The last thing you want when you move into a new Southern Maryland home is more items on your to-do list, right? But there are some items on the list that you shouldn’t put off.
So, push the boxes aside for a day or two and let’s get them done!
- Change the locks
It may seem like a no-brainer, but many homeowners neglect changing the door locks on their new home. Hey, when you consider all the things that need attention, such as changing over the utilities, registering the kids in new schools, and ensuring everyone has your new address, something is bound to fall through the cracks.
But you don’t know exactly how many people have keys to your home – or who those people are! – this task needs to be at the top of your to-do list. The good news is that unless you’re opting for a smart lock, changing the locks on a door is an inexpensive and common DIY project.
- Locate your home’s main water shutoff valve
Don’t wait until an emergency to find the water shutoff valve for your home. Find it now and share the location with the other members of your household.
There are a number of places where the shutoff valve could be in your home. In cold-climate areas like here, you’ll typically find it somewhere indoors, like the basement. In warmer places, look for it outside or in the garage. If your home is on a slab foundation, look for the shutoff valve near the water heater.
- Secure your home purchase paperwork
Before you file away all that paperwork you signed at closing, make copies and store them in a safe place off site. You may never need to refer this paperwork, but it’s a good idea to keep everything just in case.
While you’re in the mode of sorting paperwork, consider buying an accordion file to hold all the paperwork you’ll accumulate as a Southern Maryland homeowner. This includes receipts for repairs and improvements, insurance information, and warranties.
When it’s time to sell, you’ll be glad you have all of this documentation in one place.
- Open a new savings account
You paid a whole lot of money at the closing table, but that was just the beginning of what it costs to own a Southern Maryland home. Routine maintenance and emergency repairs need to be factored in, too.
“No new homeowner, myself included, can ever feel fully prepared for the maintenance costs and renovation costs associated with homeownership,” Pamela Capalad, a Brooklyn NY financial planner tells NerdWallet.com.
But a dedicated savings account for home maintenance and repairs can go a long way toward being prepared.
Most financial experts say to set aside 1 to 2 percent of the home’s value each year for both maintenance and repairs. For example, if your home is worth $250,000, you should dedicate $2,500 to $5,000 a year.
You can make it less painful by having a set amount (from $210 to $420) automatically deducted each month from your pay and sent to the dedicated savings account.
By the way, deferring routine maintenance may impact your home’s future value, so you don’t want to delay when work needs to be done.
- Replace your air filters
Changing an old HVAC filter just once is enough to convince many of us to make changing them a routine. Sadly, that isn’t the case. Many homeowners neglect this inexpensive and easy home maintenance chore and end up breathing in that brown fuzz that clings to old filters. (Yuck!)
Not only that, but they’re setting the entire system up for failure. “A system that has a dirty filter can suffer from pressure drop, which can lead to reduced air flow, or ‘blow-out,’ resulting in no air infiltration at all,” say Nick Gromicko and Kate Tarasenko of the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI).
Change the filter in a busy household with kids and pets once a month, otherwise you may be able to wait three months before installing a new one. Learn how to change the filter at thefamilyhandyman.com.
Hughesville MD Homes for Sale and Real Estate Services in Southern Maryland. You now have a search engine to help you with your Southern Maryland home search! And I’m ready to provide you with a custom home valuation if you’re considering selling your home. Let’s connect to discuss how I can help you. Contact Kimberly Bean at 301-440-1309
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