The first time you move into your own home gets you a little bit giddy, and it should! This is an entire house that you just purchased. It can be a very exhilarating feeling but it can also be a little bit scary as well. You now are responsible for this entire house; every little thing that goes wrong, breaks or needs repairing is your responsibility. However, there are some things that you can do to make moving into your home a little bit easier when it comes to first-time home maintenance.
I assume that you've had a home inspection completed before closing on your home. If you haven't, this is something you definitely should do within the first month or two of homeownership. This is one of the biggest purchases you'll ever make and it only makes sense to know as much as you can about the inner workings of the property. A home inspector will issue a report stating the condition of just about every detail of the home from electrical and plumbing to structural integrity, appliances, roof and foundation. Use this report as your guide to understanding the different components of your house.
One of the first things to do when you've moved into your home and you are inspecting the property is to check for any moisture, mildew, leaks or mold. This would typically happen underneath thinks, in wood decks and in basements. If there are any major leaks you might notice a distinct mildew or moldy smell right away. This is definitely not something to take lightly. Mold, mildew and water leaks can turn into black mold and be extremely toxic. It's best to handle these issues right away to prevent any health concerns for you or your family.
Locate the main electrical panel for your home. Understand all of the switches, what they all connect with, and how they operate the different areas of your home. Usually each switch will be for a specific area of your home, meaning one switch will control all of the light switches and electrical outlets on one wall or in one corner of the house. This is important when setting up computers and routers that may need to be running continuously.
Invest in tools that you'll need for just about any basic job around the house. If this is your first time owning a home you'll want to get a small toolbox that can help tackle basic maintenance and repairs around your house. This toolbox should have a hammer, screwdriver with several bits, a wrench, glue, duct tape, electrical tape, nails, screws, hooks, utility scissors, pliers and may be a brush of some sort. These basic items should be able to repair small maintenance issues and of course, you can build on this toolset when different occasions arise that need a specific tool.
Take care of your home's exterior. Water, dirt and other external elements can seep in through siding if leaves, trees and shrubs are close to the house. Make sure there is at least a 6 inch gap between organic substances and the siding of your house. You may also want to pressure wash the driveway, foundation, roof and siding at least once every couple of years to take off any mosques or dirt that can cause other problems if left unattended.
Moving into your very first house is exciting and being prepared for small maintenance jobs and taking care of your home before major problems arise will make it last that much longer.