• Melanie Loves Tampa Bay

Reality Check ✅ What New Homeowners Should Know (& Meet My New Puppy)

Buying a home is a very exciting process, especially when it's your first house! But what happens when you move in and life isn't exactly what you imagined? Let's talk about some of the challenges that can overwhelm new home buyers right after closing that takes the fun away of owning your own place.

Featuring my new puppy Tucker, a smooth coat Brussels Griffon - otherwise known as the 'Petit Brabancon.'

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Warning: Your new house might be really dirty. In Florida, sellers are not legally required to have the property professionally cleaned when they transfer it to the buyer. Before closing day, take note of any discoloration in flooring - especially carpet and grout. Often, this issue goes unnoticed until the furniture is gone. If you think you're going to need to replace flooring or spend money on cleaning, make sure to prepare for this added cost.

Paint jobs may be bigger than you anticipated. It's not required or customary to patch and paint portions of the walls with nails or screws. Sometimes the patch job ends up looking worse than before, so most of the time - the seller leaves the walls as-is. It will be up to you to repair the drywall. If you're planning to repaint anyway, that's the time to patch up those holes.

Your A/C will absolutely break in the first month. Okay, I might be exaggerating a bit, but I can't begin to tell you how many times air conditioners (or something else) break soon after a new buyer moves in. Homes are full of things that need to be fixed. Sometimes buyers will get upset with the home inspector or seller, because they feel like the issue should have been caught or disclosed. Most of the issues are just regular things that break. Once you close on your house, that is now your responsibility. Hire a good home inspector to begin with and consider getting a home warranty.

Your neighbors might be terrible. If you had visions of co-hosting summer barbecues with your best friends next door, you may want to adjust your expectations. Chances are, you WILL find friends in your neighborhood. If you have an unpleasant or intrusive neighbor, there's not much you can do about it unless their behavior warrants contacting local authorities. Driving around the neighborhood prior to purchasing and talking with people who live there may be helpful to avoid nightmare neighbors, but you can't always rely on strangers for solid information.

Furnishing and decorating is a marathon, not a spring. Making a house a home takes time. Lots of buyers don't expect that and want it to feel like home too quickly. It's frustrating with boxes piled up and furniture deliveries taking too long. Don't worry if there are empty rooms for a while, you need to figure out how you are going to live in the space. Decorate and furnish the rooms that are the most important for your daily life and do the rest over a longer period of time. Set realistic decorating and furnishing goals.



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Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. She can be reached at 813-368-6084 or matkinson@smithandassociates.com

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