You finally did it, you purchased your first home. Congratulations! You can paint and renovate to your heart’s content without worrying about a landlord getting in the way of your imagination. But don’t get too ahead of yourself just yet. As you should know, owning a home is an enormous responsibility and if you’re serious about developing good homeowner habits, you’ll want to reference this informative checklist the minute you close on your home, if not before.
Security & Safety
These are the very first things you should do after buying a house:
- Change locks
- Hide an extra key in a lockbox, not under your flower pots.
- Reset the key codes for garage doors, gates, etc.
- Test fire and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Check the temperature on your water heater, especially if you have young ones, so it won’t accidentally scald. Manufacturers tend to set them high. But the best temperature setting for hot water is 120 degrees.
- Make sure motion lights and other security lights have working bulbs.
- Put a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and each additional floor.
Start your master maintenance plan by setting reminders in your calendar to do these basic maintenance tasks:
- Clogged dryer hoses and vents burn down houses, make sure to clean them out annually.
- Change your HVAC filters at least once a season. You’ll save on heating and cooling — and your unit will last longer.
- Schedule HVAC maintenance for spring and fall.
- Clean your fridge coils at least once a year. It’ll run better and last longer. (Don’t see any coils? Lucky you! Newer fridges often have coils insulated, so there’s no need for annual cleaning.)
- Drain your water heater once a year.
- Clean your gutters at least twice a year.
- And if all items on your inspection report were not addressed, make a plan to fix them — before they become bigger and more expensive repairs.
You really really don’t want to be figuring any of this out in a real emergency. Do it now. You’ll sleep better and be less likely to ruin your home.
- Busted pipes happen to almost every homeowner at least once. Locate the main water shut-off valve before you have to unload your wallet to fix water damage.
- Find the circuit box and label all circuit breakers.
- Got gas? Find the gas shut-off valve.
- Test the sump pump if you have one (especially before the rainy season starts).
- List emergency contacts and have them posted where they’re easy to see. Here are four suggestions:
- Your utility companies
- Your insurance agent
- Assemble an emergency supply kit. Some key items are:
- Flashlights and batteries
- Non-perishable food and water
- Blankets and warm clothing
- A radio, TV, or cell phone with backup batteries
Home & Mortgage Documents
In case there’s a dispute with your mortgage lender or a neighbor over property lines (or if you’re a bit forgetful about due dates).
- Store copies (the originals should be in a fireproof safe or safety deposit box) of important home documents so they’re readily available. Go paper, cloud, or better, yet, both.
- Lender contact information
- Property survey
- Inspection report
- Final closing documents
- Insurance documents
- Set mortgage and other bills to auto-pay so you’re never late.
I hope this checklist proved helpful. Feel free to print it on and keep it in a place you can easily refer to it during the year. My name is Sara Griffin with the Associates Realty Group and it’s my goal to not only help you buy or sell real estate but to be your REALTOR® for life. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call me at 951-220-4491 or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Source: Client Direct)