Home ownership can be one of the most rewarding achievements in life. However, rewards also come with responsibilities that enhance home values and quality of life.
While hopefully you purchased your home after a professional home inspection, pay attention to big-ticket items like heat pumps, air conditioners and hot water heaters. If they don’t work correctly, not only can they leave you hot or cold at the most inopportune times, but also drain money. These major appliances may have passed home inspection, but can lose proper function without warning. Be on the lookout for constantly running heat pumps/air conditioning units, unusual noises and water that does not seem as hot as usual.
As soon as possible after moving into a new home, change the batteries in all smoke alarms. Find out how to shut off the water supply in your home as well as the gas, if applicable. Knowing these can save a bundle in the case of a emergencies. Also, locate the electrical box and know what fuses operate what circuits and find out how to replace or reset them. Once the power goes out, it will be hard to find them in the dark.
Nothing alienates neighbors quicker than an unkempt yard with trash and tall grass or weeds. When your property includes streams or ponds, keep them free of leaves, grass clippings and debris. In bad weather, remove ice and snow as soon as possible from sidewalks and curbs adjacent to the home.
If part of a homeowner’s association, read the manual that was provided and find out exactly what they handle. Even if you own a condo and don’t have to worry about a yard, make sure that windows and drapes are kept in good condition, and keep balconies free of clutter.