New Homeowners Waste Money On

Real Estate

 Too much house
This one requires some thought before you actually nail the deal: How much house do you really need? Just because you're pre-approved for a hefty purchase price doesn't mean you should go as big as you can.

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Not sure where to trim? Consider having less closet space, buying fewer bedrooms, or—especially—eliminating a formal dining room.

Outdoor space
Once you close on your home and move in, you might be itching to host your first late-season barbecue. Or maybe you've been dreaming about a koi pond, like, forever. But hold on: Updating your outdoor space shouldn't be your first priority, especially if you're tight on cash. Unlike couches and beds, which are essential to a functioning house, landscaping and decor can be put on pause.

Expecially building new: According to Hans-Daniels, building your backyard at the same time as your home can cost "a lot more than if you did it after the fact."

So exercise some caution before committing: Try pricing out your plans with a landscape contractor, and consider rolling them out in phases.

Outdated insurance
Still using the same company that offered you renters insurance seven years ago? It might be time for a change. Shop around.

Just because the same company had a good deal on auto or renters insurance doesn't mean it’s the best fit to protect your home. Go through all your options with a fine-toothed comb, looking for a deal that won't crush you financially but also leaves your house and its belongings secure.

After all, now it's not just your stuff—it's your roof, yard, and foundation you have to protect, too.

Space-filling stuff
If you're moving from an apartment, chances are good you're astounded by how much space you have. There's another bedroom and a dining room and ... yet another bedroom!

Don't feel like you have to fill it all at once. Give yourself—and your home—time for personality to emerge.

Instead of immediately stuffing the TV room with a generic, new couch and coffee table, wait it out. See what you really need and what you really like. In the meantime, stick the money you save into a renovation fund.

Extended warranties
Many homes don't come with appliances installed, so first-time homeowners might find themselves making large purchases (like a dishwasher or refrigerator).

Here's a tip: You don't need the extended warranty.

Yes, something might break within the relatively slim service window—but the money you'll spend fixing one thing will be far less than the extended warranties on all the things.

Yard maintenance
Having your own yard is definitely exciting, and while it's important to keep it healthy and watered, you don't need to go overboard. Resist the pressure to hire additional help for your yard—even if you've lucked into an HOA that covers it. Don't be tempted by the sales pitches you'll inevitably receive after your purchase goes through. A gorgeous lawn is achievable—and it can be done all on your own. Really.