6 Common 1st Year Fixes For New Homebuyers

by Alex ThatcherJuly 25, 2016

Congratulations! You’re a Homeowner

Welcome to the world of homeownership! If you’re like most first-time homebuyers, then you’re probably quite excited, and maybe a little more intimidated than you’d like to admit. Don’t worry – you’ll do just fine. Being as you’re new at this, we’d like to give you a few tips that will save you money and trouble in the long run.
common maintenance first year fixes for new homeowners

Home Makeover

If you’ve recently purchased a place that was left exactly as it was when the previous owners vacated, chances are good that there are a few aesthetic things that you’d like to change about your new home. And even if the last occupants did a bit of remodeling here and there, you may still have some alterations you’d like to make.

For example, there might be a few rooms in the home where the paint color just isn’t quite right. Or, there might be some outdated fixtures in the kitchen or bathroom. Whatever the case may be, the best time to tackle those jobs is when you’re first getting settled.

Sure, it may seem like a lot of work when you just finished moving all of your stuff, but applying a new coat of paint or replacing a sea-green toilet will be that much easier if you don’t have to work around your things. Get that stuff out out of the way as soon as possible.

Set the Water Heater to 120 Degrees

Here’s a simple fix that can save you money and protect your loved ones. Your water heater has a temperature setting. If you’ve noticed that your shower is scalding hot, then you probably need to turn down the temperature on your heater. 120 degrees Fahrenheit is the magic number – most people don’t need water any hotter than that, and temperatures too much higher can even cause injuries.

Change the Locks

Sure, the previous owners gave you a set of keys, but when it comes down to it, you really don’t know who has the keys to your home – an old roommate, a long-lost dog walker — it could be just about anyone. That’s why you should always make changing the locks on your new home a top priority. You don’t have to replace the existing doorknobs; you can simply have them re-keyed. And if you’re the handy sort, you can even do it yourself with a kit.

Find the Shutoff Valve, and Get the Right Tool to Use It

There’s always a chance that your plumbing system will undergo some sort of catastrophic failure, especially if you own an older home or if it’s winter time. If that ever happens, you’re going to want to be able to shut the water off in a hurry. To do that, you’ll need to use the master shutoff valve.

You’ll also need the right tool for the job – some plumbing shutoff valves take a special wrench or key, so be sure to get that sorted out right away. You may never need to use the master shutoff, but if you do, you’ll be glad you know how.
common maintenance first year fixes for new homeowners

Check the Smoke Detectors

Buying a home is a big investment — maybe your biggest investment ever, and a house fire could very easily make your investment worthless if you’re not careful. Not sure how long it’s been since those smoke detectors had a fresh set of batteries? Better swap them out, just in case.

Deep-Clean the Carpets

Carpet can collect years of dust, not to mention dust mites, pet hair, and other allergens. Unless your new home came with fresh flooring in every room, it’s not a bad idea to give the carpets a deep clean before settling in.

Change the HVAC Filters

Your home’s HVAC system has replaceable filters that can improve the air quality in your home and bolster your climate control system’s effectiveness and efficiency. But here’s the catch: they only do those things if they’re clean, and a dirty filter might even be worse than no filter at all.

Locate your filters, and make sure to replace them with the right kind. If you’re not sure of the specs, take a picture that shows the model number. Your local hardware store should be able to help you out.

You’ve Got This!

As you already know, being a homeowner comes with a few extra chores. But the pride that comes with living the dream is more than worth the effort. Take good care of your home, and it’ll take good care of you.

Homes.com is the place to dream and discover your ideal home! Are you starting to get the itch to look for your first or next home, but don’t know where to start? You’ve come to the right place! Browse our real estate and lifestyle blog for home buying tips, mortgage guides, DIY ideas, interior design, lifestyle topics, general home inspiration, or just some homes fun. We are sure you can scratch that itch and find all the information and tools you need to help in your home search. Want to start looking at available real estate right now? Head to our home page and check out homes for sale or rent listings all over the country. Happy house hunting!

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About The Author
Alex Thatcher
Alex is a home staging guru who moonlights as a writer. She loves everything about interior design and loves working in the industry. Alex is an expert in finding what makes people light up when they walk into a room, and has made a living by creating interiors that are unique, warm and inviting. When she isn't arranging flowers or making sure she's found the right loveseat for prospective buyers, she writes about her passion — home design.

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