Congratulations on being a new homeowner! In all the excitement, and maybe relief, of making it through the real estate closing, it can be easy to think “Now what?” after you're handed those keys. To limit some of the overwhelm of all you have to do next, here is a simple new homeowner checklist to get you started with 4 ways to care for your new home.
1. FIX IT
- If something was found in the home inspection, get it fixed! Don’t wait on this and let small problems become bigger problems. If you need to hire a professional and are new to the Dartmouth/Lake Sunapee Region, ask your local Realtor® at CG Shepherd Realty, LLC for a list of recommendations.
- Save that list of local professionals and add to it. Even if you prefer to DIY, sometimes you need to call in a professional.
2. LEARN IT
- Know how and where to shut off the outdoor propane or oil supply and any indoor appliances just in case a problem occurs.
- Find where all the water valves are located inside your home. Often, you can find these under your sinks and behind your toilets. Small leaks can become gushers, and you don’t want to be scrambling to find the turn off valve when you have water spraying all over your bathroom. This is one of those new homeowner mistakes that can easily be avoided.
- Locate and label breaker box. Knowledge is power...literally.
3. CLEAN IT
- Check & clean gutters. Check the gutters of your home for debris and clean out any that you find. Clogged gutters can prevent proper drainage of the water runoff from your roof and leave standing water, which could cause damage over time.
- Do a basic interior cleaning. Unless you know your new home was recently thoroughly cleaned, it’s good to do a basic cleaning before you setup and organize all your belongings. Especially make sure the kitchen is clean before loading it up with all your dinnerware and pantry items.
4. PROTECT IT
- Try your house keys in all exterior doors to your home and garage to make sure they work and make the appropriate number of copies you will need.
- Test your detectors. Test all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Also, make sure there are enough detectors for your whole house. Go ahead and replace the batteries in them so you know they’re fresh. CG Shepherd Realty, LLC gives out free 9 volt batteries twice a year at the fall back and spring forward time changes for this purpose.
- Create an emergency exit plan. We all hope we will never have to use something like this, but it is far better to be prepared than panicked if there is an emergency. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has great instructions and tips for both creating and practicing your fire escape plan including a downloadable grid for drawing your plan.
- Make a list of local Emergency Service Numbers and keep it somewhere handy, like your refrigerator.
These 4 ways to care for your new home are just the beginning of your journey as new homeowners. Take it one step at a time, and enjoy meeting your neighbors, getting involved in your community, and decorating your home any way you want!
Are you new to the Dartmouth/Lake Sunapee Region? Stop by CG Shepherd Realty, LLC for a list of community phone numbers and school schedules.