Understand what you’re getting into
There are plenty of things to consider when you’re getting ready to buy your first home. And while hardwood floors versus wall-to-wall carpeting might seem like the toughest decision ever, it may actually be the least of your concerns. Before you commit yourself to what could be 30 years of mortgage payments, consider this:
- How big a mortgage can you actually afford?
- Annual upkeep and maintenance costs typically equal about 4% of your home’s value. How will that affect your cash flow?
- What kind of mortgage should you get?
- Are there any incentives for first-time home buyers you qualify for?
- Are you responsible for any condo or co-op HOA fees? If so, are they likely to increase over time?
Protecting your home sweet home
There’s really nothing that compares to walking through the front door of your new home for the very first time. But in the midst of all the joy and excitement you’re probably feeling, it’s essential to think about the best ways to keep yourself and your family secure and comfortable for the years:
- Life insurance helps make sure your loved ones can continue to pay the mortgage and other home-related costs in the event of your death.
- Disability insurance protects you in case you can no longer work due to injury or illness. It’s a smart way to ensure you can make your monthly mortgage payments in the absence of a regular paycheck.
- Permanent life insurance, like whole life not only provides the security of a death benefit, but, thanks to its tax-advantaged cash value, can actually help you fund home improvements in the future.