Buying a house can feel like a whirlwind. One day the home is in escrow and the next thing you know, you’re ready to make the move into a new place. This is an exciting but overwhelming time. We’ve outlined a few tips for new homeowners that will help create a stress-free transition into this next chapter of your life.
Familiarize Yourself with the Home
You’ve become acquainted with the new house during the walkthroughs with your real estate agent but now that the property is in your name, take some time to learn where critical components are located. Become familiar with how to operate the home’s systems and appliances.
- Locate the water and gas shut-offs, including the main shut-off valves so you know where to go in the event of an emergency.
- Find the electrical panel and familiarize yourself with the breakers so you’re able to cut power to the correct circuits when necessary.
- Locate smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Assess whether or not the home needs additional devices and install new batteries if needed.
- Add fire extinguishers to key locations like the kitchen, laundry room, and garage.
- Learn how to operate appliances you aren’t familiar with. Whether you’ve never used a gas stove or this is your first time having a smart thermostat, get a feel for the home’s features.
- Figure out how to access the less visible areas of your home, including the crawl space and the attic, in case there is ever an issue in these areas that you need to resolve.
Tips for New Homeowners: Things to Do After Move-In
A helpful tip for new homeowners is to get the home organized as soon as you start moving in.
- Make a plan for immediate maintenance needs: check the filters on your heating and cooling systems, see if the gutters are clean, and come up with a schedule for lawn care and landscaping.
- Store the instruction manuals for appliances in a place where you can easily find them. Do the same with warranty information.
- Change the locks so that you are certain that no one has a key to your home. Visit your local home improvement store to have spare keys made for your family.
Financial Planning Tips for New Homeowners
When it comes to spending money, a real estate investment isn’t a one-and-done type of deal. Make a budget to put aside money for emergencies and invest in your home to maintain its value.
- Add to your emergency fund whenever possible. Life as a homeowner is unpredictable and it’s good to be prepared for unexpected events.
- Schedule services that improve your home in the long term, like ordering a home energy audit to assess the energy usage and learn how to improve the efficiency of your living spaces.
- Set aside savings for your annual property taxes so that you don’t get caught off guard when they are due.
To be a better homeowner, be prepared for emergencies and unexpected repairs. This will help you manage your household and your budget.