Bishan Street 24 by Forefront Interior
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To avoid dealing with subpar renovation works, take the time to browse, ask around and meet different interior designers before deciding on one that best fits your style and budget. But don’t wait until you get your keys before you start planning either. Plan ahead to prevent any unnecessary mad rush, give yourself ample time to work with your interior designer, and always buffer for any unforeseen delays.

4. Set aside an emergency fund for unanticipated costs

Woodlands Drive 16 by E&S
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Do you have enough funds in your savings for home-related emergencies? We’re not talking about the mandatory costs like monthly mortgage payments, property taxes and utility bills. We’re talking about the unexpected ones such as surprise (but necessary) repair works, home improvement projects and even pest control. Be sure to factor in maintenance costs for regular upkeep as well.

It may not sound like a lot now, but these costs can add up over time. Make it a habit to set aside a fixed amount every month in your budget; remember, a little goes a long way!

5. Prioritise spending on things that matter

Bukit Batok West Avenue 8 by Key Concept
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At the end of the day, it’s all about spending in the right places. Instead of splurging on expensive furniture that’s out of your budget, start with the basic essentials and put your money in an insurance policy that protects your home and the things you love from fires, water damage, burglary and the like - unexpected events that can cost you a fortune otherwise.

Upper Serangoon by Artmuse Interior
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Protect what matters from just $0.35 a day

With OCBC GreatHome Insurance, you can get your household contents, renovation works and personal belongings covered for up to $75,000 from just $0.35 a day, with three plan types to suit your needs. This is a great complement to mandatory HDB Fire Insurance, that covers only the building structures that come with your flat.

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The above is for general information only. It is not a contract of insurance. It does not constitute an offer to buy an insurance product or service. It is also not intended to provide any insurance or financial advice. The precise terms and conditions of the plans are specified in the insurance policy contract. GreatHome is underwritten by Great Eastern General Insurance Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Great Eastern Holdings Limited and member of the OCBC Group. GreatHome is not a bank deposit or obligation of, or guaranteed by OCBC Bank. Protected up to specified limits by SDIC.

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