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March 13, 2020

Basic home maintenance for new homeowners

  • Tips and tricks

There have been a lot of new homeowners over the past few years.

Just how many are we talking about? According to a report from Genworth Mortgage Insurance, from 2017 to 2019, more than 2 million homes were sold to first-time buyers each year.

That's a lot of newbies!

For many people, buying their first home means changing from being a renter to a buyer. Though they'll build equity in their real estate investment by keeping their new home properly maintained and updated, these new homeowners suddenly find themselves having to forgo their landlord's help for basic maintenance requests.

In the interest of supporting these new homeowners, we thought we'd share some basic home maintenance tips to help them keep their house in order.

Advice for ensuring your home interior stays in great shape

Before you start to feel a chill in the air, you should make sure that your new home is in good shape to weather the winter temperatures.

Carefully consider where your home might be exposed to drafts and see what you can do about it. You may be able to caulk gaps around vents, use insulation film for windows or wrap foam sleeves around exposed pipes to insulate them from the cold.

If you have attic stairs that pull down, you may be able to pick up a stair cover to keep air from escaping that way. If you have a fireplace, leaving it open could be a heat suck, too, so see if you can pick up an inflatable plug for it.

Invest in weatherstripping for windows and doors, as well!

In addition to weatherproofing your home, you'll want to keep an eye out for some basic plumbing issues and learn how to resolve them on the spot. Common toilet issues include broken levers and clogged drains. Learn your way around a toilet plunger and auger, and don't be afraid to go into the top tank with a few simple pieces from your local hardware store to repair a busted lever.

Looking for a simple fix for a tangled chain that keeps your toilet running long after it's been flushed? Try straightening out the kink with a plastic straw!

To avoid leaks in your kitchen, make sure you regularly recaulk around the sink as needed.

Tips for a well-maintained home exterior

The exterior of your home is on the front lines against inclement weather, and it's your face to the neighborhood. Make sure you treat it well.

Clean out your gutters regularly. Clear debris before it accumulates and damages the gutters, preventing them from doing their job. Clean the gutters often and fix any leaks or other problems that you encounter.

In the warmer months, you'll periodically want to touch up your house's paint job. According to professional painters Wow 1 Day Painting, how often you have to repaint will vary depending on the type of underlying material, but generally, wood siding will need to be redone the most often, while brick, if there's any painting on it, can last with a single paint job for as long as 20 years!

Your mileage will vary based on your home's existing paint job and the kind of weather it's exposed to.

Home maintenance tips for appliances

Here's a big one: You probably need to drain your water heater once a year, if not every six months. Sediment can build up, leading to higher utility bills or even causing your water heater to break down entirely. Replacements could cost thousands of dollars.

Make sure you properly maintain all major appliances in your house according to their requirements. If you have a garage, another useful tip you might want to consider is to keep the opening mechanisms well lubricated at all times.

While maintaining your new home is a lot of work, it's totally worth it. If you're looking for a way to eliminate some extra stress during this transition, contact your local Atlas agent today!