Email Post to a Friend: Your First-Time Buyer's Maintenance Checklist

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Just bought a home? Here are the home improvement projects you need to look out for.

There's a unique form of satisfaction that comes with owning and maintaining your own home. But as you're preparing to become a homeowner for the first time, all that maintenance can feel more intimidating than inspiring.

Our real estate agents are here to help with that. Read on to learn about the most important maintenance tasks that all first-time homeowners should take on as they're moving into their new residences.

  • Deep Clean
    Before you even move in, clean your new home like you've never cleaned before! Wash and disinfect all surfaces, give walls and baseboards a good scrub, and either rent a carpet cleaner or have carpets professionally cleaned.

  • Inspect Safety Devices
    Test all smoke and carbon monoxide alarms throughout your home, and make sure your kitchen is equipped with a functional fire extinguisher. You may also choose to change the locks on your new home and install a security system at this stage.

  • Check and Replace HVAC Filters
    Filters in your furnace and HVAC should generally be changed every 30 to 60 days, depending on the season and how much use they get. But you should also check them right out of the gate, and replace them if they don't look brand new. There's no telling how much dust and dirt was kicked up by construction crews and previous owners.

  • Locate Water & Electric Controls
    It's important to know the location of your home's main water shutoff valve and how to turn it on and off. The same goes for electricity. Find your home's fuse box or circuit breaker, and learn how to control it.

  • Check Windows for Air Leaks
    Some studies suggest that up to 80 percent of winter heat loss happens through cracks in the home, and windows are the most common places for these kinds of air leaks. Check your windows for leaks, and re-caulk if necessary.

  • Inspect Your Crawl Space
    Crawl spaces are seldom seen and easily ignored, but be sure to take a peek inside and look for signs of mold and water damage. This is a good maintenance task to repeat every year, and it's as simple as shining a flashlight in and looking for signs of damage. 

  • Touch Up Exterior Paint
    Your new house shouldn't need a paint job for a while after you buy it, but this is still a good step to take, if only for homeowner's peace of mind. Checking the exterior for signs of chipped, cracked, flaking, or bubbled paint is a good way to catch tiny problems before they become big problems.

  • Have the Ductwork Cleaned
    HVAC ducts should generally be cleaned every three to five years. Many experts recommend having them cleaned immediately after buying a new home, as there could be construction dust and other particles in the vents.

  • Check Decks for Moisture
    It's important to periodically check your wooden deck, porch, or patio to see if it needs to be resealed. The test is simple: splash some water on the wood and see if it beads up on the surface. If not, that's a sign that a new coat of sealant is called for.

Contact us today to learn more about all the ins and outs of home ownership! And if you're still on the hunt for your dream home, our real estate agents are here to help you find the perfect Southport home for sale.