Buying a new home was probably your best financial move in 2016. Now you can continue to reap the financial benefits of homeownership in the new year and take some steps to help protect your investment.
Some states allow those who have their principal residence in the state to file for a homestead exemption, while others only offer the property tax break to certain groups, such as those over the age of 65 or disabled military veterans.
If the property taxes on your home are due in February, and you pay your bill in December, you can write off the taxes you paid on your 2016 income tax return. At the same time, many jurisdictions will give you a discount if you pay your property taxes before the deadline.
In many places, you can schedule an appointment to have your utility inspectors visit your home, and they can assess what changes you should make to improve your home’s energy efficiency and lower your heating and cooling costs, Golden says.
Your utility company or local government might even provide financial incentives to aid you in making such improvements.
“Common upgrades like installing hardwood floors, updating a kitchen or bath or adding a deck can all affect the cost to rebuild,” says Angi Orbann, second vice president of Property Design and Strategy at Travelers.
That’s why it’s important to check with your insurance agent to see if you need to increase the coverage on your house.
Protect Your Home
Because you want to protect your investment as well as your family, you might consider reinforcing your home and installing smart technology that can help keep your house and your loved ones safe.
Making certain modifications to your home can make it better able to withstand a natural disaster, earthquake or hurricane.
You can add such things as smart smoke detectors, fire alarms and security systems, which use your smartphone to alert you of trouble.
Be sure to notify your insurer once you’ve made these changes. By adding that extra protection, you might earn a discount on your homeowners policy, Orbann says.
Source: Six Key Post-Home Purchase Moves