Homeownership Guidance, Advice and Blogs

As the Director of Affiliate Relations at HomeFree-USA, I’ve always been fascinated with how people handle their money. Like everyone else, I’ve had my financial ups and downs. In fact, it took me 32 months to pay off $32,000 in credit card bills and build up a six-month emergency fund. While that was a very difficult period, I am grateful – and wiser -- for the experience.

Through my personal experiences and working at HomeFree-USA, I’ve gained a ton of insight that I feel compelled to share. You’ll find those lessons here. Feel free to take the thoughts and ideas that resonate with you most and put aside the rest for later. I look forward to sharing my journey.

4 Things New Homeowners Often Don’t Know

Your house is one of your greatest assets. These four tips will help you protect it.

Closing on your house is just the beginning of your journey. Here are four critical pieces of information that will help homeowners thrive:

  • It’s a good idea to change the locks. You wouldn’t give a stranger a key to your house. Yet, even if the previous owner gives you the keys, he or she may have given a key to a friend years ago and forgotten. To protect yourself and your family, make sure you hire a locksmith to change all of the locks as soon as possible.
  • Your important documents should be kept in a safe space. Once you’ve gone through the process of buying a house, make sure you protect all of the legal documents related to the transaction, such as the deed, the closing disclosure and home inspection reports. Also, keep track of any investments you make in your house such as receipts for new appliances and renovations.  None of us can predict when we might be impacted by a disaster, so a safe deposit box or fire- and water-proof safe would be good places to store those documents. 
  • You may need to quickly shut off valves for water and gas. If a pipe unexpectedly bursts or you smell gas in your house, would you know what to do? One of the first things you should do when you move in is make sure you know how to shut off the water and gas in an emergency. Doing so could help you to ward off damage to your house and prevent harm to your family’s health.
  • There’s always a place to turn for help. It’s no secret that nonprofit organizations like HomeFree-USA can guide you through the homebuying process. However, we can also help you keep your home. If you run into financial challenges or some other type of emergency, reach out to a HomeFree-USA Advisor for help.

Your house is one of your greatest assets. Arm yourself with the knowledge to protect it.