Don't be tempted to discard the paperwork from your home sale. Keep all documents related to the purchase as proof of expenses for tax purposes and potential IRS audits.
Document any home improvements you made while owning the property. The IRS may consider these expenses for tax benefits. Remember, improvements add value, while repairs are considered general maintenance.
As an owner-occupant, take advantage of the Florida Homestead Tax Exemption. File promptly with your county tax office upon receiving your recorded deed, ideally before February 29th. Don't forget to explore Homestead Portability if applicable.
If your loan is sold to another lender, ensure the information matches the notification you receive. Beware of fraudulent coupons sent by scammers to avoid financial loss.
After filing your recorded deed, expect a surge of junk mail. Ignore any official-looking letters requesting payment for a copy of your recorded deed. You've already paid for it during closing. Discard all junk mail unless you have doubts, in which case, consult an expert.
Property taxes and home insurance fees are collected with your mortgage payment and held in an escrow account. Your lender will send the necessary payments to the county and insurance company. You receive copies for reference, but you don't make the payments directly. Prepare for adjusted property tax bills if you purchased new construction.
Your home likely has re-keyable locks, so instead of changing them completely, purchase an extra key and re-key when necessary. You can switch keys back and forth as needed.
Consider making an extra payment each year or dividing it into 12 monthly payments towards your principal. This strategy can reduce your 30-year mortgage term by seven years, helping you build equity faster.
Keep the original copy of your land survey from the closing packet (unless it's a condominium). This saves approximately $300 when you sell unless you made structural changes like adding a fence or pool.
If you purchased a home warranty, use the provided services by contacting them before hiring a service company independently. For new construction, consider an independent home inspection around month #11 to address any issues covered by the builder warranty program before it expires at the 1-year mark.
If you need assistance with contractor referrals, real estate queries, or home equity reviews, feel free to reach out. And don't forget to invite me to your housewarming party! I'll bring dessert 🙂