Moving into a new place is exciting, especially when purchasing a home. You can finally change the paint colors, hang things wherever you like, and update fixtures, lighting, etc. While these are all important rites of passage, there a few ‘less fun’ tasks that should be on your to-do list.
1. Locate the water shutoff and main circuit panel for your home
Emergencies happen and can be entirely out of your control. It’s a good idea to know how to turn off all the water to your house in case of a plumbing crisis. The shut-off valve is usually located somewhere in the garage, or at street level.
Having an accurately labeled circuit breaker panel can also save you a huge headache if a fuse ever gets blown and you need to reset the electric in all or part of your home. Understanding where these fixtures are located and how to use them before you need to will generally serve you well.
2. Schedule routine pest control
It’s no secret that Texas has plenty of bugs and creatures that love to sneak into homes. Whether this bothers you or not on a principle basis is a personal matter, but from a maintenance standpoint pests should be kept at bay. Luckily, there are several affordable and reputable pest control agencies that can do on-demand or routine treatments to keep your home pest-free. Contact me if you need a referral.
3. Install a water softener
As a whole, Texas has hard water. Simply put, hard water contains a high amount of minerals, usually calcium and/or magnesium. Over time, hard water can wreak havoc on a home’s pipes, leading to potentially huge and expensive repairs.
Hard water can also affect your skin, hair, and health, so there are many reasons to look into purchasing a water softener. These can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars but pale in comparison to the cost of having to re-plumb your home.
4. Check to see if you have gutters
The purpose of gutters is to route water away from a home’s foundation and allow for proper drainage. Failure to have an adequate drainage system can result in the soil around your home eroding and the foundation becoming unstable.
Many homes come with gutters, but not all do. New construction homes in particular often leave this as an add-on for the homeowner to address after closing. Check to see if your house has gutters. If it does not, look into having them installed to protect your foundation. Once you do have gutters, be sure to keep them free of leaves and debris.
5. Make a list of an emergency plumber, handyman, and HVAC technician
A 3am emergency is not the time that anyone wants to be researching who to call to fix a leaking faucet or broken A/C unit in the middle of July. Contact me for some quality referrals or take some time to do a bit of research on who your go-to emergency repair contacts are. Ask important questions like how long wait times generally are, and what the costs are for basic services or inspections. You’ll thank yourself later!
6. Find out what size air filter you need and schedule regular changes
Air filters are an item that I see many clients forget about both when renting and buying homes. In either scenario, you’ll want to change the filter every 1-3 months. Air filters are inexpensive but do a very important job of cleaning the air that circulates through your home by filtering out things like dirt, dust, and pollen.
Not changing your filter regularly can result in higher electricity bills, slower heating and cooling times, growth of mold or bacteria, and damage to your HVAC unit. For a simple solution, use a program like Second Nature to get deliveries to your door whenever it’s time to change the filter.
Preventative maintenance for a home can go a long way. If you have any questions about buying or settling into a new place, please reach out!