Purchasing real estate is a big deal and an exciting opportunity. But as with anything new, learning how to take care of a house will take practice and guidance. How do you care for the window coverings on your Durham, NC home, much less everything else? How can you keep track of all the maintenance that needs to be done?
Don’t freak out! Here are some essential first-time homeowner tips to help you get started on this exciting new adventure. First, get organized now. There is a lot to keep track of when it comes to home maintenance, so it’s best to create an organizational system now and then stick to it. Make a home management binder, filing cabinet drawer, box, or another chosen place, and then keep all your homeowner paperwork and information inside it.
The goal is to have a centralized, safe location for all your important house documents like your buyer-agent and purchase agreements, inspection and appraisal reports, home warranty and insurance documents, real estate disclosure statements, mortgage and closing documents, and your deed. You should also create a section for appliance manuals and warranties as well as notes on dates, costs, and contractors for all your maintenance and renovation work.
There are most likely some repairs, cleaning, and painting you need to do to your new home. If possible, complete that work now before you move in. Anything you can cross off your list before your new home is full of boxes and furniture will make your move that much easier. If there is damage to your replacement windows, be sure to call in a professional as soon as possible.
You also need to tour your new home with your inspection report. Before you closed on your house, you most likely brought in a professional to do a thorough inspection. Now that you’ve taken possession, pull out the inspection report and go through your home piece by piece to notate baselines for each item so you can easily see changes and problems as they arise. Where are your shut-off valves and breaker boxes? How does your furnace work? What about your plumbing? Don’t forget to notate what can or should be fixed now, and what can wait till later. Don’t forget to make a maintenance checklist. There are certain tasks you will need to do for your home every decade, year, month, or even week.
Make a checklist of these tasks organized by how often they need to be done to make sure you don’t miss anything. For example, you should replace your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors once every ten years. Every two to five years, do maintenance on your replacement windows to ensure energy efficiency. Every year, check basements, attics, crawlspaces, and any other infrequently visited areas of the house for moisture or any other problems, and twice per year, check your window treatments to ensure optimal function.