Statista data reveals that the homeownership rate in the US was 65.8% in 2020. Owning a house is undoubtedly a significant accomplishment that benefits you and your family.
However, homeownership comes with numerous responsibilities to your municipality, mortgage lender, neighborhood association, neighbors, and your home itself.
Therefore, it is crucial to stay on top of these responsibilities the moment you become a homeowner.
If you want to know more about becoming a responsible homeowner, take a look at these points.
- Get homeowners insurance
At least 85% of US homeowners have homeowners insurance for good reasons.
For starters, homeowners insurance is an essential requirement that many mortgage lenders will request that you have to ensure that your property is adequately protected before funding your mortgage.
Also, it is best to take out a homeowners insurance policy to protect your primary dwelling.
You can insure your house at 100% of its value, but 80% to 90% is also fairly standard. This way, any major and minor damages and total replacement costs due to house fires, hurricanes, tornados, and other risks will be covered.
In addition, homeowners insurance policies cover detached structures like a garage, shed, or fence on your property, helping you pay for replacement or repairs if a covered peril damages them.
Furthermore, homeowners insurance provides personal property coverage that helps pay to replace particular belongings like electronics and furniture destroyed or stolen by a covered loss.
Personal liability coverage, guest medical protection, and additional living expenses coverage are some of the other benefits of homeownership insurance that make it worth considering for responsible homeownership.
- Consider a home warranty plan
A home warranty is a contract between a homeowner and a provider designed to protect appliances and major home systems from breakdowns caused by wear and tear.
Your heating and cooling, electrical, and plumbing systems, as well as appliances like dryers, refrigerators, and washers, are protected by a home warranty plan.
Home warranty companies have agreements with various service providers, so they can call these companies when something covered by the warranty breaks down.
Then, the service providers inspect the issue and take appropriate action if they determine that the warranty covers the type of repair or replacement required.
A home warranty plan is crucial because it helps lower the cost of repairing or replacing major home systems and appliances that malfunction.
Also, your warranty complements your homeowners’ insurance because it protects things that your insurance doesn’t, giving you peace of mind.
- Organize your paperwork
Many experts agree that excellent record-keeping is one of the hallmarks of responsible homeownership, so keep this in mind.
Many paperwork accompanies homeownership, including receipts, home repair bills, warranty information, legal documents, taxes, and many more. Consequently, consider setting up a filing system with copies of these essential documents to avoid spending time looking for critical information when you need it the most.
This way, you can also avoid the hassle and stress of making phone calls, chasing down documents, and handling major homeownership-related problems when they arise.
- Have an emergency fund
A reported one in four Americans has no emergency fund at all. However, a healthy cash reserve is necessary since homeownership comes with occasional unexpected and expensive repairs and replacements.
For instance, your roof may start leaking suddenly, or your air conditioner can die at the height of summer. Also, you can encounter a pest problem that needs immediate remediation or fall victim to acts of nature such as hail and heavy rain causing flooding.
A rainy day fund will enable you to cover the necessary repairs and replacements without postponing the projects or taking on additional debt.
- Invest in safety essentials
No homeowner expects to experience a break-in, fire, or other home emergencies. Nevertheless, these things happen, so it is better to be safe than sorry.
Therefore, consider investing in various safety essentials that will help you navigate different emergencies. For instance, a first aid kit is worth having since you or other family members can occasionally experience cuts, sprains, and other injuries.
In addition, a fire alarm or smoke detector is crucial to detect potential fires early and prevent your home from being destroyed.
Furthermore, make an emergency contact list including doctors, parents, and poison control that you, your guests, and family members can access during crises.
A fire extinguisher, emergency ladder, hand-crank radio, and a small safe to keep valuables like expensive jewelry and birth certificates are other safety essentials to consider investing in.