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Apr 22

There’s No Place Like Home: Steps to Take When Buying Your First Home

 

 

Washington, D.C., April 22, 2014 –Preparing to buy your first home is one of life’s most monumental steps. As with other milestones, such as getting married or having a baby, new homeowners must face the financial realities that come with investing in a home of their own.

 Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (“CFP Board”) Ambassador Paul Jarvis, CFP® provides guidance on the “realty realities” that all new homeowners should be prepared to address.

 “Buying your first home is a wonderful endeavor but requires thoughtfulness and planning.  Taking the time to adequately budget, title, and protect your investment allows you to have a home you own not a home that owns you,” says Jarvis.

 In the latest installment of CFP Board’s “Let’s Talk Planning” blog and its “Financial Planning is for Everyone” series, the CFP Board shares three aspects of home ownership to consider when you close on and get the keys to your new home.

 

  1. Titling your home: There are several ways to own a house. What’s best for you depends on several factors:  For example, are you the sole purchaser, or are you buying it with another individual? If it’s just you, make sure you have a will to direct where the house should go in the event of your death. If you will be a co-owner, the important question is whether you want the home to automatically transfer to the other individual at your death.

 

  1. Insuring your home: If you have a mortgage, you must have insurance, but you do have choices about the kind of protection you buy. Homeowner’s policies differ with respect to the types of perils they cover, such as whether they include what’s inside your home and the monetary benefit you would receive if your home is destroyed.

 

  1. Maintaining your home: No more calling the landlord when there’s a water leak or the dishwasher dies. You need to plan for these events by setting up a “repair” account and funding it monthly. Once you move into your new home, get the names of some reputable contractors who do good work at reasonable costs.

 

Homeownership comes with more than enough new responsibilities. But there are two options new homeowners need not consider: mortgage insurance and bimonthly payment plans offered by the mortgage servicer. Mortgage insurance only makes sense it you cannot qualify for traditional life insurance because of health issues.  And you can increase your monthly payments on your own, shortening the duration of your mortgage and lowering your interest costs, without incurring bank service fees.

 If the homeownership process seems complicated, talk to a CFP® professional to prepare and plan. A Certified Financial Planner™ professional can help you focus on the important issues of owning a home: protection, preservation, and a plan for transfer. A home is an investment that needs your constant attention; enlist the help of a professional to take care of it.

  

ABOUT LET’S TALK PLANNING

“Let’s Talk Planning” is a blog by CFP Board Consumer Advocate Eleanor Blayney, CFP®, with posts each week with practical financial planning tips for consumers, as well as insights into the latest developments at CFP Board.  In addition to offering counsel on timely and evergreen financial planning topics, once a month Blayney will remind readers that “financial planning is for everyone,” with tips for consumers of all ages and life stages.

 

ABOUT CFP BOARD

The mission of Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. is to benefit the public by granting the CFP® certification and upholding it as the recognized standard of excellence for competent and ethical personal financial planning. The Board of Directors, in furthering CFP Board’s mission, acts on behalf of the public, CFP® professionals and other stakeholders. CFP Board owns the certification marks CFP®, Certified Financial Planner™, CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.  CFP Board currently authorizes more than 69,000 individuals to use these marks in the U.S.

 

CONTACT: Paul Jarvis, CFP Board Ambassador P: 701-451-3059 E: pjarvis@cfpboardambassador.org

 

The information in this article is not intended to be tax and/or legal advice and should not be treated as such. You should consult with your tax advisor and/or attorney to discuss your personal situation before making any decisions.

Additionally, If you are looking for additional help, seek help from a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional that can look at your individual situation holistically.