Owning a home goes far beyond signing the legal documents and making a monthly mortgage payment. Maintaining a home’s integrity takes a great deal of time and money. Even more, the ability to repair problems on your own is not inherent. This process can take time and a great deal of money, especially if you need to hire professionals to fix your home when the inevitable problem occurs. To save money and be prepared for both everyday and emergency fixes, we wondered what a new homeowner can do to be better equipped and more educated.
Below, we’ve awarded the comments we found most valuable. Check back later in the week to see what other advice we have for the most useful tools and skills for every new homeowner.
What Essential Skills Should Every New Homeowner Have?
What should a homeowner know about plumbing, electricity, design, roofing, or eco-friendly practices?
What basic tools should they have to carry out these basic skills?
Are there classes either in-person or online that you recommend all new homeowners enroll in?
"Since knowledge is a powerful thing, here are some resources I think all homeowners should know about to really empower them: Energy Star (http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=products.pr_save_energy_at_home) has some great information for homeowners on saving energy, tuning up equipment, and some do it yourself guides as well.
The Building Performance Institute (http://www.bpi.org/homeowners_benefits.aspx) explains how a house is a system and the importance of treating it that way. BPI certified contractors understand homes and can help make it a safe, energy efficient and more comfortable place to live in. I say learn what you can and do what you are comfortable with, seek out experts you can trust for everything else." read more
"One of the things I do is prepare a Homeowner Maintenance Manual. It includes warranty information, repair and service providers, annual or lifetime maintenance requirements, and overall information on the lifespan expectancy of their home improvements if they are cared for to the manufacturer’s specification." read more
"I suggest doing investigating through homeowner groups and local trade shows that focus on real estate and new home and property ownership. It may be a great place to understand the current popular views on maintenance and the most modern eco-friendly practices. That may also be a great place to connect with other buyers-to-be and compare notes. You will need a home calendar so that you can empower your family with understanding when equipment should be maintained and when warranties should be renewed." read more
"I may be a bit biased after living through Hurricane Sandy, but I believe each new homeowner should create an emergency disaster plan. Consider who will be an out-of-state contact you can trust with your vitals and current living situation; creating duplicates of all important documents like your passports, drivers licenses, wills, deed, etc.; video-tape all your valuables as documentation should they need to be replaced and keep the tape and all duplicates in a safe, off-site location; store an emergency kit to include such items as a case of bottled water, canned and ready-to-eat foods, plus a first aid kit, can opener, batteries, flashlights and a hand-cranked or battery-operated radio. It’s all about protecting you and the American dream of homeownership." read more
"A basic MUST for all homeowner toolkits include: hammer, duct tape, WD40, snake (unclog drains), rake, shovel, pliers, screwdriver set/socket/wrench set. These should get you started w/any basic incidents around the exterior/interior of the home. And then having a trustworthy plumber, electrician and/or general contractor to call for anything else." read more