Buying a home is a significant milestone with many responsibilities. As a new homeowner, you want to ensure your home is well-maintained and secure. The first year is the time to establish routines and habits that will keep your home in good condition for years to come. Here are some things to do in the first year of homeownership.
Change the Locks
One of the first things you should do when you move into a new home is to change the locks. You never know who might have copies of your new home’s keys, so it’s best to install new locks to improve home security. Hire a locksmith or replace the locks if you’re handy with tools.
Establish a Maintenance Schedule
Owning a home comes with the responsibility of maintaining it. Create a maintenance schedule that includes regular tasks such as cleaning gutters, changing air filters, and inspecting the roof. Creating a monthly or quarterly plan is best, so you don’t forget critical tasks.
Check for Water Leaks
Water leaks can cause significant damage to your home if left unchecked. Paying attention to the plumbing and checking for signs of leaks in the plumbing, roof, or foundation is essential. Look for water stains on walls or ceilings, mold growth, or musty odors. Call a professional to assess the situation if you notice any of these signs.
Learn About Your Home’s Systems
Take the time to learn about your home’s systems, such as the heating, cooling, and electrical components. Knowing how they work and how to maintain them will save you time and money in the long run. Locate the breaker box, make sure it’s labeled correctly, and find the shut-off valves for water and gas in case of an emergency.
Get to Know Your Neighbors
Getting to know your neighbors is a great way to feel more at home in your new community. Introduce yourself and attend community events or gatherings. Your neighbors can provide valuable information about the neighborhood, such as local services, schools, and activities.
Create an Emergency Plan
Creating an emergency plan is crucial for any homeowner. Be ready for natural disasters, power outages, or medical emergencies. Ensure everyone in your home knows what to do in an emergency and has essential supplies, such as flashlights, first aid kits, and non-perishable food.
Keep Records of Home Improvements
Keeping records of any home improvements or repairs is essential for future reference. This information can be helpful if you sell your home or need to make insurance claims. Keep receipts, warranties, and manuals organized in a safe and easy-to-access location.
Being a homeowner comes with many responsibilities. Regular upkeep of the property is necessary to maintain its value. Take time to organize chores and tasks related to your home and make a schedule for accomplishing the jobs.