Being a homeowner is an investment that has its ups and downs. It’s important to have your own property, build equity and stop putting your hard-earned money toward rent, but it can be a challenge to keep up with home repairs and updates. You’ll also have to get used to the loss of a landlord in case the heat goes out in the middle of winter.
Of course, the good trumps the bad when it comes to owning a home versus renting. When you own your home, you can make it your own. Design and decorate however you’d like, with only the consideration of future buyers if you ever sell, which you likely will at some point. If you have pets, you will have a yard for them to run around in and a place to have wine night with your friends on summer days. Have a spare room you want to rent out to a friend for extra income? Now you can.
If you’re in the process of purchasing your first home or have recently become a new homeowner, read on for helpful tips every millennial homeowner should know.
There’s an App for That
If you have a smartphone (I know you do), download Jiffy, a home-maintenance dispatching app that’s connected to a network of trusted professionals who will come to your home for a variety of services. Whether you need your driveway plowed after a heavy snowfall, pest control or your plumbing fixed, Jiffy is at your service.
All companies and professionals linked to the app go through an in-depth approval process where they’re screened for proper certification, insurance coverage, licenses, etc. Breathe easily knowing that only four-and five-star professionals are available through the app, where you can also leave comments and provide your own feedback.
Learn How to Shut Off Your Gas, Water and Electricity
You’d be surprised at the number of homeowners who don’t know how to shut off their own gas, electricity and water. Locate your mainlines and electricity circuit box before you even move in, if possible. You’ll need to know in case of an emergency or when you perform repairs. When it comes to your electricity circuit box, make sure all your breakers are labeled properly and that you know where each switch goes.
Don’t Cut Corners
There’s cutting costs, and then there’s cutting corners. Know the difference. When you have work done on your home, hire top-notch professionals who know what they’re doing. If you’re having your roof replaced, do your research and hire an established contractor — don’t just hire someone based on their cheap price. There may be a reason they’re so cheap.
Two major ways homeowners cut corners is with insurance, home improvements and repairs. These things will cost money, so plan for them in your budget. If you do decide to take the cheap route on these things, it could come back to haunt you for years to come and cost you even more than you initially would have paid if you handled it properly. Don’t make this mistake.
Fix Your Own Dripping Faucet
A leaky faucet is not only an annoyance, but it can also raise water bills unnecessarily if you don’t address the problem. Before you call someone, try to resolve the issue yourself. Usually, the reason is simpler than you think — like worn-out seals or O-rings, a loose part, corrosion or a small buildup.
Take the time to do your research online or find a step-by-step YouTube video. Most everyone can at least fix a leak without calling a plumber, so assess before you act.
Learn How to Clean Your Gutters
It’s important to keep your gutters clear of any blockage because if you don’t, leaves and other things that fly into them can disrupt water flow and ultimately cause flooding. Stay on top of your gutters, and set a time to clean them out every few weeks. If you live in an area with lots of heavy rain and storms, you will need to do this more frequently.
Get yourself a pair of yard gloves — something with thick material that will protect your hands — then use a ladder to safely climb up to where your gutters are located. Pull out debris either with your hands or a garden trowel, but take your time to avoid hurting yourself or the gutter. Test out your skills once you’re finished by rinsing the gutter with a garden hose. If the water flows freely, you’ve successfully cleared them out.Owning a home is a big responsibility, but also one that’s really rewarding. Plan ahead for repairs and improvements that will need to be made to keep your home in good shape, and also learn common homeowner tasks so you can save money in the future.