Moving into a new home can be exciting and a little apprehensive. You may not know what to expect, especially if this is your first time buying a house or you're purchasing a brand-new home that no one has ever lived in. In addition to all the changes, you should have some emotional changes as well. You can prepare for everything but it's important to know what could go wrong or what to expect in a house.
Understand that something will probably break. If you've never purchased a home before and you've only lived in rentals, it can be very easy to let someone else do all of the work for you. But once you own a house, you are responsible for anything should it break. Expecting things to break and having a reserve fund to fund those repairs or replacements will put you in a much better place emotionally.
Know where everything is located. This goes beyond just knowing where to put the flashlight or emergency numbers. It's important to know where the closest fire hydrant is, your police station, fire station, doctor's office or hospital. Find out the quickest route so that in case of an emergency, you're not scrambling to figure out how to get there.
You also want to know where things are in your own house such as the emergency gas shut off the water shut off. Where your utilities are being read and well of your energy sources are.
Find a local handyman. Unless you are very handy repairing leaks, electrical issues or other problems, it's important to ask around your neighborhood as to who they choose for the small repairs. Having a number on hand can be very beneficial when your water heater springs a leak in the middle of the night.
[Read More: We All Know You're Looking for a Home Online First]
Make sure that your address has been changed. Double check all credit card statements, bank statements, magazine and newspaper subscriptions, and anything else you might get on a regular basis. Mail forwarding will only work for about one year so anything that looks like it's been forwarded on to you, be sure to change that address either online or by calling.
Things usually cost more than you assume. It's important to save a little bit of money, have at least $1000 in emergency funds, and potentially more if possible. You never know when something might break, needs to be fixed or updated. There will always be surprising costs and when you own a home, though surprising costs are not always fun.
[Read More: Home Inspection Issues That Break the Deal]
Understand your energy costs. A home energy audit or home energy assessment can be a great first step to assess how much energy your home is actually consuming. You can evaluate your energy costs and find ways to make your home more energy efficient.
Do some basic cleaning. Unless this is a brand-new home, you don't know the last time someone had the HVAC ducts cleaned, dryer vents cleaned, filters changed or batteries changed in smoke detectors and CO detectors. These are important things for your safety and your health.
For more information on a buying a house or if you have questions on unique situations that arise upon the purchase of a home contact our office today.