Tips for First-Time Homeowners

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Purchasing real estate for the first time is such a big deal. Not only is it an exciting opportunity, but also it can prove to be a challenge. Learning how to take care of a home, especially an older fixer-upper, will take some getting used to. It is a lot to manage, the moment you have the property deed in your hands. And it can be overwhelming. How do you keep track of maintenance needs? Do you need a new furnace? Do you need a new A/C unit? Do you need new San Jose, CA windows? It is a lot to think about. For some guidance, here are some tips to get this new adventure started on the right foot.

Tour Your New Home with the Inspection Report

Hopefully, you brought in a professional to inspect the property before you closed on your new house. This inspection helped ensure you were not paying too much for a house that requires much extra work to be livable. Now that you own the house, that inspection report can give you so much guidance about maintenance and upkeep. Take a tour of the house with that inspection report in hand. Go through the notes piece by piece and take notes on baseline items. That is the best way to know what condition each item is in and note any problems and changes as they occur. Locate the breaker boxes and shut-off valves. Check on the furnace. Inspect all of the plumbing and fixtures. Take note of everything that needs to be fixed right away and what projects can be put off until later.

Make a Maintenance Checklist

Once you are done with your inspection report it is time to prioritize your maintenance. There are tasks you will need to perform every week, every month, and even every year. Get these tasks organized by outlining how often they should be done. As an example, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors should be replaced every ten years. The seals on windows need inspections and maintenance every two to five years. Basements, attics, crawlspaces, and other infrequently visited areas of the house need an annual inspection for mold and moisture buildup. The air filters on furnaces need to be checked once a month and replaced as soon as they get clogged.

Get Organized

As you can see, there is a lot to keep track of with home maintenance. One of the first things you should do as a homeowner decides on an organizational system to keep track of all the documents and tasks and then stick to it. Keep all the paperwork and information about your home in a safe and centralized location. Things to include would be buyer-agent purchase agreements, appraisal reports, inspection reports, home warranty documentation, insurance documentation, real estate disclosure statement, mortgage documents, closing documents, and the deed. After that, make a section for appliance warranties, manuals, and notes on the contractors for any renovation work.

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Start Repairs Now

When purchasing an older home there will likely be some cleaning and repairs you should get started on right away. If you can, you will want to complete some of that work before you move in. Things like new carpets, new paint, and new San Jose, CA windows will be a lot easier to tackle if the entire house is empty of furniture and belongings.