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9 Helpful and Clever Tips for New Homeowners
Dated: July 13 2021
If you have just bought your first home, congratulations! Buying a home is sometimes one of the biggest purchases you will make throughout your lifetime, and it is such a rewarding thing to experience.
Aside from all the excitement, many buyers also experience some anxiety about learning how to adjust to a new life as homeowners. It is well known that homeownership comes along with endless maintenance, financial responsibilities and other commitments that are not required if you were to rent a home.
At Davids & DeLaat, we strive to make the home buying process as simple as possible for our clients. However, our support does not stop there, we also want to help our clients have a successful transition into homeownership and relieve any stress that they may be experiencing. That is why we have come together to provide the following nine tips for clients who are new to homeownership.
1. Change All The Locks On Your New Home
If you are buying a home that was previously owned, it is highly recommended that you invest in new locks for your doors and other access points of your home.
Although the previous homeowners are required to hand over all the keys they have, it is impossible to truly know how many were made and who has a copy. They could have given friends and family members copies that they forgot about or they could have a forgotten one lying at the bottom of their purse or bag. It is truly just an extra level of security for you and your family while living in your new home.
When you get new locks installed, make sure to get copies of your new keys made and if necessary, provide copies to your close friends and family for cases of emergency.
2. Deep Clean & Paint Before You Move In
Before you move your belongings into your new home, consider hiring a professional cleaning service to do a thorough, deep clean of your new home (or do one yourself). It is unlikely that the previous homeowners will have had the opportunity to do this before you moved in (unless it was in the contract). By getting a deep clean done, you can rest easy knowing that all the surfaces have been cleaned and disinfected prior to moving your belongings in and beginning daily use.
Additionally, if there are any rooms or areas in your new home that you would like to paint, it is highly recommended to do this prior to moving in. This minimizes the need to work around your belongings and the hassle of dealing with paint fumes in your current living space. By painting before you move in, you can settle into a fresh, clean space and start making your own memories right away.
3. Make Use Of Your Home Inspection Report
When buying a home, it is always recommended that you get a home inspection done prior to the purchase agreement. This gives you an insight into the condition of the home and any pre-existing and potential issues that need to be addressed in the weeks and months after purchase. By no means is a home inspection a 100% guarantee that you will not come across issues after buying the home, but still provides overall peace of mind for buyers.
After a home inspection, the inspector will provide you with an inspection report that outlines and summarizes his findings throughout the home. This can be used as your own personal guide for taking care of the immediate problems in your home and addressing the small or large fixes that need to be handled. Take time to go through this report and make the necessary fixes throughout your home.
4. Make A Maintenance Schedule And Find Professionals You Trust
Now that you are a homeowner, you are responsible for regular upkeep, repairs and other maintenance tasks around your home. While it is true that the maintenance can seem endless, it does not mean that it has to be a negative experience. By developing a maintenance schedule for your home you can feel confident in the condition of your home and prevent major issues from arising.
While most of the recommended maintenance can be handled by the homeowner, there are some jobs that are best left to professionals. When it comes to your home systems such as HVAC, plumbing and electrical, you can benefit by establishing a relationship with a trusted professional in the field. Asking friends, family and neighbours in the area for references for these essential services can help you find a reliable company and start building a relationship.
5. Make Friends With Your Neighbours
Your neighbours play a vital role in your life at your new home, whether you realize it or not. Having neighbours that you get along with and potentially even trust, can pay off largely in the long run. They can become someone you can count on to keep an eye on your home when you are out of town and maybe even someone you can rely on in an emergency situation. On the flip side, a bad neighbour can send unpleasant vibes and often can lead to frustration. So, take the time to introduce yourself and build rapport with your neighbours when you move into your new home.
6. Let Your Budget Settle And Establish An Emergency Fund
The initial cost of buying a new home is no small feat. It is almost certain that it took a long time to budget and save for a down payment, closing costs, lawyer fees, moving costs and other expenses. Now that you have secured a home and are ready to move in, there are new costs that come along with it. It is important that you give yourself time to adjust to your new financial requirements including mortgage payments, utility bills, maintenance costs and other expenses.
Give yourself time to establish your new budget and also to rebuild your savings. You want to ensure that you keep an emergency fund available at all times. This can be used for situations that are unforeseen such as a broken furnace, faulty hot water heater, or other emergency repairs.
7. Hold Off On Renovations
As tempting as it may be to move in and start personalizing your entire home, you should resist the urge. As mentioned above, you should allow yourself time to become comfortable with your new financial situation. Renovating and remodeling can be expensive and can often cost more than anticipated to finish.
Additionally, you should take time to live in the home as it is for a while to truly determine what changes you would like to make in the future. Maybe a design that seemed odd at first, turns out to be the best option for the home and your lifestyle.
When you do decide to take on any renovation projects, commit to a single project and finish it completely. It can be easy to start a new project and feel less inclined to finish your last, or it can be forgotten about altogether. Final touches such as trim, caulking, and a good clean can truly elevate the overall perspective of your home.
8. Learn About Your Energy Usage
Now that you are a homeowner you are responsible for paying each and every utility bill that makes its way to your mailbox. One of the largest expenses in your home is often your energy bill. It is important to have an understanding of your energy consumption and costs as you can adjust your habits and make small changes that will end up saving you tons of money. Click the attached link for more details on how to reduce your energy consumption and increase your savings.
9. Get Professional Tax Advice
If you are buying a home in Ontario, there are several tax credits and other rebates that are available to first-time home buyers and home buyers in general. These credits and rebates can put a substantial amount of money back into your pocket during the tax season. A tax professional can help advise you on which programs you qualify for and can inform you about ones that you may not have known exist. If you normally do your own taxes, you can still consult a professional to take advantage of all the available opportunities for which you qualify.
Do You Want To Own A Home In The Niagara Region?
If you are looking to buy a home in the Niagara Region, call Davids & DeLaat today. We are dedicated to helping our clients make their real estate dreams a reality. Whether you are a seasoned homeowner or a first-time buyer, we have the necessary skills and the determination to find the right home for you. Contact us today to find out what makes us Niagara Region’s top real estate team!
Helping people buy and sell real estate is Shawn’s passion. Now in his 20th year, he’s proud to be in the top 1% of all realtors for sales production in the entire Niagara region. Shawn’s outgoi....
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