Owning a home is an exciting and rewarding experience but comes with responsibilities. New homeowners should prioritize certain tasks within the first year to keep their homes safe and running smoothly. Here are a few things to tackle within the first year of homeownership.
1. Make Sure Your Property is Adequately Insured
Get quotes from multiple agencies and compare coverage levels and costs. Make sure you have sufficient insurance to cover the expense of replacing damaged items, such as furniture or appliances, in case of fire or other natural disasters. Also, consider adding extra riders for valuable items like jewelry or artwork you own.
2. Create a Maintenance Schedule Over the First Year of Homeownership
Schedule regular check-ups and maintenance for your plumbing, electrical, HVAC, and other systems to ensure they work correctly and efficiently. Identify problems before they become more serious and expensive to repair. Create a plan for performing routine tasks such as cleaning gutters and testing smoke detectors.
3. Make Sure You Have Adequate Security
After moving in, install new locks for your home. The previous owners may have given keys to their handyperson, petsitter, or neighbor. Test the window locks to verify they are secure, and consider adding window guards for additional protection for your home. Investing in a quality home security system is a great way to monitor your property and keep your family safe.
4. Conduct an Energy Audit
An energy audit helps you identify ways to make your home more energy efficient, helping to lower utility bills and reduce your carbon footprint. Do the audit yourself or hire a professional who will use specialized tools to measure your home’s energy use and make suggestions for improving efficiency.
5. Get to Know Your Neighbors During the First Year of Homeownership
Introducing yourself to your neighbors is essential to becoming part of the community. Not only will it make you feel more at home, but it can also be helpful when you need advice from those who have lived in the area longer. You will learn about the neighborhood and may make life-long friends.
6. Plan for Lawn and Garden Maintenance
Your lawn is an important part of your home, so it’s essential to plan how you want to maintain it. Think about what plants, trees, and shrubs would look best in the space, and consider investing in landscaping or hardscaping elements such as a patio or walkway. Schedule regular maintenance, like mowing and fertilizing.
7. Get Organized Within the First Year of Homeownership
Take the time to organize your living spaces to make them comfortable and functional. This could mean installing shelves in the garage or organizing closets with bins and baskets. Finding the right storage solutions for your home will guarantee everything has a place and will help the house stay tidy.
These are just a few things new homeowners should tackle within their first year of ownership. Taking the time to plan ahead helps ensure your home is safe, functional, and well-maintained for years to come.