First I wanted to say congratulations again to Jess and her family on buying their first home! It’s such an exciting step and I still remember the day we signed all those endless papers on our first home! I am so honored that Jess asked me to share some of my thoughts on homeownership. It’s something I can talk about for hours! Instead I’m going to focus on the what some people see as the “boring” side of home ownership and share some tips we’ve learned with home maintenance.
The first bit of advice I can give you is to make sure you know your local area. We’ve lived all over the place. However the first time we had a yard to care for we were in Colorado and the climate/weather there is so different from what we grew up with in the midwest. We made the decision to hire a local arborist to come to our home and tell us how to care for our lawn, trees and all the plants we had. It was the best decision we made and it was only a $50 investment! We simply stopped by our local nursery to ask some questions and that’s how we were referred to the arborist. I took two pages of notes we used the whole time we lived there. After two seasons neighbors were asking us for tips on our lawn and plants!
If you live in an area that gets snow be sure to know your snow/ice removal policies. This is important even if you live in a condo or town home. When we lived in a condo in Chicago our building was responsible for the sidewalk, parking area and a certain amount of the ally. The association made a decision to hire that all out but that’s not always the case. In our home in Colorado we had 24 hours from the snow stopping to clear our driveway and sidewalks. That included ice and man ice removal is way harder than snow! On that note if you are a pet owner and need to use salt for ice control be sure get pet safe ice melt!
Get your AC/Heater serviced twice a year. Once in the fall before you turn the heat on and once in the spring before you turn the AC on. This is also a great time to change the batteries in all your smoke detectors. Trust me you don’t want to wait for those batteries to die because the beeping in the middle of the night and tracking it down is not at all fun at 3am!
Don’t forget to change your furnace filter every month. Every HVAC person I’ve ever talked to says to just use the basic filters for maximum air flow. I happen two have two cousins in the business and I hear about this all the time! They strongly advise against the ones that are sold as better for allergies because they wear the system down with minimal improvement in removing house hold allergens.
If you don’t have a programmable thermostat invest in one. This is a great way to save money by adjusting your heat/cooling settings based on when you’re awake/asleep/home, etc. Another money saving tip is if you have extra room you don’t use that often close the air ducks in those rooms so the air is pushed into other rooms of the house. You can close off vents in the actual rooms and at the duck lines if those are exposed in your basement.
I certainly haven’t covered all that goes into taking care of your home but I hope I shared some tips for making home care a little easier. Other home owners what are your tips for making home maintenance easier?
Thanks again Jess for letting me take over your blog today!