First-time home buyer?
What exactly are you getting yourself into when you go from having a landlord you can call to caring for your first home?
Here are some of the things it takes to maintain your new home:
1) HVAC system – it’s a great idea to have your AC and Furnace cleaned and inspected at least every two years. Ideally, you would want to do that off-season so that during that ice storm or heat wave when the rest of the world is calling for repairs you are comfortably settled in your space. The technician can advise you regarding how often to change filters.
2) Exterior water and foundation. Before winter, turn off outside spigots and drain hoses to avoid bursting pipes. Once a year, shine a flashlight on that unfinished basement or crawl space walls to check for any new cracks or stains.
3) Gutters and downspouts. Have these cleaned late fall after leaves have stopped dropping. Gutters that are clogged can create water damage to roofs or foundations. It’s much cheaper to clean the gutters than deal with those things!
4) Roof and chimney. Unless brand new, every two years it’s wise to have an expert double check for missing shingles or holes and around flashing. The goal is to stop water and animals from getting into your home or moss from building up (which pushes apart shingles and allows water in). Your roof inspector can also check for cracks in your chimney and mortar if applicable.
5) Septic and well. If you purchased a home that is not connected to public water and sewer, you’ll want to have your on-site systems checked. A septic tank should be pumped out every three years or so depending on its size and how many people live in the home. Wells should be inspected yearly.
6) Smoke and Carbon Monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers. All homes should have these items. Batteries will need to be replaced. Think about scheduling these when the time changes twice a year.
7) Pest control. I live 3 miles outside of downtown Portland in the woods; so ants, squirrels, raccoons, owls, birds… you name it, we’ve got it. There are tools you can get at your local hardware store to deal with some of these. Relocation companies that catch and release and companies like Terminix can also help. Just be mindful that you don’t want to catch or harm your neighbor’s pets or the planet with your choices.
Take it in and remember to breathe. I don’t share this list to create overwhelm. I share this list because being a proactive homeowner is way better and usually cheaper.
Best of all – you are not alone! I am happy to connect you to resources should anything come up.
Welcome to home ownership and being a first-time home buyer!