Homeowner 101: 8 Smart Tips for New Homeowners

Homeownership is a big responsibility. Do these 8 things to make it easier and more satisfying.

1. Keep It Safe

First, don’t settle for just the keys to your new house. Consider replacing the locks as well, to make sure the people with access to your house belong there.

Second, make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order.

2. Stay Smart

Grab a binder and fill it with all the important info you could need in a moment’s notice. Add reminders to schedule annual inspections and replace air filters (you’ll thank yourself later). Include in the binder:

  • Insurance papers
  • Repair and purchase receipts
  • Contractor’s contact info
  • Location of your main water shutoff, power breakers, and gas lines
  • Manuals and user guides for your appliances

3. Say "Hey Neighbor!"

Getting to know your neighbors is a good thing! You may make a new friend...or at least someone you can trust for service provider recommendations, to keep an eye on things while you're out of town, or even to borrow a cup of sugar.

4. Freshen Up!

If you want to replace flooring or update your walls to the paint color of the year, do it before you move in all of your belongings.

5. One Thing At A Time

While you may want to take care of some things before moving in, be sure not to bite off more than you can chew. Give yourself a little time before you start big projects. Your priorities may change after you have spent a little time in your home. Remodeling often comes with surprises, so if you have a tight budget, take some time to build a cushion so you don't turn the kitchen into a half-finished, hard-to-use stressor.

6. Get All The Details

Check out where each of your appliances is in its lifecycle. Are any of them still under warranty? Unplanned-for appliance replacements can be a real budget-buster.

7. Look For Local Crash Courses

Be sure to check out local crash courses near you! Often times places like Home Depot and Lowes for example, will offer free virtual workshops like Homeowner 101, DIY workshops, and more.

8. Start Scheduling

Stay on top of your annual/periodic inspections for all of your home’s features. But don’t stop there! Get an energy audit to learn practical ways to save on utility costs. Pro tip – set these as recurring in the calendar on your phone so you never forget!

There is so much to consider when you buy a house, it can seem daunting. Take a breath, set a goal for each week, and focus on enjoying that homeowner feeling!