New Homeowner Basics
Owning your first home can be one of the most rewarding, enjoyable, and satisfying events of your life. From having something that is truly yours, to creating a space to raise children, and building up equity, the benefits are innumerous. However, as longtime homeowners will tell you, it’s not all relaxation and there are certainly as many valleys as there are peaks. Use these tips to help you get off to a good start!
- Pickup home improvement as a hobby: Over the years, you’ll find that you have to do a great deal of repairs as a homeowner. Simply from a financial perspective, doing your own repairs makes sense. Additionally, having to hire a handyperson for every little fix is not just expensive, but also tedious. If you haven’t got ‘em already, start by investing in a solid starter tool kit. Then, begin by completing projects that slowly increase in difficulty. A great resource is the website Workshop (http://workshop.lifehacker.com/), which offers a variety of different ideas appropriate for every skill level.
- Prepare for the elements: Depending upon your location, preparing for the elements could mean anticipating heavy rains, extremely hot summers, or even snow. By making sure that your home is in good shape to deal with all four seasons, you’ll ensure you remain comfortable throughout them. Look around your new home, and consider things like: is my basement prone to flooding – if yes, do I have the appropriate insurance? Are my windows double-paned, or does the outside temperature creep in?
Bonus: Head over to our blog on how to quickly winterize your home here! Link to:
- Be frugal when you can: It’s no secret that owning a home is expensive. However, there are also big returns, like building equity, and having something to be proud of! That said, work hard to cut costs where appropriate. For example, unplugging electronics when you’re not using them can save considerable cash over time. However, skimping on plumbing could come back to haunt you. A great way to ensure you’re getting the most out of your home is taking advantage of tax credits. Things like installing solar panels or energy efficient appliances can help you save big!
- Be a stickler for fixing leaks: Whether it’s a leaky faucet, a leaky roof, or a leaky a gutter, they are all your enemies. Leaky faucets can easily increase your yearly water bill by between around $50-$200. Roofs that are letting water in spell trouble for a variety of reasons; aside from simply having to fix the roof, you could also encounter mold and water damage to the frame of your home. We don’t need to tell that you that this kind of repair can get expensive quickly! Lastly, a leaky gutter can lead to corrosion of the gutter itself as well as wood underneath. Additionally, if it’s not flowing well throughout, you could be inviting water to pool up around your foundation, causing invisible damage.
- Be grateful and patient: While you may have visions and goals for how you want your home to look – and that is great! – you’ve got to be careful about being too critical. Being ambitious about improvements you want to make, and how you want your house to look in five or ten years can help you stay motivated. However, if you always compare your home to how you want it to be, you may end up chronically unhappy. A sizable amount of gratitude, combined with the drive to improve will put you in a sweet spot where you’re happy with the present, and looking forward to the future.