A recent survey of U.S. homeowners found that nearly half experienced unexpected home repair costs that created considerable anxiety. Protecting yourself against unexpected major repair costs is particularly important for first-time homebuyers who typically have very limited budgets, particularly during their first winter.
There are some ways for new homebuyers to protect themselves. The first is to make sure that a provision for a professional home inspection is included in the offer. It's not uncommon for the home inspection report to come back with a list of numerous repairs, and for the owner to complete the repairs prior to escrow closing.
Adding a home warranty to your purchase offer is another safeguard. These can help minimize repair expenditures on major items. It's common to ask that the seller pay the premium for this for the first year.
Fall is a good time to take care of preventative maintenance such as cleaning out gutters before it snows, blowing out sprinklers and getting your HVAC serviced to avoid some of the most expensive repairs.