Are you in that exciting but scary new chapter of life, owning your first home? Congratulations, I know It can be a rollercoaster of emotions from joy, frustration, fear and “I can’t find anything” time of life. Hopefully, you have taken a few days off and ready to get started. We want to help you out with a few important reminders of things you should do when you first move into a home.
#1. CHANGE YOUR LOCKS OR RE-KEY
One of the first things to do is change the locks. You never know how many people just might have a key to your house from neighbors, past owner’s family, friends or ex’s. Even a new construction home could have keys handed out to several contractors. The good news is that doesn’t mean you have the expense of replacing them all. You could take them all to a local hardware store or have a locksmith come by and re-key your existing locks. At least then you can sleep soundly knowing no unexpected house guest are coming, at least not with keys.
#2 CHECK YOUR INSULATION
With all the stress of buying the home and moving have you taken a peek at your attic and insulation? The comfort of your home and high your future energy bills will get can be resting on the condition of your insulation. Look for both the type of insulation and the quality. Insulation can come in many forms from batt, blown-in fiberglass or cellulose to name a few. Another important thing to know is R-Value of your current insulation. This is based on the type of insulation and how it measures. A good rule of thumb for most people is to have a Home Energy Audit done by an expert that can give you all the answers if you’re not sure. At Wize Home Direct we offer Energy Audits at no cost to you just give us a call to schedule an appointment.
#3 KNOW WHERE YOUR SHUT-OFF VALVES ARE
Make sure you know where your shut-off valves are. Have your emergency plan ready for anything that might happen. This is especially true for older homes that can have lots of surprises lurking around for you. Know where your water, gas or electricity can be turned off along with main shut-offs and the circuit breaker. In a time of panic over a busted pipe or melting freezer, you will be glad you took the time to have it all figured out. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to have some emergency numbers ready if you just moved to a new location.
#4 CREATE A CENTRAL HUB
Getting organized and having a central hub for everything can be something you keep postponing but you will do yourself a big favor if you take the time to set one up right away. Have a small filing cabinet or way to keep up with all your paperwork, insurance, taxes, and bills. This is also a great time and place to make a spring maintenance checklist. This is where you can keep a quick reminder to remember important things like: testing your smoke detectors clean your gutters, fertilize that new lawn, and change any filters on a regular 3-month basis. Do you have a wood deck or porch? Don’t forget to take care of it with a coat of stain. Don’t forget about a Fall checklist to do some of the same along with getting your house ready for winter. It’s important to remember things like chimney swept if your home has a working wood fireplace. This is the time to check your gutters again for leaks or sagging that could be behind a bigger problem. Turn off water hoses and spigots to keep from freezing. Make sure your furnace is clean and ready to go when the cold comes.
#5 Make a Home Improvement List
It’s also a good idea to go over all the home improvements you would like to invest in both now and in the future. Take a look at your windows, gutters, roof, bathroom and kitchen updates to name a few and list them in order of importance. We all want to jump to the cosmetic projects but ask yourself what’s most important for the safety and protection of your home. For most people, it is the largest investment you will ever make. If you have bought an older home it might seem overwhelming but just figure out the order of importance and only do what you can as you go. Be patient and if it takes a while to make your new house your dream home that’s ok. At Wize Home Direct we give free estimates that good for a year so you can find out different project cost.
Last, but not least throw yourself a housewarming party. Get those boxes unpacked and your pictures on the wall. Having a deadline is a great way to make it happen after all most people never finish these things after two months. Having a housewarming party will not only be great for you to show off your new place but it’s a great way to force yourself to have a deadline to get everything in place and ready for guests. Besides, you worked hard to buy your first home and get it ready so don’t forget to relax and enjoy it!