Who doesn’t want to have their very own slice of the American Dream? To drive a fancy car, to have a dog that can catch a frisbee, and the créme de la créme: to own a home. And while it’s a sign of success to most, home ownership can also be pretty daunting. From roofs and pipes, to furnaces and electrical wiring, some factors make owning a home seem more like a nightmare than a dream.
Luckily, we’ve put together a cheat sheet of trusty tricks that all homeowners should have. So quit wallowing and start caulking, stop moping and start cleaning (you get the picture). The time is now to take control of your home!
Read on for the inside scoop from real homeowners on how to truly rule your domaine.
1. Establish Handy Habits
Make annual house inspections a habit. Just like taking your car to the mechanic regularly and going to the doctor for your yearly physical, you should inspect your home periodically as well. Homeowner Debbie Gerber says, “It’s important to upkeep paint, gardening, landscape, filters, roof, plumbing and electrical.” Pay particularly close attention to those notorious danger zones like the basement and attic. Catching water damage or termite infestation early can save you loads of cash in repairs!
2. Secure Your Insurance
Really familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of your homeowners insurance. Yes, we’re aware of how excruciatingly boring and tedious that sounds, but it’s kind of a big deal. For example, standard policies don’t always provide flood and fire protection which is something you should be aware of. There are other considerations too, like your payments. Nina Klein says, “You pay your home owners insurance is 2 yearly payments, not month to month like certain apps show you.”
3. Allow for Leisure
Furnishing your new home is a marathon, not a sprint. “Don’t rush to furnish your entire house all at once,” says Nina Klein. “Give yourself time to figure out how and what you can leverage from your old house in your new one before going on a shopping spree.” Make fully considered decisions you feel confident about so you avoid that dreaded buyer’s remorse a few months later.
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4. Be Eco-Conscious
Going green in the home with solar panels, energy efficient appliances and lighting are prime ways to save money and Mother Earth. Installing ceiling fans will save you dough on your AC bill, and using an eco-friendly shower head is an easy fix to help cut back on your water consumption.
5. Eliminate Leakage
While often overlooked, what lingers beneath your home sometimes needs the most attention. This brings us to the joys of pipe upkeep. Make sure your plumbing is in check, we trust you already understand why that’s important. Remember: a leaky pipe leads to a leaky bank account.
6. Adore Your Floor
Is there anything more classically coveted than hardwood floors? We sure don’t think so. So if you have them, make sure to treat them with the love and respect they deserve. Pamper hardwood floors by putting felt pads on the bottoms of your furniture and cleaning them regularly.
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7. Prepare to Paint
When it comes to color, don’t settle. Just because the walls in your kitchen were mustard yellow when you signed the dotted line doesn’t mean they have to stay that way. Mastering DIY home painting will truly unlock the world of personalization. Be thorough and careful though, making sure to prep what you’re painting with primer, cover your floors with a tarp, and always work from the ceiling down.
8. Be A Stud Magnet
Need more space? Installing floating shelves on the walls is an easy fix for your storage and display needs. To do so though, you’ll first need to locate your wall studs ahead of time. We recommend shelling out the $20 to get a battery powered stud-finder for your home–if you’re into decor, you’ll be searching for studs left and right for hanging wall art and other items.
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9. Caulk it Out
Every savvy homeowner should be on intimate terms with the process of caulking. Air sealing the cracks and corners of your home is the key to preventing sneaky pests and leaks. This means familiarizing yourself with a caulk gun. And don’t worry, they’re actually much easier to use than you might think. Just hold the gun at a 45 degree angle and apply the caulk in a steady, smooth stream into the pesky crack you’re attacking.
10. Set Yourself Free!
Despite all of the stress, owning your own house can be liberating. Your abode is your canvas, and you are the artist! “There’s a nice freedom knowing you can change anything in your place,” says Danielle Dell. “Knock down walls! Replace doors! Change lighting fixtures!” But with that said, all of this creative agency might lead to guilt if you don’t take advantage of it. Daniella says, “That same freedom can become a burden if you haven’t changed anything yet.” So Homeowners, what are you waiting for? Get out there and get designing!
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