Purchasing your first home comes with a lot of responsibility and work. During the buying process, you have an agent and/or lawyer guiding and helping you through the process.
Coupled with the stress of moving in, your new home needs certain maintenance and this time, there is no agent to guide you. You will also need to handle any renovation on your own.
Below are some maintenance and renovation tips for first-time homeowners.
A house is not always as flawless as they look. Untimely and improper maintenance could also result in complicated problems.
- Change the locks
In the excitement of getting your new home, you don’t want to sacrifice safety. It is impossible to know the number of people with keys to the house.
To cut the cost of changing the locks, you can have the house rekeyed. This is simply changing the tumblers so that the lock works with another key.
- Examine furnace and HVAC filters
Ignoring this may increase your energy cost; hence a waste of money. The furnace and HVAC filters may have accumulated dust due to usage by the previous owners or activities of construction crews.
Turn off the system before pulling out the filters to observe the dirt and grime. If dirty, replace the filter. This maintenance activity should be repeated almost every year at the same time.
The check time may be increased in the case of heavy usage.
- Inspect the outside and gutters
Check around the outside of the house for any cracks or broken fences that may need repair. The gutters also need to be inspected as an issue with them could cause roof leaks and inevitably water entering the house.
If you observe a peeling or faded paint, you may need to attend to it as soon as possible. Aside from making your building attractive, paints can also protect shingles from environmental damage.
Be careful whenever you are using a ladder for exterior check or repair. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2018 alone, more than 580,000 ladder-related injuries required medical treatment.
- Check smoke alarms and carbon detector
This is very important for emergency purposes. Replace the batteries and push the test buttons to ascertain their condition. Repeat the test at least once every month.
Also, check the manufacture date of the smoke alarms. The U.S. Fire Administration recommends replacing smoke alarms 10 years after the date of manufacture.
- Recaulk your Windows
Caulk stops air leaks and hinders warm air from escaping from a room. Recaulk your windows to prevent leakage and reduce your energy spending. According to Energy.gov, heat loss through windows is responsible for 25%-30% of residential heating energy use.
The kind of caulking you will need will be determined by your Window type. Engaging salespersons at this point may help as they are knowledgeable on the subject.
Buying a home that needs renovation can help secure the location of choice but this might be a nightmare for first-time homebuyers.
- Research the home and source of fund
Never get carried away by how cheap a fixer-upper is listed for, do thorough research of the property. Do a complete estimation of the cost of renovation to ascertain the total amount the property would indeed cost you.
There are also loans for first time home buyers who may be unable to finance the property. Don’t just go for any, make sure you understand their pros and cons to choose the best for your purpose.
- Clear picture of the final design
To save a lot of stress and ease your planning process, have a clear picture of desired home design. Some of the things to consider here are the type of flooring. Some new home buyers prefer hardwood flooring because of its durability and healthy air quality.
- Timeline may change
Many new homeowners can’t wait to move into their new place. Remember there is a need for renovation and this takes a lot of processes. You will need to arrange for necessary permits and get a contractor among other things.
Allow some time for delay in completion of the renovation as things may not progress as envisioned.
- Use DIY skills
Expect to spend more time around the property during the renovation. To reduce your cost, you can also make use of your DIY skills such as painting the house.
You should also handle petty tasks such as cleaning the fireplace and other areas of the house. Only hire a professional cleaning service if you think the place needs it.
- Identify important walls
Understand that it is not all walls that are meant to be eliminated during renovation. Some walls are meant to be in place except you want the building to collapse now or later.
Likewise, some dividers support the roof of the home and are best left in place. Before removing any wall, consult a structural expert.