It's finally yours. Your very own home. You can paint the walls whatever you like. Heck, even knock out a wall! There's no landlord to fight you. What a great feeling!
If you are serious about developing good homeowner habits you will want to download our free worksheet. Use this worksheet the minute you close on your home - if not before (it's always best to be prepared).
These are the very first things you should do after buying a house:
1. Change locks. Spares could be floating around anywhere.
2. Hide an extra key in a lock box. Thieves look under flower pots.
3. Reset the key codes for garage doors, gates, etc.
4. Test fire and carbon monoxide detectors. Definitely install them if there are none.
5. Check the temperature on your water heater - make sure it's not extremely hot. (the best temperature setting for hot water is 120 degrees).
6. Make sure motion lights and other security lights have working bulbs.
7. Put a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and each additional floor.
Start your master maintenance plan by setting reminders in your calendar for the following tasks:
8. Clean out the dryer hose and vent yearly. Clogged ones burn down houses.
9. Change your HVAC filters at least once a season. You'll save on heating and cooling — and your unit will last longer.
10. Schedule HVAC maintenance for spring and fall.
11. Clean your fridge coils at least once a year. It'll run better and last longer. (Don't see any coils? Lucky you! Newer fridges often have coils insulated, so there's no need for annual cleaning.)
12. Drain your water heater once a year.
13. Clean your gutters at least twice a year.
14. And if all items on your inspection report were not addressed, make a plan to fix them — before they become bigger and more expensive repairs.
Be prepared! You really really don't want to be figuring any of this out in a real emergency. Do it now.
15. Locate the main water shut-off valve.
16. Find the circuit box, and label all circuit breakers.
17. Find the gas shut-off valve, too, if you have gas.
18. Test the sump pump if you have one before the rainy season starts.
19. List emergency contacts. You already know 911. These are the other numbers you often need in an emergency. You should have them posted where they're easy to see. Download our free worksheet where you can easily list out all of your emergency contacts.