Maintenance Guide for New Homeowners

Image Source: MSN Real Estate

Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This is especially true when it comes to home maintenance. When transitioning from renting to owning, the responsibility falls to you, the homeowner, instead of the landlord. MSN Real Estate has compiled a list of simple-but-important maintenance tasks that could save you thousands of dollars in the long run. Here is a summary:

Yearly

  • Caulk windows and trim in the fall, before it rains.
  • Inspect your crawl space for water every fall, about 30 days after the fall rain begins.
  • Check wooden decks for moisture in dry, warm weather.
  • Inspect and touch up exterior paint in dry summer weather.
  • Service and clean the furnace.
  • Get the chimney swept and inspected once a year or after you’ve burned a cord of wood, whichever happens first.
  • Check bathtub caulk.
  • Check the toilet seal.

Two or three times a year

  • Muck out the gutters.
  • Clean your roof’s valleys.
  • Switch ceiling fans from summer to winter.
  • Heal cracks in asphalt paving.
  • Baby your garbage disposal.

Monthly

  • Check furnace filters.

If you’re not a natural fix-it guy or gal, don’t worry, MSN’s article gives detailed, easy-to-follow instructions outlining the what, when, why and how for each of these tasks.

Your Homeowners Insurance

Your Homeowners InsuranceHomeowners insurance is required on all mortgage loans. We suggest you shop around to find the policy that suits your needs. Most people purchase a policy with the same insurance company as their auto insurance. After you set up a policy with the company of your choice, wait to begin your coverage until you close on your home. The cash due at closing will include 12 months of your homeowners insurance which will be sent directly to your provider, and an additional two months (for reserve) of the premium which will be sent to an escrow account that we will set up for you.

Your monthly mortgage payment will include your principal payment, interest payment, property taxes and homeowners insurance. The bank will send your tax and insurance payments to the escrow account each month. The escrow account will pay your taxes two times a year and your homeowners insurance once a year. This will allow the bank to ensure the home insurance and property taxes are up to date.

Documenting Your Assets – The Paper Trail

JC_DOCUMENTING YOUR ASSETS THE PAPER TRAILAssets must be verified to ensure a borrower has sufficient funds to complete the mortgage transaction and, if required, adequate reserves after closing. Money that has been deposited into your account at least two months prior to closing is considered seasoned funds. These assets must be tracked and documented 60 days prior to the date of closing. Assets may be verified with copies of bank statements or investment portfolio statements that cover activity in the borrower’s accounts. If the account reflects large deposits/transfers, underwriting will require evidence that these funds are from an allowable source per underwriting guidelines

Here are some examples of inconsistent deposits/transfers that will require documentation:

  • Deposits greater than $250.00
  • Single or cumulative deposits/transfers that are greater than $250.00
  • Out of cycle payroll deposits/transfers, e.g. borrower is paid on the 1st and 15th of the month, but deposits made by the employer are on the 10th.
  • Statement has a significantly greater balance than previous balances.