Q: I just closed escrow on my first home -- a condo. I am so excited, but I'm kind of freaking out, too. I'm pretty sure I should be doing something different, financially speaking, than I did before I became a homeowner, but I have no idea what that is. Please advise. A: Congratulations! You picked a fantastic time to become a homeowner. Although a scary time, due to all the upheaval in the real estate market, it's definitely a great time, in terms of the opportunities available to you as a buyer. You are correct, though -- your job has just begun. There are lots of things you'll need to do -- now and forever -- in your house and in your financial life, starting now. Mindset Management You have taken a major step into grown-up-ness, whether you are 25 or 55 years old. Right now is an interesting time to become a homeowner, because you can hardly turn on the television or open the paper without seeing some of the horrific consequences of unwise decision-making when it come...
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