Buying your first home is a milestone. The day you close is exciting and full of possibility, but soon reality will set in as you realize how much responsibility you have taken on. In addition to meeting your mortgage payments every month, you also need to look after your property to maintain its value, prevent costly repair jobs from developing, and ensure it is a safe and comfortable place to live. When it comes to home maintenance, though, prevention is better than cure. Here are five maintenance tips for first-time homeowners to ensure you get off on the right foot.
1) Check before you commit to buy
Your first step is to carry out a thorough check of the house before you commit to buying the property. A home inspection will uncover any existing or potential issues in the home, which are likely to cost you a significant amount of money, and should give you a timeline in terms of how long primary systems and the structure are likely to last. When you have the results of the inspection, you can plan and budget accordingly.
It is also advisable to get a home inspection carried out every few years. If you wait until you are selling your property, you may come across major problems which will be costly and possible delay the escrow process.
2) Take out a home warranty
A valid home warranty policy is a must-have as it reduces your risk. In some cases, you can request that the seller pays for the first year of the warranty in your contract. You pay a monthly or quarterly fee, and, in return, the policy gives you the peace of mind that should a significant repair job come up, the provider will arrange and pay for the repair.
3) Keep on top of surrounding trees
If you have trees on your property, you need to keep on top of them in the sense that any branches which touch the roof may cause damage over time. Ensuring that the trees are in good condition will also prevent branches from falling and the tree itself from dying and becoming weak enough to fall. This will also help to prevent rodents and other pests from getting into your home through the roof. Tree roots can also cause issues if they grow underneath the home and/or interfere with the foundations, plumbing, or electricals.
4) Clear out the drains and plumbing
The plumbing and the drains in your home should be cleared and cleaned on a regular basis by a plumber. Search for a “professional plumber near me” and consider setting up a maintenance contract with them. This will prevent the build-up of dirt, food, hair, and other unpleasant residue, which can create expensive and inconvenient issues when you least expect them.
5) Check the AC and heating systems
The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in your home should be top of your priority list. You need to replace filters, clear out the systems, clean gutters, and ensure the boiler is serviced professionally at least every year. If you have a hot water storage cylinder, it should be drained and flushed each year to prevent the build-up of sediment and rust.