You’ve submitted your offer, completed an inspection, gone through the closing process, and it’s finally over – you’re a homeowner!
Buying a home is an exciting new chapter but, as many soon realize, purchasing the house is only the beginning. From unpacking those heavy boxes to tackling home improvement projects, here’s our advice for surviving the first few months of homeownership.
1. Unpack strategically
Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to handle everything at once. First, focus on unpacking boxes. Start with the essential items that can help you get through the next few days. Next, unpack items for your kitchen, followed by the bedrooms and the bathrooms. Now you’re ready to move to the heavier stuff and arrange furniture. The last spaces to unpack and organize are the garage, attic, basement and other utility rooms.
2. Be neighborly
It’s always a good idea to get to know your neighbors. Not only does it help you get adjusted to the new area, you never know when you’ll need someone to check the mail or water your plants. And, hey, you may even make some new friends! If you’re looking for good conversation starters, seek tips to navigate through your new neighborhood. Learn about the best restaurants and the nearest parks or walking trails. People love offering suggestions and recommendations.
3. Make a home improvement journal
Once you move into your new home, you will start to notice things you’d like to change – painting rooms, installing carpet, replacing fixtures and so much more. Instead of trying to tackle each of those projects immediately, add them to a home improvement journal. After you’ve lived in the house for a few months, you will find it easier to prioritize the tasks on the list. This is a great way to determine your home goals – and stay within budget.
4. Be budget conscious
Majority of homeowners say that they spent more than expected in the first year of homeownership. Between new furnishings, home maintenance, and upgrades, the costs can add up quickly. However, with a home warranty, you can alleviate some of the financial pressures of homeownership. Even fixing one or two major appliances or an air conditioning system can result in high unexpected costs. But with your home warranty plan, it’s as easy as paying your Trade Service Call Fee.
5. Get to know your home warranty
When the air conditioner stops working or the washing machine makes a weird whirring noise, it’s time to reach out to your home warranty provider. Review the specifics of your American Home Shield plan in MyAccount to make sure your major appliances and systems are covered. If you need to upgrade your plan, call 800.735.4663 and provide the plan number. Adjustments can be made to your plan for up to 60 days from your contract start date.
6. Get outdoorsy
While it is common to focus on the interiors of your home the inside of the home gets a lot of attention, especially during the first few months, don’t forget about your yard. Are you up to handle weed-pulling, leaf blowing and mowing yourself? If so, make sure you have the right equipment. A push mower may be fine for smaller lots, but it may be easier to use a riding mower on larger pieces of land. You’ll also need a leaf blower, string trimmer, edger, rake, gardening tools and a hose, at the very least. If yard maintenance isn’t your thing, consider hiring a lawn care service.
7. Reassess your insurance needs
Fires, natural disasters, break-ins – unfortunately, sometimes bad things happen, and it’s important that your home has financial protection. That’s where home insurance comes in. While your home warranty covers breakdowns of your major home appliances and systems, a home insurance policy covers damage to your property. Review your current policy details and make sure you’re financially protected in case of emergencies. Based on where you live and the climate in your region, you may need to add flood, hurricane or earthquake insurance.
8. Try DIY. And know when not to!
It’s tempting to try and handle home improvement projects yourself. Before you start hammering and plastering, figure out if you have the right tools, talent and time for the task. If you’re missing one of those three things, it’s best to leave the job to a professional. There are lots of simple things you can do that don’t require technical skills, like organizing a closet, painting, changing cabinet pulls and planting flowers. So, it is best to stick to them if you cannot differentiate between a claw hammer and a sledge hammer.
9. Make your house a home
It’s normal to want your house to look perfect, but what matters more is creating a space that meets your needs, fits your lifestyle, and makes you happy. Focus on what you want out of your home, not what others want to see. This way, you’ll enjoy a lifetime of making memories!
AHS assumes no responsibility, and specifically disclaims all liability, for your use of any and all information contained herein.