Home Improvement

Important Tips For New Homeowners

Becoming a new homeowner can be an exciting time. Unfortunately, many first-time homeowners get swept up in the excitement and make mistakes that can cost them money down the road. 

Don’t let that happen to you! Follow these important tips for new homeowners to ensure a smooth transition into your home. 

1. Create a Maintenance Schedule 

Homeownership is a big commitment and requires significant work to ensure that it stays looking and functioning its best. A maintenance schedule will help you stay on top of tasks that may prolong the life of appliances, minimize emergency repairs and prevent major breakdowns. 

Some of these tasks include: 

Changing air filters regularly – 90 days for most people – can help to reduce dust and allergens, extend the life of the appliance, and keep energy bills down. Cleaning eaves through each winter and raking leaves, especially around interlocking stones, can also help to avoid weeds next year. 

Creating a list or using a calendar app with reminders will help you to remember to tackle these important tasks. Divvy up the work if necessary – it could even be fun to make it a family project! Remember that your new neighbors can be a great resource for finding local cleaners, gardeners and handymen. They’ll know the best local service providers and may even offer to do some of these jobs for you. 

2. Create a Home Improvement Journal 

There are countless home improvement projects new homeowners can take on. Whether it’s installing a new bathroom vanity or replacing an old air conditioning unit, there will be many details to track along the way. Having a journal to keep track of the work and dates completed can be helpful in case a problem arises in the future. 

If you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of online resources to help. These include a month-by-month home maintenance plan. 

For more ideas, try browsing a variety of home improvement magazines. Just beware that some have more ads than others, which can dampen your creative flow. 

3. Change the Locks 

Changing the locks, or re-keying your property, is one of the first tasks you should undertake once you have closed on your new home. This is a cheap, quick and

affordable process that will provide you with peace of mind knowing that no one else has access to your home. 

The previous owner may have left a spare key with a neighbor, service provider or friend. 6% of unlawful entries are committed by people that the homeowner knows, which is why it’s important to change the locks right away. 

It’s also a good idea to have the locks changed if you notice any dents, scuff marks or loose hardware. These are signs that the lock has been compromised and will be easy to break into in the future. A locksmith can easily re-key all doors so that they work with the same key and allow you to access all areas of your home or business. 

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4. Set Up an Emergency Fund 

Having an emergency fund will give you peace of mind and help with financial stability. As a new homeowner, you may find yourself in need of an emergency fund due to unexpected events such as a job loss, a car repair bill.

It’s recommended that you save enough money in your emergency fund to cover three to six months’ worth of expenses. This will help you avoid high-interest debt and other financial problems that can occur as a result of unexpected bills or property repairs. 

To build up your savings, you should set a goal and work towards it. Starting with a smaller goal, like one month or two weeks of expenses, will make it easier to reach your first target and provide motivation to keep saving. You should also consider keeping your emergency funds in an account that offers a higher interest rate, such as a high-yield savings account. This brings up the topic of home warranty and questions like, “Is home warranty worth it?” Many homeowners who buy home warranties save thousands of dollars on home repairs. Many homeowners rather invest that money upfront then try to set up funds for the repair. Whichever works for the family, and works for the budget and best interest of the finances is the right decision. 

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