Once you’re handed the keys to your very own home, the emotions you have cannot compare. It will probably be one of the proudest moments of your life. Along with all these good feelings comes a lot of responsibility. You no longer have a landlord to hand over the plumbing or electrical invoices to. It’s a whole new part of adult life. Here are a few tips for being a smarter home owner. Now it’s time to enjoy living the American dream!
Where to Start.
Once you’ve signed all the paperwork and the home is officially yours, there are a few things you’ll want to do before you really relax.
- Get Homeowner’s Insurance. It may have been required for your loan, but you’ll still want to assess how much is needed within the first few months and make sure you have the right amount of coverage.
- Make sure all the utilities are in your name. Along with this, make sure your address is changed with the post office and on your drivers license. Remember, you need to update your address on your license within 10 days of moving.
- Before you move everything in, make sure it’s all clean and ready. It’s way easier to clean everything when there’s nothing in the house.
- Change the locks and make sure everything else is ready to move in. While you’re looking all this over, also make sure you know where your breaker box is, where the water valve is and where your air filters are.
- Just start unpacking. It may seem overwhelming, but just start putting things away. You can move things around later if you decide you want it in a different spot, but don’t take forever to unpack.
There are so many things you have to do when you move into a new home, and even more things you could do. Don’t worry about doing it all. Here are a few things to be aware of.
- Don’t spend too much money remodeling or furnishing/decorating. Money can be tight right after buying a home, so unless there’s something you planned to fix up ahead of time, don’t spend an excessive amount of money on remodeling. You can do it later after you’ve been able to save up a little money and have a better idea of how it is living in the home. You may also be tempted to spend a lot of money getting new furniture or decorations to match the new home, but again, don’t. Just use what you have (or get some cheap stuff to start), and wait a little bit. You’ll probably have a better idea of what you want after living there for a few months anyway.
- Don’t push aside maintenance things that need to be taken care of. Is there a little drip in the bathtub? What about a small leak in your ceiling. Even if small, don’t overlook it. These small things can easily become big problems. Bring someone out to look at it. Even, if just for peace of mind, it will be worth it.
- Don’t throw away home improvement receipts. Saving these receipts can get you more tax-free earnings when you sell your home. Need I say more?
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Being a home owner comes with extra costs that renting doesn’t. Here are a few ways you can save money as a home owner.
- Ceiling fans. Having a ceiling fan in most of the rooms of your home can cut A/C costs by a lot. Don’t underestimate their ability to cool a room.
- Replace your air filters. You’ll want to do this about every 3-6 months. This can improve the air quality and air flow in your home.
- Install blinds, shutters or curtains. Windows let in a lot of light, which is great, but they also let in a lot of heat. Having the ability to shut out the light and heat can save you a lot of money as your A/C won’t have to work so hard to cool down your home.
- If something isn’t working, see what you can do before you call someone over. If your outlet doesn’t seem to be working, find the outlet with the small red button. If you click that it can help reset the outlets in the room. You don’t want to pay an electrician to come out and push that button for you. If an appliance isn’t working, plug it in a different outlet, or get another appliance and plug it in the same outlet. This can help you know if it’s the appliance that isn’t working or the outlet. Don’t forget about your breaker box. If you lose electricity in part of your home, go check it. If you see a switch flipped the wrong way, flip it all the way off and then back one.
Although this is not an exhaustive list for homeowners, it’s a good start. Here are a few other sources you can use: The New Homeowner’s Survival Guide, 7 Smart Steps Every New Homeowner Should Take, 16 Money-Saving Tips Every Homeowner Needs to Know, 35 Things Every Homeowner Must Know to Save Money and Prevent Big Screw-Ups.
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If you want to learn about some financing options, or if you’re looking to get pre-qualified, contact Parker Turk at Sun American Mortgage Company: 602-616-3774.