You’ve closed escrow and have the keys to your first home. Your starter home or your dream home. It’s yours. But if you’ve never owned a home before, there may be some gaps in your knowledge.
So today we’re going to review ten tips for things you new homeowners should know.
Go Meet Your Neighbors
Sure, in the olden days, as soon as you put up your curtains, neighbors would bring over cookies. Unfortunately, everyone’s really busy these days and may intend to stop by, but don’t always make the time. So don’t be afraid to go over and introduce yourself. You could write a letter with your contact information and an open invitation to get together to say hello.
Your neighbors are vital for understanding known problems and safety issues in the neighborhood. Plus, it’s good to build that friendship so you can look out for one another.
Save for unexpected problems
A new water heater could cost $5000. Plumbing repairs could be $1000. And even if you have warranties, generally you have to pay out of pocket and get reimbursed. So it always pays to have a special account for unexpected problems that pop up along the way.
Form an inspection habit
We remind you regularly what maintenance you should do on your home in Spring and Fall. It’s important to follow through. Look into creating a spreadsheet of tasks and noting the last time you did it.
Buy a bunch of furnace filters and replace them regularly. If you bought a new house, chances are you don’t need to replace them right away. But if you bought a used home, who knows when the last time was that they were replaced.
Review your appliances and figure out how many more years you can get out of them. Then monitor them occasionally to see how well they’re still working.
Take advantage of tax credits
Get in touch with a good tax accountant to better understand how you can write off your points and mortgage interest.
Start keeping records
Keep records of when you purchased appliances, how long their warranties are, if you get free maintenance and when you need to phone to get the service. Keep records of repair work. Keep your contracts for services. You never know when it will come in handy.
Review your insurance
You may need to increase your auto insurance, or obtain life insurance because of your new asset.
Install programmable thermostats
Save money right off the bat by keeping the HVAC turned off when no one is home.
Mark any cracks in the foundation with dated masking tape
Don’t forget to use permanent ink on the tape. You could also mark the area with masking tape and put a date on it and a number, and then keep a spreadsheet with the number, date and approximate size of the crack.
Plant shade trees near your house
They will grow and provide much needed shade during the hot months. Plus, it gives you a sense of settling into your own home.
And even if you’re not a homeowner, you can start using any of these tips today.
What’s your favorite tip for a new homeowner?