Becoming a new homeowner is an exciting event, but that first year can prove to be difficult without proper preparedness. Cleaning the gutters regularly can be as valuable as being prepared for an earthquake to save both money and the integrity of your home. Together, with the help of our home services experts, we have put together a 4-step guide for new homeowners.

1) Look Into Local Laws and Ordinances

Before purchasing a home or moving in, it is imperative to be aware of local laws.

“If there is a class, for sure take it. Local classes will likely address specifics about city and county laws that may impact you as an owner,”

said Kahshanna Evans of Kissing Lions Public Relations, Events & Social Media Marketing Management. Local ordinances determine zoning and building codes. These codes could prevent you from making significant changes, like adding another story to the home. If something on your property is causing a hazard, your neighbors could contact a building inspector and sue you, forcing you to fix it. Lastly, be sure to check on local ordinances on noise to prevent you from further trouble.

2) Put Together a Basic Toolkit

MSN Real Estate shares 15 basic tools every homeowner should own: toolbox, hammer, pry bar, vise grips, needle-nose pliers, screwdrivers (mixed set), wire cutter/stripper, tape measure (16-foot), electrical tester, reversible drill with bit set, ½-inch steel chisel, utility knife, handsaw, 9-inch torpedo level, and safety glasses. Most basic home repairs can be accomplished using the previously listed tools. “How-to” videos are prevalent online and should share how to do most home repairs. If something is too complicated, do not hesitate to call a professional, but do not wait, problems will only get worse.

3) Keep Up with Basic Maintenance

Maintaining your home can save thousands of dollars over the life of your home. Cleaning gutters may be at the top of the list for maintenance. This simple chore can prevent basement floods, wood from rotting, cracked foundations, leaking roofs, and many other expensive home repairs.

“Do maintain your home, caulk, clean gutters, keep debris away from siding, change furnace filters. If you have a neighbor or friend that is really handy they might be happy to walk around your home with you to make a list of easy projects you can tackle,”

says Nancy Dalton of Baywolf Dalton.

4) Ready Your Home for an Emergency

When an emergency, like a natural disaster strikes, your home is where you should be the most prepared. Secure gas appliances to the walls or floor because they are the most likely to cause a fire after an earthquake. Be certain that your home is also bolted to its foundation. You should keep up with repairing leaky gas connections and defective electrical wiring, as they are both potential fire risks. For more tips you can go to

Remember that owning a home can create a sense of pride, but can also be a great financial risk if you are not prepared to be a new homeowner.

“Some [tasks] are more hands on than others when it comes to our homes, but for all of us it is a matter of protecting our investment and ensuring our homes are safe places,”

summarizes Jason Todd of GreenHomes America.

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