New Homeowner? A Word to the Wise
By Miki Bass, Chief Executive Officer
Arkansas Realtors® Association
When we moved into our home several years ago, we were tired, overwhelmed, and had no idea what we should do first. We cleaned and unpacked but then thought, what should we tackle next? Here are a few tips I like to pass on to folks who are freshly ensconced in their new home.
#1- Change those locks!
This is an important safety task and should be handled right away. If you install them yourself you can spend as little as $10 per lock.
#2-Another Safety Essential- Smoke Detectors
Test all smoke and CO detectors. Be sure the batteries are in and replace them as necessary.
#3- Change out the Air Filters
Dirty air filters can cause extensive damage to your system. A clean air filter means you are not constantly circulating dust, dust mites, pollen, and other small particles in the air.
#4- Know Where the Important Things Live
Know where you main water shutoff valve is in case you need to shut off the water to your entire house. Find the electrical panel so you know where to shut off the power to your whole house, or an individual circuit.
#5- Ok, Maybe This One Is Just Me
Change the toilet seats. If you prefer, you can remove your toilet seats, and deep clean under the bolts and hinges. As for me and my house, we replace them. Lots of germs live in a bathroom, and it always feels like a fresh start when it is out with the old and in with the new. You can replace your toilet seat for as little as $15.
#5- Buy the Basics
There are a few things that no home should be without. A basic tool kit that includes a claw hammer, flat head and phillips head screwdrivers, a tape measure, a level, a crescent wrench, and needle nose pliers. Other must haves include a fire extinguisher, flashlight and batteries, duct tape (for us anyway), and a First Aid Kit.
#6- Become a Part of the Neighborhood
Extend a friendly gesture to your neighbors. A great way to meet your new neighbors is to spend time outdoors, in your garden, or by taking a walk around the block. You want to know those around you so that everyone can look out for each other. You can also join your private social network for your neighborhood like nextdoor.com.
Contact Arkansas Realtors® Association or visit www.arkansasrealtors.com for more information about selling or buying a home in your area.
House to House is distributed weekly by the Arkansas REALTORS® Association. For more information on homeownership in Arkansas, readers may visit www.ArkansasRealtors.com.