Oro Valley Real Estate - New Homeowner Tips
Create a home maintenance schedule.
Homeownership comes with a lot of things to keep track of—like filters, fridge coils, the lawn, screens, caulk, weatherstripping, and more. Find out what needs to be done to keep your appliances, flooring, decking, lawn, roofing, and more in good condition, and then put it all on a calendar.
Learn about your home’s systems (and needed maintenance).
Your heating and air conditioning, for example, should have annual maintenance by an HVAC specialist to work efficiently and have a maximum lifespan. You may have learned a bit about these systems during your home inspection, but now it’s time to schedule an initial visit to learn about the proper care of these important systems. Then schedule annual visits going forward.
Introduce yourself to the neighbors.
It’s easy to build up meeting the neighbors to be such a big deal that you put it off too long. Rather than make it a big production, just look for opportunities when you’re both outside to say hello and introduce yourself. A good neighborly relationship will be built on these small, momentary exchanges, so it’s a good way to start, too.
Visit neighborhood businesses.
Whether it’s the coffee shop or the local massage place, your nearby businesses are a part of what makes finding a neighborhood you love so important. Make a point to visit these places early on. They’ll be places where you meet neighbors, and spending time there will help you feel connected to the neighborhood.
Get familiar with your HOA or CCRs (if you have them).
Many planned neighborhoods have homeowners associations (known as HOAs) and/or covenants, conditions and restrictions (CCRs). If you live in an HOA, a CCR may dictate how you maintain it, such as where you can park, what color you can paint your house, and even what breed of dog you can have. Find out if you have a CCR and read it in detail.
Find your local municipal office.
Your municipal office will be someplace you’ll want to get familiar with. They’ll help you with everything from figuring out your trash day to answering questions about your property assessments. It’s a good idea to find out when their official meetings are, too. If you want to have a say in local laws and policies that affect your property, those meetings are your opportunity to get involved.
Learn about any easements you may have.
Some properties come with easements. Basically, an easement is a patch of land or space that is available to anyone for use, even though it belongs to you. Often, this might be the area between the outer edge of your sidewalk and the street curb. It’s an important part of homeownership to know these exist, because you’re responsible for their upkeep.
Track all your home improvement expenses.
A time will come when you’re putting your home up for sale and you’re trying to figure out how much it’s worth. Part of that equation will be all the work you put into it. Whether it’s something big and visible, like adding a new roof, or more utilitarian, like installing drip irrigation, start keeping your receipts and invoices together now.
Keep your records together.
While you’re record-keeping, create files for your other home-related paperwork as well. Permits, warranties, instruction manuals, tax records—whatever homeownership papers you accumulate should all be filed away. At tax time, when you sell, or when your dryer’s broken, you’ll be glad you put everything you need in an easy-to-find spot.