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6 Steps to Take the Day You Buy Your First Home

6 Steps to Take the Day You Buy Your First Home

Buying a home is a big responsibility, financially and for many other easons. It is easily the single biggest expense in life for most people, and it may not be the only home you ever own. There are scores of things that you need to get done in order to prepare a down payment, secure a mortgage, and purchase the home of your dreams, but the work is not done the day you sign on the dotted line or get handed the keys. Here are six things you should get done the day you buy your first home.

1. Take pictures.

You will want them to remember what your house looked like the day you took ownership, and you may need them for an insurance claim later on. Digital cameras mean you can take a lot of pictures without having to worry about the cost of developing film. However, you may want to print out an 8 by 10 of how your house looked the day you bought it.

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Store the rest of the images in the cloud or on digital media. Realize that even flash drives do not hold data forever. Degradation of the digital data on a flash drive takes years, but it does happen. Shooting some video of the inside and outside of your home with a narrative will be fun to view years from now too.

2. Confirm your insurance.

Look over the fine print of policies. Contact your insurance agent to make sure all paperwork has been filled. Buying a house is a hectic time. Make sure your actual coverage is in step with the market value of the house as well as what is owed on the mortgage. Reassess the coverage after moving in with your possessions. Do you have too little, too much, or just the right coverage for the contents? You want adequate insurance coverage, but you do not want to pay excessive premiums.

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3. Change the locks.

Whether you do it yourself or hire a locksmith, make sure the door locks on your home are changed the day you take possession of it. You have no idea who the previous owner has given copies of the keys to. It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to home security. The home is now yours. No one who was granted access before has that right now, and the best way to control access is to change the locks. Do not forget to have the locks changed on outbuildings too. New door locks can all be keyed to open with one key. Specialty keyed locks may offer more security than mass-produced models.

4. Get a security system.

The FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics indicate that there were 1,729,806 burglaries in the United States for 2014. That is about one burglary every two seconds of homes and businesses. Home security systems act as an early warning system and a deterrent. Criminals do not want to get caught, and they choose easier targets than homes with alarm systems. Plus, fire and carbon monoxide detection tied to a central monitoring station can send help whether you are home or away, and also if you or your family is incapacitated.

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5. Check your utilities.

It is easy to tell if the electricity is on, but it is more difficult in some homes to determine if the natural gas is on or if propane is available. Also, it is important to check your water heater. It may have been turned off or turned to its lowest setting to save energy while the house is unoccupied.

If you do not have a gas stove but have gas heat, turn the furnace on and listen for the flame to start. Check the temperature setting on the water heater. If you do not know how to check for a lit pilot light on a tank water heater, just run the hot water for five minutes and listen for the flame to start at the water tank. If it does not, have it checked.

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6. Look over home guarantee policies.

Within a few days of living in your new home, you may discover things that need fixed that neither you nor your home inspection expert noticed. Homes that have been unoccupied for a time may develop slow drain issues. The sewer systems of unoccupied homes dry out. Sludge in the drains can harden to a plaster-like consistency. As you begin to flush solids down the dry drains, build up may cause slow drains or clogs. This can especially be a problem in homes that have terracotta drains.

After a few months, a lot of homeowners start to develop a nervousness as they realize that something could break and cost them a lot of money that they simply don’t have. I use a home warranty in order to better budget and not have to worry about large repairs breaking the bank around the holidays.

Your new home is going to quickly become your castle and family place of comfort, safety, and refuge. However, it is practically inevitable that there will be some issues, quirks, and other things you notice about your new home after you move in. Every home has its own sounds and peculiarities that can be irritating or endearing. Some have never forgotten the sound of a noisy water pipe, a cozy sunny spot, or even that cold drafty spot in a home they have lived in. Enjoy your new home and all it has to offer.

Featured photo credit: https://pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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