Owning a home is a big step. When you rent, you can count on having help with major maintenance and repair jobs, either from the owner or from professional maintenance staff. Taking on that responsibility yourself can be daunting, especially if you’re going to be the only adult living on the property. However, while there’s a lot you need to do, you can handle it all if you break things down and tackle each problem on its own.
Create A Contractor List
There are plenty of maintenance problems you can handle on your own with just a few tools and some basic instructions. But even homeowners with a home improvement hobby can’t tackle everything on their own. That’s why every area has contractors such as plumbers, electricians, remodelers, roofers, HVAC maintainers, and other experts.
It’s important to hire professionals for tasks such as plumbing issues, electrical work, and HVAC maintenance because those types of tasks require in-depth knowledge, education, and experience. Shoddy electrical work can cause a house fire. A simple plumbing mistake can result in expensive water damage. Improper HVAC maintenance can cause your system to break down, leading to thousands of dollars in repair or replacement costs.
Create a list of local contractors and put in on your refrigerator. That way you’ll know who to call if something breaks, and you won’t waste time searching for names and phone numbers.
Take a Homeownership Class
Many cities and states offer homeownership classes that teach first-time home buyers the steps they should take before, during, and after they buy a home. These classes cover topics like budgeting your money and tips for picking the right house. Most of them also offer mortgage and credit advice.
Look for a class that has a post-purchase education component. Post-purchase education will help you learn to manage your finances as a homeowner and go over tips and tricks that’ll help you maintain your new home without blowing your budget.
Search online to find a homeownership class near you. Most of them are free, but some charge a small fee. Regardless of cost, new homeowners are likely to find the information they receive invaluable.
Learn Basic Maintenance
You can save a lot of money if you’re willing to play around with power tools and learn all the things you can do with a hammer and a screwdriver. Tools like these can be very safe to use, so long as you respect them and use them properly.
By doing that, you’ll be able to handle all sorts of basic maintenance tasks. These may include replacing the furnace air filter, fixing loose doors and handles, cleaning out your gutters, and keeping your drains unclogged.
Keep Your Manuals in One Place
All your big appliances come with manuals that describe how to use them and troubleshoot basic problems. They can really come in handy, but only if you know where they are. Make it easy on yourself and put them all in one location you can easily remember and sort through to find the information you need. A binder, like the ones kids use to organize their papers for school, is a great way to organise instruction manuals. It doesn’t take up much space and will keep all your manuals clean and easy to find.
Consider Extra Security
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If you’re single and have no children at home, you probably leave your house empty for a big part of the day when you go out for work. Burglars love an empty house, so you may want to make it harder for them by adding a security alarm, a camera or two, or an upgraded door lock. A big noisy dog is also surprisingly effective at keeping burglars away if you want to own a pet.
Understand Home Warranties
Depending on the age and condition of your new home, you might want to consider buying a home warranty. Alternatively, the previous owners may have included a home warranty in the contract when you purchased the home.
While home warranties often get a bad rap, many of them work well for homeowners. To make sure you get the most from your warranty, read it in its entirety, including the fine print, so you know exactly what it covers. Most home warranties aren’t as simple as they seem at first glance, but with a little patience, you should be able to find one that works for you.
If you use your warranty, don’t hesitate to ask the repair technician to try and keep all repairs within the conditions of your warranty. You don’t want to pay for extras you don’t need, and the best way to avoid doing so is to communicate with the person doing the repair work.
Make Use of What You Own
Buying a house will almost certainly set you back financially: a new debt, less money on hand (since you needed a down payment), new insurance and maintenance costs, and so on. Due to this, you might not want to go all-in and buy new furniture and decorations to give yourself that perfect interior you always wanted. Consider using what you already have to start with and gradually buying new items as you can afford them. This will keep your budget under control while giving you the opportunity to furnish your home with items that you love. When you rush to furnish an entire house, it’s easy to end up making choices you’re not crazy about just so you can fill a space.
Giving yourself time to slowly fill your home with pieces you love may help you make better buying decisions. It’ll also give you time to save up so you can buy what you need once you get a handle on your new financial responsibilities.
Homeownership is a big responsibility, especially if you’re living on your own or as the only adult. However, with the right approach and some decent planning, you can take care of everything you need and keep your house in fine shape.