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 Let me congratulate you on becoming a homeowner! The decision to purchase your first home is a big step and should be a positive one and often comes with a rollercoaster of emotions, from understanding your loan, to unlocking the door for the first time to unpacking and picking new paint. It’s an exciting journey and I want to give you some tips and advice as a new homeowner.

First things first, change the locks. Most likely someone has lived in the home prior to you and may have even rented it out. With not knowing how generous the previous homeowner was with the key, it’s a smart idea to get the locks changed and while you are at it, don’t forget the garage door code.

Understand your monthly payments. Your monthly mortgage payment is comprised of the principal payment, interest, taxes, and insurance. Be aware that fluctuations in your payment over the years are normal because property taxes and homeowner’s insurance can change.

Create a specific home savings account. When first moving in you may get the urge to purchase new items for your home but it is best to save and accumulate those items over time. Creating a savings account specifically for your home will help build a nest egg for those future purchases and come in handy especially for those unexpected repairs.

Purchase essential home items. For your safety you should have the following in your home:

·        A fire extinguisher

·        Emergency preparedness kit/First aid kit

·        Flashlights, headlamps and spare batteries

·        A tool kit with items such as extension cords, stud finder, hammer, nails, screwdrivers, etc.

·        Carbon monoxide detectors

Caring for your credit after you purchased your home. Make your payments on time. Ensure you are not over extending yourself with other financed debt. This could lead to late mortgage payments, late fees and lower credit scores that can affect future expenses.

Stay in touch with your loan officer. Interest rates will fluctuate over the years giving you the option to refinance. Keeping in contact with your loan officer will help you determine the best time to refinance and answer other questions you may have regarding your home purchase.

About the Author: David Zitting has been in the mortgage industry for more than 20 years and is the CEO and President of Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc. (PRMI) a nationwide, multibillion-dollar mortgage lender headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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