When you are a new homeowner it can be incredibly exciting, but there are a handful of overlooked items for first-time home buyers. Take a look at our list of tips to ensure you know the basic steps to take as a first-time homeowner.
- Your AC and heat will need regular maintenance and cleaning, especially if you live in the Southeast. Your AC unit can get clogged from the dust and pollen in the air along with any pests that could come through. Hire a qualified regular AC worker to check your unit regularly. Many large service providers have a monthly maintenance plan and will also discount you when something breaks. By getting your unit regularly serviced, it will eventually save a lot of heartache and money. They also prevent huge disasters from striking by cleaning your AC unit and ensuring all the parts are working properly. They’ll be able to see when it's a $100 repair vs a $1000 repair.
- Remember to change your Air Filters regularly. Newer AC units are green efficient but they can only be efficient with updated filters. Depending on the season and quality of your filter they should be changed every 1-3 months. By changing them more regularly you are ensuring your AC unit will run for its full life expectancy.
- Remember to test your fire alarms and ensure your fire extinguishers work properly. If something happens you don’t want to have skipped this important maintenance.
- Know where your electrical panel is, if you ever have maintenance issues or power issues you’ll want to know where this key component to your house is.
- Check the crawlspaces and the attic. It’s good to familiarize yourself with the farthest corners of your home. Check for leaks, bugs, mold, and other issues that you should address sooner rather than later.
- Water heaters sometimes leak from the drain valve or relief valve. Those are easy to update and replace but checking this regularly along with leaks from the tank is important. This will prevent any malfunctions or ruptures from the tank.
- To help with making your furnace last and in top condition remember to buy your filters in bulk and label each one for when it needs to be replaced or go through a replacement site who will remember for you.
- Check the installation in your attic and crawl space. You should see installation everywhere and undamaged. If you see any damage, make a note and get replaced immediately.
- Wrap exposed water pipes with insulation. Exposed hot water pipes can easily lose heat as they move water from your heater to your faucet. An easy fix to keeping the water hot is wrapping them up properly by a technician.
- Make sure the vents in all rooms are clear of dust and obstructions. This will improve the overall airflow and quality in your home. It’ll also keep your cooling and heating bills down.
- Don’t forget to check all toilets and under-sink plumbing for leaks or constant running. That continuous run of dripping water is also money and the potential for mold to grow in the home.
- Change the locks on your home and create spare keys. You never know who the previous owners gave keys to. Be safe and replace the locks right away and you’ll want more than one to either hide a key or to give to someone you trust for the inevitable time you lock yourself out.
- Postpone large projects, wait until you finalize your budget, and save up. Something will break in your home and you don’t want to start a big project right away and have something break. You also need time to live in your home to see what you actually want to be done vs what you think would look good. That shouldn’t stop you from small projects like painting the walls or removing carpet.
- Clean refrigerator coils. Refrigerator condenser coils are located on the back of the fridge or across the bottom. When coils are clogged with dust, pet hair, and cobwebs, they can’t efficiently release heat. The result is your compressor works harder and longer than it was designed to, using more energy and shortening the life of your fridge. Clean the coils with a coil cleaning brush and vacuum.
- Know where your home’s main water shutoff valve is. In case there’s an emergency or a pipe burst you’ll want to know where this valve is. Depending on whether you live in cold or a hot climate the location will be different, but nonetheless, you’ll still need to know where it is located.
- Get a home warranty in the first year of buying your house. It can save you a large chunk of money especially if a major appliance goes out. No one wants to spend that type of money right away.
- Have a fund for emergency repairs. If you can’t tell from this list things happen in homeownership, whether it’s a pipe bursting or a dishwasher needing to be replaced. Being prepared financially will make the already difficult situation a little bit easier. You don’t want to be strapped for cash if something happens to your home.
- If you just don’t know what to do with homeownership you can take a class on how to prepare yourself for homeownership and what to expect. It will be an easy way to prepare before and after you are a new homeowner.
Hope this list offered to you by FilterTime makes homeownership a little bit easier and allows you to be more prepared.
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