Today, I’m going to discuss seven things that new homeowners don’t know that they need to be doing.
- Save for unexpected problems. I know that you already did an inspection, but things are bound to happen when you buy a home. It’s just the joy of homeownership—plumbing issues, appliances breaking down, and natural disasters. Put some money away into an account so that you won’t be caught unawares.
- Form an inspection habit. You need to inspect your house seasonally, at least once a year. Walk around the exterior, check for peeling paint, check the grading, look underneath the plumbing, and watch for pests.
- Buy a lot of furnace filters. We recommend changing your filters once a month. You can order filters online from Amazon and have them shipped to your home. You can even set it up to have them auto-shipped to your home on a monthly basis to remind yourself to do it. Otherwise, most home goods and hardware stores will have them available.
- Get to know your appliances. There are certain appliances that need to be tuned up seasonally, like your furnace. We also recommend getting a safety check done going into the colder months. Clean out those burners and make sure that you’re not pumping carbon monoxide into your house. Do the same thing with your air conditioning unit. Additionally, know the life expectancy of your appliances; for example, furnaces often last between 10 to 15 years.
- Take advantage of tax credits. When you’re upgrading some appliances, you can actually get some tax credits. Take a look at Energy Star appliances to make sure they still qualify. Solar technology is also a hot item. Just make sure to look at the rate of return because some of those do require more of a cash outlay once you buy them.
- Start keeping records. Keep records when you buy anything, when you get anything installed, or do service dates underneath your mechanicals. I’m old school, meaning folders and file cabinets. But you can also make a Google Doc to record when the dates of when you service something or when you buy any appliances.
- Beef up your insurance. You should be shopping for insurance once a year. We recommend that you look at possibly getting a little higher deductible but also getting more coverage. You’re not going to take out a homeowner’s claim for a $500 ratio; it will probably be $2,000 or more, so you might as well have a higher deductible and get more coverage. Make sure you’ve got sewage backup coverage on your policies—a lot of policies don’t cover sewer backups. You might also want to talk to your insurance agent about getting some umbrella coverage over and above your standard policy.
If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home in the Twin Cities area, please feel free to reach out to us or visit our website, where you can find a list of available homes and calculate the value of your current home. We look forward to hearing from you!