Expert Awards

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Top Advice for New Homeowners: Home Expert Awards

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?

Most Inspiring

"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

The links that Jason provided are invaluable resources to homeowners. The ability to save energy and do some projects on your own is very powerful.

eLocal Expert Network

Most Creative

"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

Tanya brings up a great point, maintenance can help predict the life expectancy of your home. If you keep up with the manufacturer’s specifications for home improvements, the home may last even longer than expected.

eLocal Expert Network

Most Insightful

"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

Kahshanna’s advice to learn from the experiences of other home buyers and keeping up with popular views on maintenance and eco-friendly practices is wise. Even though a home ages, that does not mean that our maintenance practices can’t evolve and improve along the way.

eLocal Expert Network

Most Articulate

"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

Peter is concerned about prevention. We tend to think that disasters will never happen to us, until they do. Why would we not want to protect the American dream through these simple preventative measures?

eLocal Expert Network

Most Informative

"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

DeAnn makes a good point, every homeowner should own basic tools. When these basic tools cannot do the job or you feel unprepared for a particular repair, have an arsenal of professionals you can rely on to call.

eLocal Expert Network