If you’ve bought your first home in the past couple years or are getting ready to buy, congratulations! There are few things more exciting and meaningful in life than officially becoming a homeowner and living the American dream.
So, now the question you have to ask yourself is, “What kind of homeowner am I going to be?” You can treat the house as simply your living space, kind of like you might have done when you were renting. Or, you can treat it like the major financial investment that it is. You can take care of your house and keep it in the best possible shape, knowing that someday you will be selling it and moving onto something even bigger and better. There is a reason why many people refer to their first homes as “starter homes.” They are usually just one stepping stone as you build equity and then use that equity toward your next dream home.
Proper maintenance is the key to being a successful homeowner. If you take care of your property while you own it, it will take care of you financially in the long run. With this in mind, here are some of The Cyr Team’s top home maintenance tips for first-time home buyers:
Air Conditioner and Furnace Maintenance
Regular maintenance of your furnace, heating system and air conditioning system is a must. You want the equipment working right and you also want healthy air quality flowing throughout your house. An annual vent/duct cleaning and system tune-up service is a good idea, and filters should be changed as needed. Though not necessarily part of your HVAC system, you should clean out your dryer vent at least once a year, as well. That is a common source of house fires!
If you have any leaking faucets, pipes or other plumbing fixtures, you will want to get them fixed as soon as possible. Wasting water will cost you money and the water damage can end up being extremely expensive to repair. A small drip is more than just an annoyance. That excess water could be doing serious damage to your floors, ceilings, walls, frames and foundations if left ignored. Mold and rot are always concerns when you have plumbing issues.
Taking care of your yard is one of those things that is really fun at the beginning. It’s your first home and you’re excited to actually have your own lawn to mow, hedges to trim or garden to tend. Over time, yard maintenance often becomes less and less of a priority. It’s very important to keep up the yard work. It maintains a better-looking exterior of your home, which is good for increased “curb appeal” when it comes time to sell. It also just makes you feel more content when you see a nicely maintained yard that shows pride in ownership.
As you own your home, you will likely end up making various upgrades throughout the years. This sometimes happens through necessity as appliances break down and surfaces (paint, flooring, etc.) wear out. Other times, you just want things to look nicer and work better within your home. You may even go further with solar upgrades, house additions/renovations, new windows/doors and energy-efficient appliances that can also bring nice tax benefits. Ultimately, most upgrades will only enhance the resale value of your home. Think of any significant upgrade or repair as an investment.
General Repairs and Maintenance
Obviously, we’re just scratching the surface of things around the house that you need to keep up with. You want to repair things as they are broken. You want to maintain everything to the best of your ability, and if it’s something you can’t fix, hire a professional to get it done right!
Perhaps the most important recommendation we have is to always keep detailed maintenance, repair and upgrade records. For any new appliances you buy, know the purchase/installation dates. File away the owner’s manuals and any warranty information. Keep detailed notes of when your HVAC system is serviced or when any significant repairs or maintenance services are performed. These records are going to be extremely important when it comes time to sell your home. Buyers will want to know the house has been taken care of and what work has been done (and when) over the years.
Congratulations on buying your first home. Just remember it is one of the most important investments you will ever make, so don’t forget to take care of the property. It will help you better enjoy your time while living there and it will all pay off in the end with an easier sale and higher resale value.
For all your real estate needs in Southeastern Pennsylvania and Northern Delaware, The Cyr Team is here to help. If you are thinking about buying or selling a home in the near future, contact us today to schedule a no-obligation real estate consultation. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have and give you more tips like these to help you make better homeownership decisions.