Things you have to consider when buying your first home*

Things you have to consider when buying your first home

I bought my flat with my sister back in 2014 but after buying her out in February this year, I’m now the sole owner and have to live up to the harsh reality that I am now actually 100% responsible for it. Scary shit, right? There’s quite a lot I’ve learned since buying my own property (especially since my only living out of home experience was being pandered to in student halls), which I wanted to share as some first time home owner tips.

Look after your boiler
Whether you have a water tank that is heated or if yours is one of the central heating boilers, get it serviced. Annually. The chances are, you’re not reading this as a boiler specialist, so pay someone to service it once a year and you can have peace of mind. Yes, you may think you’re paying for a piece of paper and for them to tell you it’s fine, but trust me, the alternative of having no heating or hot water and having to shower at your manky local gym is a gross alternative. A regularly serviced boiler will last longer and be less likely to play up in the long run.

Consider your central heating
Whether you have to go through the process of central heating installation(sounds like a ballache, I’m lucky to have electric heaters), don’t put it off and again, get a pro in to do it. There’s nothing worse than getting to winter and not being able to get warm when you’re at home and meant to be snuggled on the sofa taking cosy Instagram stories with #hygge, so prioritise getting your heating sorted if you need to.

Go big on your insurance
Life insurance, critical illness insurance, all of it, go big. It’s worth the investment and will never be as cheap as the day you take it out as it gets more expensive with age. You may get to age 69 and 364 days and still be alive (most policies run out at 70), and yes, you’ve paid a load of insurers dead money, or you may be one of the unfortunate people who has to claim on it, whether you’re ill or die. Knowing that if you’re hit by a bus next week that your mortgage can be paid off and your family and friends will get a lump sum is a small comfort. Trust me, my dad got diagnosed with MS aged 40 and didn’t have critical illness insurance (he was a builder and spent too much time on scaffolding to get insurance), and went from being main bread winner to my mum having to take over that role at a moment’s notice. Illness can make life difficult physically and emotionally, don’t make it financially harder than it needs to be. 

Spend a lot of time on uSwitch
Make sure that your energy bills are with the best providers and on the best tariffs so that you’re not over-paying. You don’t have to go for one of the big name providers if there is a cheaper rate elsewhere, providing that the company is reputable. Look for discounts, referral codes and any cashback offers – providers want your business and will bribe you to go with them.

There is a YouTube tutorial for everything
Want to know about a stressful experience? Changing a spotlight lightbulb. I literally had no idea what to do when my first lightbulb blew but one Google search later and I’m now a pro. I know it sounds stupid, not knowing how to change a lightbulb, but when they come in so many shapes and sizes, it’s a minefield. And my other tip? When you need to replace a bulb, take the old one with you to the shop – trust me, you will never remember what type you need.

So, that’s my tips for first time home owners, what is on your list? Let me know in the comments.

*This post is sponsored by CentralHeating-Quotes but all thoughts and opinions are, as always, my own

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