7 Tips for First Time Homeowners

Couple relaxing on the couch

Owning your first house is almost like renting your first apartment, but there are some key differences.  As a homeowner, you’ll have responsibilities that don’t pertain to renters.  Here’s a list of tips for first-time homeowners to get you started on the right foot in your new space.

Alarm Systems

Now you’ve bought a new home, you’ll want to protect it – and yourself!  If you don’t plan to replace them outright, ensure that the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms are working properly and have fresh batteries.  Depending on where you live, you might also consider investing in a home security alarm system.

Introduce Yourself to the Neighbours

Tight communities result in safer neighbourhoods.  Since you’re the new people on the block, take the initiative and introduce yourself to your neighbours.  It may not be the era for mingling with nearby residents, but even a short, polite introduction can create a bond that could come in very handy in the future.

The Correct Home Insurance

Making sure you have the right home insurance will give you peace of mind in case of unexpected events.  You might want to look at things such as content coverage, the cost of rebuilding your home, recurring natural disasters unique to your area, accidental damage and coverage for valuables.  Each home is unique and your insurance policy will be as well.

Document Storage

Home ownership will bestow upon you a variety of very important documents.  Make sure these are cared for properly.  You might consider storing them off-site in a safety deposit box or in a fireproof safe within your home.

Update Your Locks

Because you have no idea how many people have keys to the locks that came with your house, it’s important to change them and start anew.  The locks on any entry point into the house or garage should be upgraded.

Prepare an Emergency Plan

A new house means a new layout.  Familiarize yourself with all the exit points available to you, including windows.  Plan escape routes from varying locations in case of fire.  Also, consider having an emergency stockpile of food and water in case of events that can disrupt the local supply chain.

Create an Inventory

Moving into a new place provides the perfect opportunity for creating an inventory of your possessions.  This can come in handy in the event of an insurance claim.  If you want to make it easy on yourself digital photos work just as well, if not better, than writing out a list. Make sure to also identify personal belongings which may require additional coverage such as high-end jewellery or collectibles.