Buying a new home can feel a lot like graduating from college. For years you struggle, sacrifice, and put in the hard work, then comes the day when you earn your degree, which is not a guarantee for a job but a credential that can open many doors. Owning a new home can be a lot like that. You suddenly have this new brand new accomplishment under your belt and it feels great but then you begin to learn there’s more to it than that.
You’re not alone. Many new homeowners are caught off guard once the costs of owning a home begin to settle in. Not to worry—you’re in good hands. Here at Palo Verde Homes, we work with buyers we believe will be successful in their journey as a homeowner and do our part to ensure you know just what you’re getting into so you can enjoy this lifetime accomplishment, as you should! As Benjamin Franklin said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
What to Do in the First Couple of Weeks
Okay now that Franklin’s quote as settled in, it’s to plan out a couple of key items. Shortly after you move in, within the first weeks, there is a couple of home maintenance you’ll want to handle:
- Do a thorough walk-through of the home and look for any possible repairs. Before you begin unpacking and setting up the home, including hanging decorations on the wall, you want to make the home doesn’t require any repairs. In the event a repair is needed, it’s much more difficult to have it done once there’s furniture in the home.
- Check all appliances and electrical outlets. Although this is something that will be inspected in the walk-through, it’s always a good idea to test out your appliances within the first weeks of moving in to make sure everything is intact.
- Know who to call in the event of an emergency. Whether you’re new to the area or El Paso in general, you want to know who to call outside of 911. For example, a local plumber, electrician, insurance agent, gas leak, and other home damages. Having these numbers on hand can prevent losing any valuable time, which is especially critical in an emergency situation.
- Keep an emergency supply kit somewhere safe. In the same sense, you want to make sure you have a supply kit stored nearby in the event of a power outage. For example, if the lights go out you’ll have a flashlight on hand. It also doesn’t hurt to store non-perishable food and water in your pantry as well as blankets and other essential items one would need if the electricity goes out.
What to Do on a Monthly Basis
Owning a new home certainly has its perks. For one, you won’t have to worry about unexpected damage or severe home maintenance issues such a leaking roof. However, there are items you will need to keep track of and handle on a monthly basis. These include:
- Change the air filters each month. This will help keep the air inside clean. Some people extend this to two or three months but if you’re running your AC or heater on a daily basis, it’s a good idea to replace the filters each month.
- Test the carbon monoxide detector and other home alarm systems. The batteries in carbon monoxide detectors can stop working without notice so it’s a good idea to test the detector once a month just to ensure the batteries are working. This applies to other battery-operated doctors.
- Flush out the water to remove accumulated sediment. Water can cause appliances such as your washing machine or sinks to stop working much sooner. This is because the chemicals in the water will damage the pipes. As a precaution to the water you’re drinking and using for other household chores, it’s a good idea to check your water softener and replenish the salt if needed.
- Clean the garbage disposal. Like many commonly used but often forgotten areas of the home, the garbage disposal can easily get dismissed. We recommend marking these monthly maintenance items in your calendar on days that are easy to remember. For example, every 10th day of the month throw some ice cubes in the garbage disposal and turn on the grinder then flush it out with hot water and some baking soda. This will clean out all the residue that tends to stay behind.
Every Spring and/or Fall
While El Paso is fortunate to have rather mild and predictable weather, we do see a changing of the seasons, even if it’s not as dramatic as the leaves changing colors or the first snowfall. In our city, it’s more like the first day of triple-digit weather or the first full day of rain. Regardless of how you observe the changing of the season, at least twice a year when it gets cold/warm out, you want to do these items:
- Have your roof inspected. New roofs don’t require nearly as much work as older homes but keeping it safe and damage free is as easy as a yearly routine inspection.
- Remove any leaves or debris from the gutters. This will prevent the backflow of water, which can result in foundational issues or other structural damage.
- Check your plumbing and make sure the pipes are all working. Just like a new roof, your plumbing won’t be difficult to deal with but it’s best to have your pipes inspected at least once a year.
- Inspect your home appliances. From your oven to the washing machine and refrigerator, it’s a good idea to inspect your home appliances on a seasonal basis. Any small issues are much more feasible to repair than larger electrical issues.
- Do a walk-through of your home’s exterior. If you don’t spend a lot of time outside, exterior issues are easy to dismiss. Make sure to do a rigorous walk-through of your home and look for any damage such as splitting paint, vegetation that requires work, a faulty door, or any issues with your irrigation system.
- Check for any cracks or gaps in the windows. Again, for a new home, it may be uncommon for the area around the windows to begin cracking or splitting but as caution and preventable measures, inspect your windows. Look for gaps between the trim and exterior siding as well any new caulk that needs to be re-applied.
Have a Specific New Home Question? Contact Palo Verde Homes Today!
Yes, having a home is work. But is it worth it? Absolutely! In a list format, it may seem like there’s a lot to do but since most of these items are spread out and can easily be tackled within a day or two, it won’t be as nearly as tiring as one might imagine. It’s also a good idea to call in a professional for some of the items, which often involves an inspection and update on that part of your home. Knowing is better than not knowing when it comes to home damage. Most importantly, doing these items will help keep the pristine look and feel of your new home.
If you have any specific questions about your new Parlo Verde Home, please connect with us today!