If you’re a new homeowner (or about to become one), you’re most likely super excited, and with good reason. This is the start of a whole new phase of life. You have your very own four walls in which to watch your children grow up. You now have a place that you can truly make your own in any way you wish.
Considering what an important milestone homeownership is, it only makes sense that you’re concerned about doing everything perfectly right from the get-go. Let’s go over some excellent places to start to ensure your new home is everything you hope it will be and more.
1. Start A “House File” ASAP
You may or may not already be aware that home ownership can and does generate a lot of paperwork. There are the mortgage documents to consider, as well as documents that cover insurance policies and various agreements. Sooner or later, you’ll start accumulating receipts for repair work, new appliances and renovations. There will be contracts that cover various services, warranties, and so forth.
The sooner you have a way to keep all of these things organized and accessible, especially over the long haul, the better. The best way to do this is to start a house file immediately. Make sure it’s organized so that you’ll quickly be able to locate exactly what you need when and if you need it in the future.
You’ll also want to consider starting a diary, notebook, or binder where you jot down all the little reminders, notes, and dates of importance associated with your house. A digital text file works just as well if you prefer.
2. Take The Time To Really Get To Know Your New Place
During the evaluation and buying processes, you’ve already done the basics when it comes to exploring your new home. You’ve personally gone over it with a fine-toothed comb. You’ve attained the professional opinion of an inspector. You’ve most likely become well acquainted with the major points as to how your home functions in the process. However, you shouldn’t assume you’re done getting familiar with your new home.
Once you move in, grab a notebook and begin the process of taking a closer look. Start with major appliances like the washer and dryer, the fridge, the stove, and the HVAC system. Make notes as to whether or not any of them should be replaced or serviced right off the bat. Do the same when it comes to major structural aspects of your house, like the roof.
You should also make notes as to the little details. When next will you need to change the filter for the heating system? How much time do you have left before the roof will need to be worked on? Consider putting together a schedule and sticking to it to make sure everything’s done exactly when it should be.
3. Start Saving Money For Maintenance Right Away
Not having a landlord anymore is quite possibly the best and the worst thing about owning your own home. On the one hand, you don’t have to follow anyone else’s rules as to how you live in or maintain your house. However, you’re also now personally responsible for all the repairs, maintenance, and replacing that will need to be done. The costs can add up quickly.
Go into ownership with the mindset that repairs and unforeseen costswillcome with the territory. Start saving accordingly to take a bit of the sting out of those future bills. How much should you be saving? Financial authorities recommend setting aside 1-4% of your home’s total value each year to cover repairs and general maintenance. Make adjustments accordingly in regards to the home’s age and current state of repair.
4. Formulate A Plan And Schedule For Ongoing Inspection
Inspecting your home from top to bottom right when you move in should only be the beginning of an ongoing inspection routine.Certain systems in your home really need to be inspected and maintained on a regular basis.
Once a year, you should be doing all of the following. Take it upon yourself to inspect your roof for leaks or signs of wear and tear. Do the same with your water heater, your plumbing, your furnace, and your HVAC system. You should also have professionals perform routine inspections and basic maintenance work once a year. Many potential issues, if caught quickly, won’t cost you a fraction as much as major repair work will down the line.
5. Invest In Practical Improvements First And Fun Things Later
Once you’ve covered the essentials as far as making sure your home is in tip-top condition, you’ll naturally want to start making a few improvements. Just make sure you make the practical improvements first. (There will be plenty of opportunities to pick out the perfect drapes or splurge on the sofa of your dreams later.)
First, invest in options for your home that will make it a better, safer, healthier place to live for your entire family. A water filtration system is a great option, as it will ensure your family has constant access to clean water that is free of any impurities.
You might also want to consider a humidifier, as they come attached to numerous benefits. Home humidifiers can improve your family’s overall health by leaps and bounds. To begin with, they ease symptoms associated with asthma or dry skin. Since they allow you to control your home’s humidity level, they can help prevent illness as well.
They’re just as good for your home as they are for you, to boot. Humidifiers can help you preserve the appearance of your home by preventing paint, wallpaper, and furniture from cracking and peeling. They can help save you money on air conditioning and heating costs, as well, by helping to keep the environment comfortable.
Of course, these are just a few suggestions as to how you can get your new life as a homeowner off to an excellent start. However, they’re also among the most important. Get started in the right direction today!