Buying a new-construction home offers a lot of benefits but a few potential challenges as well. Here some homeowner tips and tricks to help you prepare for the unexpected, make your transition smoother and save you money later.
1. Don’t Start Large Projects… Yet
Your home is new and completely functional and home improvement projects are expensive. Avoid unnecessary projects. Focus on projects that have a completion deadline like front and/or backyard landscaping. Hold off on any major projects for at least six months. This will allow you to get a feel for your home and give you time to save for the cost of desired projects.
2. One Project at a Time
It’s natural to want all your projects finished now, but be patient. Working on one project at a time will preserve your finances, bringing less stress to your life. Create a plan and time line to start and complete your projects and stick to it allowing for unexpected setbacks. This will keep you excited and motivated to complete your projects.
3. Home Owner’s File
There’s a LOT of paperwork in the purchasing/building process. Organize a binder or folder for important documents, such as mortgage and home builder paperwork. Collect contact information for contractors and services in this binder. Use this binder to store the guides and warranties for your appliances and receipts for moving expenses. Your move might be tax deductible.
4. Identify Potential Problems
Understanding your warranty and Identifying a potential problem early could save you money later. Learn about common issues new homeowners face: appliance problems, signs of leaks, foundation issues, flooding to prevent further damage and prevent home owner’s anguish.
5. Monitor Your Energy Usage
Pay attention to how your home uses energy to reduce consumption and save money. Small changes will affect your utility bill; set the water heater to 120 degrees, switch to LED light bulbs and schedule a home energy audit.
6. Make Friends With Your Neighbors
Nothing ruins your brand new home like bad neighbors. Introduce yourself when you move in and make friends with your neighbors. Build a relationship with them as you settle in to make it easier to address issues and be there for each other when you needs arise.
7. Know How to Turn Off Your Power, Water and Gas
Locate these switches and valves when you move in so you are prepared for an emergency. Turn off your water when you leave on vacation to prevent flooding emergencies while you gone.
8. Change Your Air Filter Every Season
Mark the date on your calendar and change it every 90 days to reduce dust and keep your air clean and extend the life of your furnace and avoid expensive repairs. If you have allergies or pets, change it every 60 days.
9. DIY Tools
You need tools even if you’re not planning any big projects. Make sure you have these basics; ladder, measuring tape, stud finder, hammer, electric drill and bits, screw drivers, pliers, wrenches and sockets.
10. Emergency Fund
Things go wrong. At the worst possible time. You can’t predict emergencies or how much they will cost but you can plan for them. Start an emergency savings account now to take a little stress out of unexpected homeowner expenses.