15 Ways To Be a Frugal Homeowner

How can you save money as a first-time homeowner? 

A Reddit user shared a post asking other users to offer them tips on how to save money as first-time homeowners. The OP said that they would be closing on their first house the next month, and they had been making a list of things they needed to do around the house and things they needed to get.

They found out that the list was pretty big. They currently have a standard toolbox and were looking at yardwork and small projects immediately. Some of their furniture was too bulky and needed changing. They found out that they could buy some things from thrift stores on the Facebook marketplace near them before buying them new.

They turned to other members of the Reddit community to know what things they found that were worth buying new and what was okay to buy secondhand.

Here are some of the best responses and advice they received that can also help you get started to become a frugal homeowner.

Fix Things Yourselves

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Find small things you can fix instead of calling a professional to save money, “Learn to fix things yourselves, but know when it’s out of your skill and call a professional before attempting and fucking it up yourselves. I’ve saved so much money by learning basic electrical, plumbing, landscaping, etc.”

Prioritize Functionality Over Looks

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You may have to learn how to live with some things even if they are not as ideal as you want them, “You’ll learn to live with things that you think you need to update right now. My priority list of projects has changed completely. I’ve been in this house for 3 years, and there are things I expected to change immediately that still haven’t been touched. And my life is just fine. Prioritize functionality over looks.”

Take a Couple Weeks Before Buying Anything

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“Before buying things for a project or furniture or whatever, think on it for a couple of weeks to make sure it’s something needed and not impulse. Impulse is how you end up with supplies for 7 projects at once or three couches,” explains another user

Live in the House First

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Before doing any remodeling, take time to live in the house to figure out what needs to be fixed first, “Live in the house a while before you do any cosmetic repairs (obviously not for things like roof leaks or broken plumbing). See what actually needs to be fixed based on how you use the house – you may find some things don’t bother you that you thought would or something else drives you nuts, but you allocated your money to a different problem.”

Save Money for Unexpected Repairs

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“Also, save money for unexpected repairs – all of our initial home improvement projects were the unsexy kinds like new water heater, asbestos abatement, garage door replacement, not sexy ones like kitchen countertops,” says another

Wait for a Good Deal

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One user offers tips on how to furnish the house on a deal, “I furnished an entire 5 bedroom house for $2000. I am talking dining room, kitchen, China, 5 couches, wardrobes, dressers, beds and end tables literally everything. Wait for a good deal on Kijiji or CL, and then jump on it. A few people were even grateful to have a lot of stuff taken and gave boxes of household items. If you look in wealthy areas, a lot of people want the stuff gone; they aren’t looking to make money.”

Look at Lawn Maintenance Alternatives

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Since lawn maintenance can be expensive, look at several options, “Lawns are expensive, labor intensive, and terrible ecologically. Look at low-maintenance alternatives that work in your climate.”

Use the Library To Find Good Deals in Your Area

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“Do some good research about what’s available at the library in your area – there’s often a good bit more than just books. Our town has an independently run tool library. We pay an annual $100 fee and have borrowed all sorts of things – lawn tools, carpet cleaners, saws and sanders, etc. It’s saved us a ton of money for tools we’ll only use for one specific project and has let us try out different brands before we ultimately make a purchase,” explains another user

Keep Up on Basic Maintenance

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If you do not maintain your house, you may end up paying for more later, “Swap your furnace air filters as recommended, drain your hot water tank about every year or two to get rid of any sediment, cover your outdoor AC unit in the winter and keep the area around it clean, clean your gutters at least in the fall but also in the spring if you have trees that drop stuff like helicopters. Getting a few extra years out of the big purchases by keeping up on maintenance saves a ton in the long run.”

Save on Energy

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You could save energy by following simple tips, “Don’t be afraid to set your heat a little low in the winter. Wear socks and long pants if you have to. Set the temperature on your water heater so that you just barely need the cold on when you take a shower. That way, you have a little room to adjust, but you’re not wasting gas to heat the water above what you need. Swap light bulbs for LED bulbs as they burn out.”

Insulate an Old House

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“If you bought an older house, see what you have for insulation. You can insulate the rim joists in the basement yourself pretty easily. Attic insulation isn’t too much. We had our attic done for $1200, but we live in Michigan where we need either heat or AC for most of the year, so we’ll make that back eventually,” highlighted another person.

Use DIY Videos To Fix Things

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YouTube videos can offer great insights into fixing things around the house before you can call a contractor, “Agree about learning your limits as a contractor. You can fix some things with YouTube videos, but some things you need a professional for.”

Go To Real Estate Sales

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“Once estate sales start again, make it a weekend chore, but have a list of things you need. Estate sales are a great place to buy used tools, kitchen stuff, candles, books, garden chemicals, etc. etc.” added another user

Make Use of Online Auctions

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“Right now in person auctions are a no-go, but online ones are booming. When I found an auction bidding for an entire kitchen, I got it for $1, and while my entire car was filled to the brim and I did make plenty of dump runs, my entire kitchen was stocked afterward. Then I found a super clean stand-up freezer for the basement for $10 the next week,” highlighted another user

Check to see if there are any equipment around.

“Wait to buy equipment and tools. Although the house you buy is expected to be totally free of the former owner’s property, many people leave items such as hoses, garden tools, and lawn care items because where they are going, they won’t need them,” added another user

Get Rebates

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Check with your city to see if you qualify for rebates, “Don’t forget to check with your city for rebates! Just google your city’s website and see what rebate programs they’re offering. We just got $400 back from installing a car EV charger.”

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This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.