You’ve finally closed on your first house. Before your purchase, you shopped for mortgages, planned a budget, found a real estate agent, and hired a home inspector. You survived negotiations and move-in day, and now you’re probably planning your first updates and improvement projects. As you get settled into your new house, here are a few things to expect as a homeowner.
Change the Locks
As a new homeowner, make plans to change the locks on the doors as soon as you move in. There is no way to know who has keys to your home. Perhaps the former owner’s babysitter, handyman, cleaning service, and mother-in-law have access to your property. New locks can be an expensive investment, but you’ll save some money by installing them yourself. Boost home security and your own peace of mind by changing the locks on all entryway doors.
As a Homeowner, Expect to Budget
Especially in the first year, you’ll find it easier to rely on a budget to keep track of your finances. The costs of owning a home are new to you and creating a budget will show you exactly where the money is going. If not immediately, you will soon be wanting to plan for home improvements. These are costs to work into your budget. As a homeowner, you may also want to create a savings account for household emergencies. Learn to budget your money to better protect your latest investment.
Test Your Smoke Detectors
When moving into a new home, take a few minutes to check the smoke alarms. There should be at least one device on each floor of the house. Make sure every bedroom has a functioning detector. Test the devices by pressing the button and listening for the alert. Replace the batteries as needed. As a homeowner, it’s your responsibility to test the smoke detectors monthly. It’s recommended to replace the actual device if it’s more than 10 years old.
Things to Expect as a Homeowner Include Cleaning Refrigerator Coils
The coils on your refrigerator release heat generated from the appliance. If the coils are covered in dust, dirt, and pet hair, they cannot do their job. Your fridge will need to work harder to keep food cool and the energy wasted will raise your power bill. To help your refrigerator work more efficiently and extend its lifespan, clean the coils every six months, or more frequently if you have pets. The coils may be located on the back of the appliance or underneath it. Remove the access panel and use your vacuum to remove debris.
Take Care of the Landscaping
If you’ve always lived in apartments, there’s a good chance that your landlord was responsible for maintaining the yard. Now that you own a home, those tasks are yours to handle. You could choose to invest in a lawnmower and gardening tools or you might decide to hire a professional landscaping company to do the work for you. Either way, you’ll need to budget for taking care of the lawn.