5 Things Homeowners Need to Know About Home Ownership in MA

5 Things Homeowners Need to Know About Home Ownership in MA

5-things-home-ownersAre you a new homeowner? Is this your first time buying a home, or just your first time owning a home in the New England area? Whether this is your first house or your fifth, every time you purchase a brand new home, there are lots of things that must be considered. So before you do anything at all after the paperwork is signed and everything is said and done, take in some of these friendly tips from your insurance agent in Southeastern Massachusetts.

Tip #1 – Avoid the Mistakes of Others
Sit down and talk with any homeowner about the mistakes that they made when they purchased their first home and you are likely to hear some stories! From over-achieving remodeling projects to horrible wall colors that would not go away even with five coats of primer, it is jump in with both feet (and your eyes closed) and make some decisions that you’re going to regret. Try to avoid the mistakes that others have made before you and give yourself a little time to live in the home before you make any major changes.

If you are not experienced at home improvement projects, consider hiring a pro to take care of anything major, such as plumbing or electrical work. Remember, your homeowners insurance probably won’t cover you for damages caused by your own shoddy work or for work that wasn’t signed off by a licensed contractor. If you have questions, speak with your Massachusetts home insurance agent before you pick up a hammer.

Tip #2 – Consider Getting a Maintenance Inspection
When you purchase a home, there are inspections that are done in order to finalize the sale, but it is in your best interest to hire a maintenance inspector to look everything over and advise you of any immediate repairs that need to be made, as well as areas that you should keep an eye on for future maintenance services. If you notice anything that needs to be repaired, make sure to schedule a contractor or professional service provider to come in and take care of it as soon as possible. Don’t let anything fall by the wayside in your rush to move into the home and get settled.

Also consider hiring an HVAC company to come out and check on your heating and air conditioning systems to ensure that they are in proper working order. Have your air filters replaced and ask about a home maintenance program that will provide you with twice yearly inspections and services, as well as discounts on any parts or labor costs for work done for repairs in between regular services. If you upgrade your HVAC system, make sure to bring that up with the insurance agent in Southeastern Massachusetts.

Tip #3 – Ask for License and Insurance Information
Part of being a responsible homeowner is making sure that anyone who works on your home in any capacity is licensed with the state and has adequate insurance to cover their work. Your homeowners insurance can protect you in some situations, but will never protect you in cases of neglect. Not asking a service provider for license and insurance information can leave you wide open to a whole host of bad situations.

Tip #4 – Take Advantage of Tax Incentives
There are a lot of benefits associated with owning your own home and getting deductions on your tax return is just one of them. While you might not need to hire a tax accountant every year to do your taxes, it is in your best interest to hire one for at least the first year of home ownership so you will learn through example what can be deducted – and what can’t. You can use your first year’s tax return as a template for every year after and continue saving money on things like paid interest and property taxes.

Save all of your receipts for home improvements that can be used to off-set your potential tax liability when you sell your home. Speak with a tax accountant about what work can be consider a “home improvement” and what is simply a repair due to normal wear and tear. When you do make home improvements of upgrades, speak with your homeowners insurance company about making changes to your policy. Your local insurance agent in Southeastern Massachusetts can help you to make sure that you are covered.

Tip #5 – Get Proper Insurance
Another important aspect of home ownership is to make sure that your home is properly insured. While your lender will outline the bare minimum of what is required in order to protect their investment in the home, you will want to work with your Massachusetts home insurance provider to ensure that your investment is properly covered. Get free insurance quotes, but make sure to ask questions. Your local insurance agent in Southeastern Massachusetts can help you get the coverage you need at a price you can afford.

To find out more about F&T Insurance Agency, give us a call at our office in Westport, Massachusetts by dialing 774-319-5656 or stop by our location on State Road. Our team of highly trained, knowledgeable and experienced agents can answer all of your questions about homeowners insurance and provide you with free insurance quotes that you can use to make an informed decision about what policy type is best for you.

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