Congratulations on becoming a first time homeowner! You researched and toured houses and gritted your teeth through inspections and waited to finally move in to your new home. But before you move in, there are a few things you should know as a first time homeowner that you might not have been aware of until now. Take some time to read through our 10 tips for for first time homeowners so you know what to do before and after you move in.
10 Tips for First Time Homeowners
Invest in Homeowners Insurance
While homeowners insurance isn’t mandatory in some states, you should probably make the investment anyway. Some banks and mortgage brokers require homeowners insurance for at least the length of the mortgage. This insurance can also give you a peace of mind and a back up in case of natural disasters causing fire, wind, or flood damage.
Deep Clean Your Home Before Moving In
The previous owners might not have done a deep clean of the house before completely moving out. Before moving in, take a day or two to give everything a deep clean from top to bottom. Vacuum, mop, wipe down kitchen cabinets and counter tops as well as the bathrooms. If you give it a clean before moving in, you won’t waste time stepping over half unpacked boxes trying to move from room to room while also trying to clean.
And Paint Before Moving In
If you know you want to paint rooms in your new home, paint them before moving in. Again, you’ll avoid stepping around unpacked belongings or rearranging bulky furniture so you can reach the walls. You can let the paint dry and sit for a day or two before moving in, allowing time for the paint fumes to wear off.
Test the Smoke Detectors
Go around and test all the smoke detectors, replacing batteries as needed. You don’t know the last time they were tested or the batteries were replaced, and the worst time to find out is when you need them to work. Make sure there’s a carbon monoxide detector in the house somewhere, as well as an easily accessible fire extinguisher.
Change HVAC Filters
Your filters should be replaced every three months. A clogged furnace or A/C unit filter creates air flow obstacles, forcing your equipment to work harder (while pumping out lower quality air) and costing you more money in your monthly electric bill. Mark down the measurements of the filters on your units and purchase the appropriate sizes from the hardware store. Make sure you purchase multiple of each to avoid running out every few months when you remember you should probably change the filter again.
Clean the Gutters
Overlooking the gutters can be detrimental to a home, creating a leaky roof or other water damage in your home. Take a ladder and climb up to your gutter, inspecting and unclogging all debris like leaves and branches. If your house is near pine trees, be diligent about cleaning your gutters every season, as pine needles are one of the biggest culprits for clogged gutters. If there are no pine trees surrounding your home, you’ll only need to clean your gutters twice a year: once in the spring and fall.
Replace the Locks
Even if the previous owners gave you all the keys they had, you don’t know if they forgot they gave a key to a relative or friend. Rather than going through life wondering and worrying if there are any spare house keys floating around in the universe, replace the locks on your home. If you don’t want to hire a locksmith, it’s inexpensive and easy to do yourself, costing somewhere between $20-$80 depending on the lock. While you’re at it, make a few duplicates of your house key. Give a copy to a trusted relative or friend who doesn’t live in your house and hide one somewhere outside of your house. You’ll be thankful for the spare if you ever find yourself locked out.
Find a Reliable Handyman (If You’re Not Handy Yourself)
If you move into your home knowing you’ll need to hire someone else to make repairs, find a reliable handyman. Research online and ask friends or neighbors in the area if there’s anyone they can recommend. You don’t want to end up in a pinch trying to find a someone trustworthy to fix the pipes after they’ve already burst.
Create an Emergency Fund for Repairs
Not all home repairs can be predictable or scheduled. Your washing machine could break, shower could leak, or air conditioning could stop working. Unfortunately, fixing these problems is usually expensive. Set up an emergency fund and contribute to it monthly until it reaches a number you’re comfortable with. This cushion will give you a safety net to fall back on in case of any emergency home repair.
Introduce Yourself to Your Neighbors
And the last (but certainly not least) of our tips for first time homeowners: introduce yourself to your neighbors. Unless your neighbors are moving sometime soon, you’ll be living near each other for the foreseeable future. Introduce yourself and get to know them. You never know if you’ll one day need their help watering your plants or feeding your cat while you’re out of town, and they may need you to return the favor. And it’s just a good idea to be on good terms with the people living in close proximity to you.
Now that you’re prepared with our 10 tips for first time homeowners, it’s time to move! And Moving U & Junk U is here to help with that. We’ll eliminate stress from packing and moving so you can focus on getting settled into your new home. Whether you’re looking for some help with packing, the move, or a little of both, we’ll customize our services to meet your needs. And if you find along the way you need junk removal, we can take care of that as well. Our professionally trained, friendly movers are here to make your life easier on moving day.
To get your free estimate for packing and/or moving, give us a call or text at 484-301-2442 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.