Homeownership is the American dream for many people who want financial independence and the ability to own property in the local community. However, what most new homeowners quickly find out is that it’s a lot of work!
Signing the closing documents, making the down payment, and moving in is just the start of your homeownership journey. This article will cover the essential first-year homeowner tasks to complete in order to set yourself up for decades of comfortable living.
Essential First-Year Homeowner Tasks
There are so many tasks that first-year homeowners should complete that we simply cannot list them all in this article. Here’s our list of the top five tasks for new homeowners.
Updating Home Insurance
Insurance companies calculate your homeowners insurance premiums based on the value of your home. It’s possible that this value could have changed since you originally purchased the property, which means you’ll want to ensure that your coverage reflects the home’s current value in case of a covered loss.
Additionally, homeowners who decide to make improvements or renovations to their properties may see the value of their homes increase as well. Whether you’ve added a new room, upgraded your kitchen, or installed a deck in the backyard, your insurance policy should be adjusted accordingly.
Familiarizing Yourself with Utilities
Whether you’ve been renting a property or living without expenses previously, you’re probably familiar with the basic utilities that are needed to sustain a home. Expenses like water, electric, HVAC, and trash removal are required for new homeowners to pay on a monthly basis.
Understanding your utility bills and how they are calculated helps you manage your household budget effectively to plan for these monthly expenses. You’ll also be able to avoid unexpected high utility bills by controlling your usage each month.
Testing Safety Devices
One of the most important parts of owning a home is making sure that you and others living there are safe in case of emergencies.
Devices like smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and carbon monoxide detectors may have been left by previous homeowners but should still be inspected and replaced if needed.
Landscaping and Yard Care
Some homeowners associations (HOAs) have strict standards for landscaping and yard care in their communities. This means you’ll need to take care of your lawn and the outside appearance of the home to comply with these regulations.
Most HOAs prohibit overgrown grass, trash or debris visible from the street, and excessive lighting or displays on the yard. Make sure to contact your homeowners association manager or request copies of HOA guidelines.
Plan for Major Expenses
Major components of a safe and livable home include a strong roof, functioning heating and air system, and efficient plumbing. Unfortunately, these systems often have a shelf life and will need to be replaced after a certain period of time.
It’s important to plan for these major expenses by setting money aside in case unexpected issues arise. However, for expenses like roof repairs, you’ll typically have a good idea when it will need to be replaced before you purchase the home.
While owning a home may seem like a difficult undertaking with lots of responsibilities, the truth is that homeownership is a skill that anyone can learn. By familiarizing yourself with these first-year homeowner tasks, you’ll be on your way to a successful journey in homeownership.
Are you looking for a real estate agent in Massapequa? The Kim Holland Homes team is the #1 real estate team on Long Island. Contact us or call Kim today at 516-236-6303 to start the process of finding your dream home.