One of the most exciting events in your life is buying and moving into your first home. After searching for the perfect property, getting a mortgage, making an offer, and closing the deal, you finally get to enjoy your house. After settling in, there are a few things you should expect as a homeowner. Here are six things that go along with homeownership.
Expect to Change Your Locks as a Homeowner
Before you move in, change the locks. If there is a security system, make sure the passwords have been changed and that you are the only one with access to it. Doorbell cameras are popular features for homes today, and the previous owner will need to deactivate or cancel their account so that you can put the account in your name. You may need to download an app or sign up through the company’s website.
Expect Higher Utility Bills as a Homeowner
After moving in, you might find your utility bill is higher than anticipated. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to improve energy efficiency. Make sure your windows are well-sealed. If you’re noticing drafts, use silicone caulk to fill in gaps around doors and windows. Heating and air conditioning units use a lot of power. Replace the filters as recommended and adjust the temperature setting by two or three degrees. You will likely not notice the difference in comfort, but you will see savings on the power bill.
Reevaluate Your Homeowners Insurance
A few months after closing, your insurance representative may call or write to you. This is a good time to take a close look at your policy. When you are buying a house, you are busy gathering documents for the lender, attending inspections, and packing. Often, the homeowner’s insurance policy is hastily added. Once you have moved in and things have slowed down, take some time to go over the details of your coverage and adjust if necessary.
As a Homeowner, Expect Property Taxes to be Adjusted
The property taxes on your house may fluctuate. If you undertake home improvements, the city or county will reassess your property’s value. Your tax amount due will increase as the home gains value. Property taxes may also increase when your city funds projects, fire departments, or schools in the area. One of the things you should expect as a new homeowner is an increase in your tax bill over time.
Learn New Skills
As a homeowner, you may find yourself having to make repairs. After purchasing a house, build a tool kit with some essential items, such as screwdrivers, a hammer, and a wrench. Learn how to shut off the power and water to the house. If a pipe bursts or an electrical problem occurs, you will need to stop the flow of water or turn off the electricity. Become familiar with the electrical panel so that you know how to cut power to individual rooms.
Meeting Your Neighbors
Once you’ve met your neighbors, it’s a good idea to exchange phone numbers in case of an emergency. Ask the neighbors if there is a neighborhood watch program, a private Facebook page, or a community website you can join to stay informed of news and events in the area.