Homeownership can be, but need not be that complicated. The main differences in having your own home to renting off of a landlord or agency are, of course, the liability of breakages and updates and that as a mortgage payer, you can own your property outright after the freehold mortgage has been paid.
Internally and externally there are some major systems or parts that a house requires, but also can, if not looked after, really rack up some costs in repairs or renewal fees. While renting accommodation, any repairs that may require fixing usually falls down to the landlord and agency that is maintaining the property.
In some situations, there can become a lot more to know when owning your home, such as when things like condemnation or natural disaster strikes and the homeowner, unfortunately, had no insurance policy happen.
We aren’t here to talk about getting an eminent domain attorney or how to repair the foundations of your home in such circumstances.
But here are five informative new homeowner tips to know if it’s your first time owning a home.
Where Your Energy Comes into the Property
If you are moving into any home for the first time, there would have been precautions taken on the property by the previous tenants or owners; or even through the sale of the property through an agency, that there may have been safe isolation of the incoming supply of energy.
Know Where Your Stop Cock Is
To have running water from the mains, you will need to locate the stop cock. Usually, the valve is located in the kitchen, ground floor toilet or bathroom. Turning this on will allow the internal workings of your plumbing to be utilised including drinking tap water in some areas.
Where Your Emergency Gas Control Valve Is Located
As a homeowner, you should be aware of the fuel you use to heat the home. Some homes have LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gasoline), Natural Gas or another form of hydrocarbon gas. Some homes might not have this form of energy at all and may be powered from ‘Air Source’. If you are unsure, always seek professional advice. Never attempt to touch a gas appliance if you have not got the tools, knowledge or liability as gas is highly flammable and if incomplete combustion occurs in an appliance after tampering, it can omit Carbon Monoxide; an odourless gas that is fatal if inhaled for prolonged times.
Where Your Circuit Breaker Is
Typically one other thing to know about your house is where the Electrical Consumer Unit is and what switches power what. Again, serious precautions are needed and if unsure, professional advice sought. Knowing where this is will help you maintain the condition of the electrics in the property. If your shower appliance is electric and it keeps tripping out, this could be a sign of undersized wiring, poor grounding or connections and even wrong sized appliance. Noticing faulty electrics and then getting them seen to can potentially save your life.
How to Unclog a Toilet
This one is not rocket science to understand. But to be skilful in the art of the unclog takes a slightly higher than normal gag reflex and a little elbow grease. Knowing how to unclog your toilet can stop the toilet from spilling all the waste onto the floor and flooring your home. If its hardwood laminate flooring you have down in the next room, it might be a good idea to familiarise yourself with a plunger.
Having a plunger at hand, as basic as that sounds, many homeowners actually have the wrong type of plunger. Plungers that are made specifically for toilet bowls have two layers for the vacuum effect when plunging.
There are two types of sealing involved here, sealing drafts and sealing floors. Sealing drafts can help you save money when it comes to electricity and heating bills. Sealing floors will make sure your wood floors do not get water damages from spills. Like above. But also keeps integrity to the flooring providing less surface area for corrosive damage in cracks and crevices.
Lawn Care and Gutter Care
There’s can be a lot more to lawn care than just mowing and watering. If you love the gardens have greenery to maintain, know how much to water and when. You may also have to be vigilant and on guard to battle infestations and diseases that can easily turn your lusciously green lawn into a desolate patch of land. There are certain sprinkler apps are now connected to your phone which monitors the weather and activates your sprinklers for you.
Gutters that are left with foliage and debris that has accumulated over time, simply don’t allow them to function at the optimal level; leaving this can even cause major damages to your roofing or cause damp if leaked into the home over time. Make it a habit to check your gutters annually and clear debris from them.
Owning a home comes with extra responsibilities and maintenance checks and can sometimes be liable for unnecessary repairs to be made. What tips can you share that helped you find your way and maintain your home? Let us know in the comments below.