Congratulations on your first home!

Real Estate Agent with Sutton Group-Associates Realty Inc., Brokerage

Congratulations.  You just bought your first home.

You moved from the old apartment into your brand 'new' first home .... but wait ... where's the maintenance manager?  He didn't move in with you??????

That means you will have to take care of the home yourself.
Are you ready?
Do you know what to do?

Where is the that thing that turns power on and off? Yes, the fuse box.
Ok... you found it.  Are the switches labelled?  No?
What do you do now?

Start turning switches on and off, and start labelling the box.  You want to do this right away, if it wasn't done by the previous owners.  Be prepared.


Where is the water shut off valve?
If you had a home inspection done, the home inspector showed it to you.  If you can't remember where it is, ask your Realtor. He/she will be able to help you. 
You need to know where it is, just in case a toilet backs up, or you have a problem that requires shutting it off.

Do you have any outside faucets that you need to turn off during the Winter months?
Find out where they are and remember to turn off the water and drain those faucets before the winter, so they don't freeze and cause leaks.
You can turn the water on to these faucets again in the Spring.

Get to know your furnace.
Is it gas or oil?  If oil, do you know how often you need to refill it?
Is there a maintenance contract?  Should you get one?
Do you know how to clean the gas furnace filters?
Do you have pets?  More filters, more frequent changes....
Find the shut off.

Find the thermostat and learn to use it. 


Do you have a fireplace? Is it woodburning?  Gas?  Electric?
If it's woodburning, do you know how to open and close the flue?
Has the chimney been cleaned lately?
Does your chimney have a liner?
Do you know a clogged chimney can cause a fire?

Do you have central air
Has it been serviced?  Is it working properly?
Again, remember to change filters during the Summer, especially if you have pets in the house.

Do you have a hot water tank
Is it a gas hot water tank?  Does it have a pilot light?
If it goes out, do you know how to light it?
Is your hot water, really hot?
Learn how to control the thermostat in the hot water tank, to avoid accidental burns.

Do you have a clothes dryer?
If so, learn how to clean the lint - preferably after every single load.
If it builds up, it will have to work harder and it will slow down drying.
If it really builds up, it can cause a fire.

There are other maintenance issues to look after, on a regular basis. Things you should learn sooner, rather than later.  If you had a home inspection done, your home inspection report will have lots of information for you.  If you are feeling lost or in need of some extra help, you can always check with your Realtor.   If we don't have the answer, we can find it for you, very quickly.


Look after your home, and it will keep you warm in the Winter and cool in the Summer.

Congratulations again on becoming a home owner. :)



Toronto Real Estate by Sylvie Conde, Realtor
Sutton Group-Associates Realty Inc., Brokerage  416-966-0300


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Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Slvie, I won't mention that I've lived in my house for almost 30 years and didn't know where the water turn off was several years ago when I had a leak.  I've learned where EVERYTHING is....great points!!

Mar 12, 2009 01:09 PM #1
Sylvie Conde
Sutton Group-Associates Realty Inc., Brokerage - Toronto, ON
Broker, Toronto Real Estate

Thanks, Carole ... and hopefully you won't have any more leaks!
(I'm dealing with a small basement leak right now - it's no fun.)

Mar 12, 2009 01:37 PM #2
Dan & Rachael Polakovic with The Team
Realty Executives Elite Ltd Brokerage - London, ON
London Ontario Real Estate Professionals

Great tips and advice. First Time homeowning is an exhilirating experience... not to mention everything you need to know.

Mar 13, 2009 12:15 AM #3
Peggy Wester
Realty Executives Integrity - Grafton, WI
Real Estate Agent Ozaukee & Washington County

This is great, Sylvie. Soooo much more to owning a house than many people realize. Great information for buyers!

Mar 15, 2009 02:49 AM #4
Sylvie Conde
Sutton Group-Associates Realty Inc., Brokerage - Toronto, ON
Broker, Toronto Real Estate

Peggy, sometimes buying it is the easy part..... and once we're in it, we can't let things go, or the house won't forgive us (not to mention our wallets).

Mar 15, 2009 05:23 AM #5
Lynn Meldrum
Lynn Meldrum with Verico Canada First Mortgage - Calgary, AB

It's interesting wht people forget.

Lynn Meldrum

Mar 22, 2009 10:15 AM #6
Sylvie Conde
Sutton Group-Associates Realty Inc., Brokerage - Toronto, ON
Broker, Toronto Real Estate

Lynn, yes it is, but if all else fails, they can always turn to their friendly Realtor. :)

Mar 22, 2009 11:52 AM #7
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Sylvie Conde

Broker, Toronto Real Estate
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