Now That You Have Purchased Your New Home, What’s Next?
Congratulations, you purchased a home. Not just any home, your dream home. A place to build new memories and a place that is your own.
I know you are in the honeymoon stage of purchasing and moving into your house, but there are some things that you should do the within the first year of owning your house. If this is your first home, then you may feel excited and overwhelmed. Purchasing a home is a huge responsibility that requires upkeep and maintenance for which you are now responsible. Here are a few tips to help take some stress away.
1. Protect your new house with good record keeping.
Get a safe, filing cabinet, or some other system to store all your paperwork from the purchase of your house. Keep a copy of your signed purchase agreement, preliminary title report, inspection reports, addendum, and especially a copy of the deed to your house along with any signed loan documents from your lender. You want to keep these items in a safe, secure place because you never know when or if you may need them.
2. Protect your other belongings.
Take inventory of your home. Make a spreadsheet of all your valuables, take photos of everything, and keep them secured on the cloud. Recovering damaged items is much easier for you and your homeowner’s insurance company should an accident occur when you have an itemized list, photos, and receipts.
3. Prepare to maintain your home.
Make a “house” binder. Having a house binder that has everything you need for the maintenance of your house at your fingertips is one the best things that you can do as a homeowner. Your house binder should include the following items to get you started:
- Contact information for your Homeowner’s Insurance company, your policy information, and your policy # for easy access.
- Contact information for your Home Warranty, your home warranty plan number, and your house warranty coverage/plan.
- A list of vendors you use for your house, i.e. landscaper, general handyman, gas/electric, garbage service, housekeeper, etc.
- Invoices from work that has been done on the house
- Maintenance Plan/Schedule for your house. You can use an excel spreadsheet that will have the items that need to be completed each year like changing the air filters, checking the smoke detector, power washing your exterior, roof check, water filter check/replacement. Basically, any little thing that needs to be done to your home yearly to keep up the maintenance on your home.
- A section for any future project that you would like to do to your home.
You can add so much to your “house” binder, it is just a tool to keep you organized and up to date with the management of your house.
4. Start an emergency fund for your home.
Start an emergency emergency fund for your home. You want to be prepared if any surprises pop up in your house and have money set aside to cover any repairs that need to be made last minute.
5. Know your home.
You need to know your house. Let’s say a pipe has burst and water is going everywhere. Do you know where you shut-off valve is for your water? If your toilet is overflowing, do you know how to stop the water flow? Do you know where your circuit breaker is and where the main shut-off switch is? Well, these are things you should know to help as the first defense to many problems that may arise while owning a home. Take the time to get to know your home. Map out the critical items of your house and add it to your house binder.
Conclusion—The first year of your new house should prepare you and help you protect this important investment.
These tips will help be a hands-on homeowner and will keep you well organized and prepared should anything come your way. Buying a house is a considerable investment, so make sure you nurture and maintain your investment to the best of your abilities.