As a new homeowner, there is a lot to learn. New homeowner advice can go a long way in helping you to adjust to being a homeowner, and potentially save you some money along the way.
Following some new homeowner advice can be one of the easiest ways to transition into your new role and ensure that you are making all the right moves. Owning a home is one of the best things in life, but it does come with a lot of responsibility.
Take Care of Your Home
Every expert agrees that one of the most important pieces of new homeowner advice is to take care of your home. While this may not be earth-shaking information, you would be surprised to learn how many new homeowners neglect things that need to be done.
If you never had to worry about maintenance for your air conditioning because you always rented, it may be something that you overlook. There are other areas of your home that you may not consider either until the system starts to fail.
A good example is your HVAC system. You should have at least an annual “tune-up” of your HVAC system so you can avoid having to pay for AC repair services. A company that offers HVAC service will often offer a maintenance package which can help you to save on costs down the road.
A new homeowner should get familiar with all the systems in their home. For example, if you do not know where the shut-off valve for your plumbing is, you should connect with a plumbing service that can come out and show you where it is.
It is worth the small investment to have a plumber show you around your piping. If a pipe should burst or there is a leak, you will be able to shut the water off to minimize damage. This is also a good opportunity to check your water’s fluoride content to ensure you’re drinking enough of this mineral.
Get Up Close and Personal With Your Home
A new homeowner should get really familiar with every system of their home. Learning more about the equipment in your home, and how to best care for can be an easy way to keep all the systems in your home in top working condition.
When you bought your home you likely were looking for roof leaks, inquired about the plumbing, looked at the important parts, but likely overlooked a lot of things. For example, can you recognize the signs you need a new roof? Learning more about roofing, your hot water heater, HVAC system, foundation, and other important parts of your home can help you to recognize early on if there are problems that need to be addressed.
Here are a few things you should consider learning about your home:
- Know the make and model of your water heater. There should be a metal plate on your water heater that gives you information about the make and model. You should also know where the electrical breaker is for your water heater, and of course, where your water heater is housed.
- Know where all the circuit breakers are for all your major appliances. Get familiar with your breaker box, if labels are missing, replace them. It is important that you are able to shut down the electricity to major appliances in case of failure.
- Know what type of foundation you have, is it a cinderblock foundation? Do you have a slab foundation? Is there a crawl space entrance? This information can come in really handy.
Other things you will want to learn include where your septic tank is if you are not on municipal sewer. Find out the make and model of your HVAC system, where all the shut-off valves are to the individual water pipes in your home and the make and model of other major appliances.
A little bit of research can go a long way in keeping your property up to par. Let’s say that your circuit panel is old and the labeling is faded to the point where you cannot read it. Call an electrician and have them come out and relabel the box for you. It is important to be able to turn the power off to major appliances if it is necessary.
Another example of the importance of knowing as much as you can about your home is if you need residential foundation repair it can be helpful if you can explain what type of foundation you have to the service person. A little bit of knowledge can go a long way in ensuring that the service person for any of the systems in your home can come prepared to deal with the problem.
A valuable piece of new homeowner advice is to know your home inside and out. It will help you to get the care that you need for your home, and it will boost your confidence as a homeowner. Do the research, write it all down, and keep all your house information in one book in a convenient location. If you take a weekend to do all your research, you will have a compilation of everything you need to know about your house forever.
A Great Piece of New Homeowner Advice
A lot of new homeowners make the mistake of dilly-dallying when it comes to repairs, this is a critical error. One of the best pieces of new homeowner advice is to make repairs quickly. The longer you wait to call for repair help, the worst the problem will become.
For example, you have a leaky faucet, that faucet is costing you about 3000 gallons of water a year, and of course, a small drip can go to a total failure at any time. Call in the plumbing repair services, get the small leak fixed, and you will not have to worry about complete failure and other issues that can crop up because of the small leak.
The worst thing you can do is wait to make repairs. Every single repair that you wait for will get worse with time which means it will be more expensive to repair. Acting quickly is a must. Addressing issues as they crop up is far more effective than waiting for problems to self-correct.
As soon as you notice a problem address it and you will save money and minimize damages. It can be difficult to adjust to the idea that you are solely responsible for your property but you are. Moving swiftly when there is a problem is the best way to move forward.
New homeowner advice? Be proactive when it comes to your property. What does that mean? An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. For example, signing on a pest control company to manage termite treatments before you have termites is far better than trying to get rid of them.
Let’s say your version of being a new homeowner is owning a condo and you hear there is an outbreak of bed bugs in your building. You do the research and see that you do not have bed bugs, however, these little critters can spread quickly. Instead of waiting for evidence of an infestation, be proactive and sign on for bed bug control with a trusted extermination service.
Don’t just roll the dice and hope that you never get the bed bugs, do something about it to ensure that you do not. The same is true for other pest problems. For example, you see a few wasps hanging around the yard, take a proactive stand and call for wasp extermination services before those few wasps turn into a colony and someone gets hurt.
Being proactive is far better than being reactive in a wide range of situations in your home including:
- Taking steps to protect your roof system. If you have an older roofing system, it is a good idea to get periodic inspections done by a professional roofer. Early interventions can help to extend the life of your roof and help you avoid serious damage.
- HVAC maintenance is a must. As mentioned earlier in this article, you should be proactive about your HVAC system. Change filters regularly, get an expert out to give it a tune-up, clear away debris from outside units, and ensure you do not push your units too hard. Being proactive can help to keep repair costs down and help extend the life of your unit.
- Make improvements to your home that will help protect the systems of your home. Simple things like installing new rain gutters can help to protect your foundation. If you have a basement that has water build-up issues, fix them before things get worse, waterproof your basement.
Buying your home was only the first investment that you will have to make into your property. The best part about being proactive in caring for your property is that you get to decide when you will absorb the costs. You can do the suggested maintenance and improvements on your schedule. When things break down and you have to react you are not given the luxury of paying when you can.
New Homeowner Advice and Your Finances
Electricians, plumbers, foundation experts, lawn people, the litany of professionals that are there to help you with your home is extensive, and unfortunately, the out pay can be extensive as well. You may be asking how will you afford to be proactive and doing necessary maintenance, have enough money to make repairs when they are necessary, and still enjoy a great quality of life.
A solid piece of new homeowner advice is simple, save for a rainy day. Start an emergency fund for your home. You do not have to earmark thousands of dollars each paycheck to tuck away, but you should earmark some of your money for a household emergency.
Even $100 a month is a good place to start. In a year you would have over $1000 put away just in case. If you can afford to put more money away that is even better. Having the funds that you need to ensure that if something does go wrong you can cover it without having to pile on the credit is important.
A new home can get expensive, making sure that you are prepared to cover unexpected expenses is vital. Many homeowners report that they put off necessary repairs because they do not have the money to get them done. Of course, there is a huge snowball effect when the lack of funds is keeping you from getting repairs done.
If you are not prepared to take care of repairs, then those repairs will get worse, which of course, will cost you more money in the end to repair. It can be a vicious cycle. Hoping for the best and preparing for the worst-case financial picture is always the smarter way to move forward.
If You Do Not Know, Ask
A final piece of new homeowner advice is centered around asking for help. If you are unsure of what you should be doing as a new homeowner, ask someone. If you have questions about taxes, your mortgage, your homeowner’s insurance, contact the person that can answer your questions. Do not be afraid to reach out and get your questions answered.
Worrying about things and not getting the information you need to calm the worry, does not make for a great experience. There is a wealth of knowledge out there about being a new homeowner, all you have to do is tap into it. If you are concerned about anything in your home, call an expert and get answers.
No one will judge you for wanting to learn more about homeownership and the steps you need to take to ensure that everything moves forward smoothly. As a matter of fact, most people will be impressed by your proactive inquiries and be more than happy to assist you on your homeownership journey.
Friends and family that are already homeowners are a great resource. Professionals that specialize in your area of concern are also a great resource. Learn as much as you can by asking questions, it will help you to become a successful homeowner, save money, and enjoy every minute in your new home.