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What should new homeowners do?

By Paul F. P. Pogue, Ask Angi
Published: March 30, 2024, 5:14am

There’s no excitement quite like the adventure of your first home purchase. Signing on the dotted lines brings a whole new spectrum of challenges, but it also gives you a great chance to put your stamp on the new place. Here are some great steps to make your home your own.

First, you want to familiarize yourself with your house. The home inspector who checks out your home during the buying process can help by pointing out crucial components. You always want to know where the main water and gas valves are located, so you can shut either down in the event of an emergency. Learn the location of your air filter and change it in accordance with your manufacturer’s instructions.

Next up, consider performing an energy audit. This service costs $425 on average, but more than pays for itself in the long run with increased efficiency and lower energy bills. An energy audit will identify areas of energy loss, poor insulation and opportunities to reduce water, gas and electrical usage.

Go over your homeowner’s insurance with an insurance agent. A lot of things can change when you switch homes. The more information you can give your agent, the better coverage they can give you. And the more you learn from your agent, the more you’ll understand the protection that insurance offers. Don’t skimp on the planning portion now. You’ll thank yourself later if you need to rely on that coverage.

Fourthly, create a yearlong plan for all the regular professional maintenance in your home. For instance, chimneys need to be swept once per year, HVAC should be inspected every fall and winter, and pest control pros should come in during the correct season for whatever pests you have. Roofers and plumbers should take a look at your system every so often as well.

Create a wish list for all your upgrades, but hold off on the big projects for now. You’ve just moved into the home, so give yourself time to get a feel for it, figure out what works for you and what doesn’t, and then prioritize your projects and start saving money for the work.

Next, make a note of the age of all the major appliances in your home. Most appliance warranties don’t transfer to new homeowners, so you’ll be on your own if anything breaks down. Different appliances have varying lifespans. For instance, your average dishwasher, microwave and refrigerator last around nine years.

Seventh, create a homeowner’s binder to store all your important documents. Mortgage and insurance Keep a tally of your home improvements for potential tax benefits and resale purposes.

Finally, create an emergency house fund to prepare for unexpected repair costs. Costly issues could develop at any time.