The Top 5 Mistakes First-Time Home Buyers Make After Moving In

As you move into your first home, you probably have countless ideas for interior decorating, renovations, and upgrades. It’s exciting to imagine your dream home and plan the steps you can take to make your vision a reality. However, first-time homeowners often rush into projects and make impulsive decisions in their first few months at the new house.

The feelings of excitement and inspiration that come from purchasing your first home are unmatched, but it’s always important to be patient and careful when settling into your house.

Here are five mistakes that first-time home buyers make after moving in:


Getting Rid of Old Furniture


1. Getting Rid of Old Furniture

When you move into a new home, it can be tempting to purchase all new furniture to fill up the space. If you’re moving from an apartment to a house, you probably will need to purchase additional furniture as your new home is likely larger. Overdoing your furniture purchases as soon as you move in can be a big mistake, though.

High-quality furniture is expensive, and you should be cautious when making large purchases right after moving. You want to make sure you have enough money to cover any unexpected emergencies or repairs for the home, so draining your bank account to furnish the house is risky.

Instead, consider keeping your old furniture for a while as you settle into the home. You might not like the way all of the pieces look in your new home, but this is the most cost-effective way to make your house livable as you finalize your plans for the style and décor. Then, over time, you can add more furniture pieces or replace the old items with new ones.


Painting Everything

2. Painting Everything

New homeowners make a number of mistakes involving painting. While painting can be a fairly easy and simple way to change the aesthetics of a room or cover up imperfections in the walls, you don’t want to go overboard with your painting projects.

First, consider whether the colors and styles you’re drawn to will continue to appeal to you in a few years. Paint trends come and go, and while you may love a certain shade today, you might not love it when it goes out of style. By taking your time and carefully considering your color options, you can ensure that you’ll choose shades that you’ll want to keep for years to come.

It’s also important to use high-quality paint, but new homeowners who want to paint the entire house right away often choose less expensive, lower-quality paints. A quality paint will withstand wear and tear, so it’s a far better long-term option.


Choosing Style Over Function

3. Choosing Style Over Function

Your style, color scheme, and décor can bring your vision for your home to life. Planning the aesthetics of your home can be very exciting and inspiring, and many new homeowners love putting the cosmetic pieces of their home together. However, one of the biggest mistakes first-time home buyers make is prioritizing style over function.

It’s possible to create an attractive, stylish living space that also is functional. Sacrificing practicality for the sake of appearance can make your home feel uncomfortable, and the inconvenience is never worth it.

This applies to your budget, too. New homeowners sometimes rush to purchase décor, paint, and new furniture to transform the home while ignoring more serious, urgent repairs. Before you invest in styling your home, you should be certain that all of the major appliances and systems are in good working condition.


Forgetting Routine Maintenance

4. Forgetting Routine Maintenance

Transitioning from renting to homeownership can be challenging as you have so many more responsibilities as a homeowner. In most cases, renters aren’t responsible for maintenance and repairs on the property. As a homeowner, though, you have to stay current on routine maintenance.

Some maintenance tasks are quick and easy, like changing the filters in your HVAC system. Others are more labor-intensive, such as cleaning out the gutters. If you don’t have much experience with home maintenance, you can outsource many of these tasks to a professional and learn by watching them. Keeping up-to-date on preventative maintenance is a great way to avoid costly disasters.

Crossing the Property Line

5. Crossing the Property Line

You might be interested in installing a fence, planting trees, or doing other projects on your home’s property line. You should never assume that you know where the property line is, though. Sometimes, new homeowners see the grass line where their neighbor mows and assume it’s the official boundary. You can’t be certain of the property line until a City Surveyor shows you exactly where it is.

Some homeowners aren’t too concerned about the specific location of the property line, but others can be defensive over the boundary. The last thing you want as a new homeowner is to have a property line dispute with your new neighbor.

You’re probably eager to get started with the home improvement projects when you move into your first house, but you should avoid the common mistakes new homeowners make. Prioritize essential repairs first, be careful with your budget, and take your time when planning your design and decor. You have years to transform your home, so you don’t need to rush into any decisions right after moving in.


Bottom Line

Enjoy your new home, put your stamp on it and mind your budget. It is important to hold funds for operating costs and maintenance, the not so fun side of homeownership. Filling the home with furniture and painting can happen over time … one room at a time to keep the budget and decisions in check.

Check out the 2022 NAR Remodeling Impact Report to understand how investments today will impact tomorrow’s value. Here is a free link to my Design Workbook to help track your choices as you put your stamp on your home!



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About the Author

Northern Virginia area has always been home for me and has much to offer as your lifestyle requirements move forward. My consultative background for the technology companies in market analysis, go-to-market strategy and leading change is what I bring to my clients when they are searching for home or looking to make a change. No two clients have the same requirements and I am passionate about helping to match clients with my Northern Virginia home and their current lifestyle!   

My mission is to help you with the service, technology, and marketing strategy you should expect and demand from a Realtor. You are embarking on what should be a fun and exciting adventure, let me remove the stress so you can enjoy yourself! Therefore, I am partnered with the best in the industry - Keller Williams Realty. The real estate market is evolving technically which is extremely exciting and I am applying technology and marketing strategy for clients everyday.   

I have watched Northern Virginia grow and evolve, I grew up boating and skiing on the Occoquan, am a Purple Bleeding James Madison University alumni, hometown sports fan, foodie and a fitness fanatic who is here to serve you in making your next move and finding home!   

Now let’s find your home in Northern Virginia!   

Michele Hudnall | @RealEstateOfNVA | [email protected] | 703.867.3436

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