Marje Tracy's Blog
Purchasing your first home will be one of the most rewarding and fulfilling parts of your life. It’s an important milestone on the way to financial independence and to starting a family for millions of Americans.
It also comes with a lot of responsibilities and unforeseen expenses.
A Reddit user asked the online community what items ended up being useful to them that they didn’t think about beforehand. The result was a ton of great advice for new or soon-to-be homeowners.
In today’s post, I’ve broken down the most useful items from all of their responses. So, if you’re going to be a
1. Information about past purchases
One user found that the most useful thing the previous owner left behind were a number of receipts for appliances that would be left in the house. In addition, they also left a list of model numbers for important parts like faucets, and list of all of the paint colors used in the house.
In addition, the previous homeowners even left a binder full of menus for local restaurants. While the seller of your next home might not think to leave behind all of this useful info for you, it doesn’t hurt to ask in case they have some of that information saved that they’ll no longer need.
2. Ten thousand dollars
While this comment may be a bit tongue-in-cheek, it does illustrate an important fact for new homeowners: expect to spend some money. As the poster pointed out, there isn’t necessarily one thing that you’ll need. More likely, you’ll find yourself running to the hardware store often for a number of small purchases.
Setting aside some money for these initial expenses is a good idea so that you can get the most out of your home in the first few months living in it without worrying about how or when you’re going to replace some of the many small, but annoying, fixes you’ll experience in your new house.
3. A steel hand cart
From day one and onward, you’ll be moving a lot of things around your home. Heavy objects like dressers, drawers, refrigerators, and other furniture and appliances will often require two people to move. Well, if you live alone or you and your spouse work different hours, it isn’t always possible to have two people around to help lift and move something. To save time and prevent injury, having a dolly (A.K.A. a steel hard cart) on hand will make things easier.
4. Check your cell phone signal before moving day
In spite of the claims of the major cellular carriers, there are still many areas of the U.S. that have little or no reception. This can come as a shock on moving day if you haven’t planned ahead.
Fortunately, you can purchase a device called a microcell to boost the cellular signal in your home, preventing dropped calls.
5. A Carbon monoxide and smoke detector, and fresh batteries
As much as you may trust the previous owners, there’s no way to be certain that there aren’t any fire or CO hazards in the home that you’re unaware of. Getting new detectors, batteries, and installing them immediately will help you rest easy on your first night.
Many people outgrow the home they’re living in rather quickly. On the flip side, the home you’re currently in could be too big for you, and you need to downsize. Whatever your situation is, when it comes time to sell your home you want to get the most money you can for your sale. There’s so many easy and affordable home upgrades that you can make that will add immense value to your home. Even if you’re not looking to move in the near future, you’ll be glad you made these upgrades in order to make the most out of your home.
Make A Move With Your Countertops
There are so many different kinds of kitchen countertops that you can get these days. It isn’t all about granite anymore. There’s a few popular materials that can be used including recycled glass or quartz. You can even upgrade your backsplash tile to something a bit more modern to easily transform your kitchen.
Upgrade The Fireplace
If your fireplace could use some TLC, make repairs to it and refinish it. You may even consider using a different kind of stone or brick than was on the original unit. If your home doesn’t have a fireplace, you may want to consider installing a freestanding one. These units are ventilated through a pipe in your home. A fireplace is so cozy and gives your home an attractive feature.
Add Some Outdoor Living Space
Adding a deck, patio, or some sort of outdoor living pace like a 3 season room can add a lot of value to your home. People love to make the most use of the outdoors so whether you add an outdoor kitchen, or a small patio space, it will be beneficial. Plus, you and your family will be able to use the brand new space once it’s completed!
Adding outdoor lighting is also another positive addition to your home. This allows for seamless use of outdoor spaces both day and night. Lighting also adds an important safety and security feature to your home. Installing timers along with these outdoor lights can help to deter burglars.
Do A Once Over On Your Home’s Exterior
Simply having the outside of your home power-washed can make a big difference. Replace your mailbox. Repair shutters and siding that may need some attention. Take some time to care for your landscaping. All of these little projects will make an impact on the appearance of your home. If you’re getting ready to sell, your motivation may be lacking in these areas. The better your house looks on the outside, the more people you’ll get to come inside when there’s a for sale sign out front.
One of the many challenges of putting your home on the market is keeping it clean!
That task can be even more difficult if you have kids, pets, and a busy schedule. If everyone is always rushing off to their jobs, classes, lunch dates, meetings, practices, or appointments, it's hard to keep your home in a perpetual state of cleanliness and order.
Probably the first step to keeping your house ready for real estate showings is to remind your family to clean up after themselves. While this may require more than one reminder, any amount of cooperation will help keep messes to a minimum. Implementing some sort of reward system or even a competition among siblings, can go a long way toward maintaining a semblance of order in the house. Some parents even post a calendar of assigned chores to make sure everyone does their fair share.
Professional Help May Be Needed!
Getting your home ready for real estate showings can feel like a monumental task, especially if you have a large house and a messy family! The good news is that you can hire some outside help without depleting your kids' college funds! Many households already have a house cleaning person or service that comes in at least a couple times a month to keep things looking civilized. If your house is actively being shown to prospective buyers, however, you might want to consider having your housekeeper clean the house a little more frequently than usual. That way, you only have to do some minor tidying up when your real estate agent notifies you about a scheduled house showing in a few hours or tomorrow morning.
If any of your rooms are carpeted and the floors haven't been professionally steam-cleaned for as long as you can remember, it may be time to hire a carpet cleaning service. Carpeted floors have an unfortunate tendancy of locking in stains, allergens, and ground-in dirt for months, if not years! Although you can often improve the appearance of your carpets by cleaning them yourself, it often requires the services of a professional carpet cleaning service to really get those stubborn stains out. You can often get recommendations from neighbors, friends, relatives, or coworkers, and can look for online reviews of carpet cleaners on social media websites.
Once you've cleaned, dusted, and sanitized the inside of your house, there may be one more area to tackle before you're ready to have your house shown: its exterior! Your home's siding may be covered with filmy layers of dust, grime, splatters, and environmental pollutants -- a condition which thankfully can be reversed by using the services of a local power-washing company. While not all power-washing services are created equal, a reliable one can remove years of accumulated filmy deposits from pollen, birds, spider webs, acid rain, snow blower splatters, rust, smoky emissions from backyard barbeques, vehicle exhaust emissions, and other miscellaneous air pollution.
So even though the environment, your family, and the wear and tear of normal, everyday use will take its toll on the appearance of your home, there are many things you can do to reverse that process and restore many aspects of your home's original freshness, charm, and appeal!