Wednesday, January 27, 2016 / by Vanessa Saunders
This is the moment you have been waiting for. All the paperwork is complete, you have the keys, and you are finally in your new home. Or maybe you've been saving your pennies, and you're excited about fixing up your current place. But you may want to move the following lower on your priority list, or skip them altogether.
Landscapers. A landscaper can go a long way to improving your yard, especially if you've been fortunate to have a lot of acreage. But is it really worth it? Sure the massive yard and the things that you could do with it were one of the biggest reasons you decided to buy. But this may cost a lot, and maybe there are other things you want to do to your house. Maybe recreating the lawn from Downton Abbey is not a top priority.
Installing a Swimming Pool. Yes, your backyard is large enough for a resort-style in-ground pool. It is one of the major selling points that your agent pumped up when you first bought your house. But give it some thought before you goadding a huge expense like this. Pools are expensive and require a lot of upkeep, and in many regions they don't add to the home's value. Maybe there's a community pool that will give you the same bang for less buck.
Appliance Insurance and Extended Warranties. So you bought the whole kit and caboodle when you bought your home or refurbished, including the stainless steel appliances. Maybe the warranties are about to expire. Is it really worth the money to extend the warranties or buying appliance insurance? Maybe putting a few bucks away in an emergency repair fund instead is a smarter strategy.
High-Priced Private Mortgage Insurance. You likely didn't even choose your mortgage insurer. It was the one recommended by your agent to cover your down payment when you can't afford 20% down. It's a waste of money to stay with a private mortgage insurer longer than necessary. You need homeowners insurance, but you can typically cancel your PMI as soon as you have reached the 22% equity threshold.
New Furniture. Finally, there is nothing wrong with wanting to start over with brand-new furniture. But give it a lot of thought first, so you don't have buyers' remorse. You will likely have your furniture for a long time. Consider what stage of life you're in and think about cost, style and whether you need child- or pet-proof furniture.
Your home is likely the largest purchase you will ever make in your life. When you bite the bullet and spend that money, rushing out and adding unnecessary expenses to your debt is reckless. When you have the money, add your new items gradually. It will add up to a less stressful much more pleasant resettling or refurbishment.