Whether you are moving into a newly built home, or the home is just new to you, your first year in your new home is crucial. Your inspection will help you learn a lot more about your new home and help you in settling into your new neighborhood and space. To help you make the most of your first year, continue reading to learn about important steps to take when you first move in and how to follow up and keep your home healthy with preventative maintenance.
When you first move into your new home, here are a few important steps you should take:
1. Take Notes of Important Home Information
Whether the home is newly built or just new to you, there is a learning curve that comes with owning a new home. Before you get too settled in, be sure you take careful note of:
- The location of the breaker box
- All warranties, serial and model numbers of appliances
- The age of the roof, HVAC unit, windows and more
- Condition of any unique features including energy efficiency, fireplace, and pool
- Any issues you feel may need to be addressed
2. Deep Clean the Entire Home
Before bringing in all the furniture and boxes, be sure to thoroughly clean all areas of the homes including:
- All cabinets, drawers and closets
- Air filters and ducts
- Appliances such as the washer, dryer, dishwasher, oven and refrigerator
3. Get Health and Safety Inspections
Depending on the age, condition and location of the home, consider investing in essential health and safety inspections including:
- Radon and Radon-in-Water Testing
- Air and Water Quality Testing
- Septic Tank and Well Flow Testing
- Mold, Lead, Asbestos, and Meth Testing
4. Budget for Repairs
(set aside a budget and have backup filters, lightbulbs, etc.)
When you move into a new home, there may be some small repairs and maintenance items that need to be taken care of right away.
As a rule of thumb, homeowners should set aside 1% of the home’s purchase price for annual maintenance. Annual home maintenance typically includes replacing water and air filters, light bulbs, etc.
5. Change the Locks and Lock Codes
Once the home is officially yours and you’re handed over your new keys, change them! Change the keys and locks to a new, unique set that only you and your family have access to. If your main lock has a code system in place, either change the unit altogether or reset the lock code.
6. Locate Local Handy People
Unless you’ve moved from a nearby neighborhood, chances are you don’t already have a list of trusted, local professionals. While we hope it doesn’t happen often, things break or malfunction, and as a new homeowner, you are responsible. Talk to your neighbors, get references from local businesses and do a thorough search on the internet to find the highest-rated and professional plumber, contractor, inspector and other handy people. After all, this is your home and you need to make sure you are putting it in the hands of somebody you can trust.
Personalize Your New Home
While maintaining good home hygiene, don’t forget to make your new home your own! Follow these 3 simple steps to add your own personal touch to your new home.
Paint the Walls
By adding a fresh coat of paint, you can express yourself and add a personal touch to the house. Carefully consider the expression that the color represents. Neutral tones bring peace, clarity and serenity to a home while earth tones bring calmness, relaxation and a touch of nature. Paint colors are also known for affecting mood, behavior and cognitive ability. Be thoughtful in your approach and paint your home in a way that represents you.
Change the Hardware and Light Fixtures
Everyone has a unique style and taste, and your home should reflect that. A simple and inexpensive way to add a touch of style to your new home by changing the hardware and light fixtures. Changing the knobs and pulls on your doors, cabinets and furniture can add a fresh and new twist to the look and feel. Swap out the lights in your kitchen, bathrooms and main living areas to upgrade the space and make the home feel like yours.
Hang Family Photos and Personal Decor
What could be more personal than hanging photos of you and your family? Print some of your favorite family memories and hang them in the main living spaces. To make it even more creative, get some photos in smaller and larger formats and hang them in a styled collage. Dress up furniture with additional photos and picture frames.
You can also bring in your own personal decor to add some style and color to the home including pillows, throw blankets, curtains, rugs and home accessories. Make the home reflect your personality!
Regular Home Maintenance
Constructing a new home can be a long, yet exciting process and has many benefits like having customized features and being the first owner of the home. However, it’s important to remember that even brand-new homes need regular maintenance and inspections.
During the building process, a Pre-Drywall Inspection is essential to ensure that any issues with the home are dealt with before the drywall goes up. Once the drywall is installed, mitigating issues becomes much more time consuming and expensive.
Once the home is ready for occupancy, a Move-In Inspection is critical. This inspection checks over 300 areas of the home to ensure that everything is in good condition before closing on the house. Just as you would get a Full Home Inspection when purchasing a property, a Move-In Inspection is designed to give you peace of mind on your new investment.
During your first year living in the new home, keep an eye out for any inconsistencies in the home. It’s normal for the foundation and home to settle for the first few years, but some actionable items may be included in your builder’s warranty. A One-Year Warranty Inspection is a thorough home inspection that will make note of any areas around the home that need to be mitigated, so that you can take action with your builder before the warranty expires.
Just like we need regular check-ups at the doctor’s office, existing homes need regular maintenance. Many homeowners believe that maintenance is only needed when something isn’t working properly; however, that simply isn’t the case. Preventative maintenance is essential and will help you to enhance your home’s value, maintain good home and personal health, and save money should repairs arise.
One of the best ways to perform preventative maintenance is with a Home Maintenance Inspection. A Home Maintenance Inspection assesses over 300 areas including the interior, exterior, roof, HVAC, plumbing, electrical and all visual aspects of the home. This thorough inspection typically takes less than 2 hours to complete, depending on the size of the home, and can provide homeowners will valuable information about their home. This is highly recommended as an annual inspection to ensure your home remains in good condition year after year.
Finally, for all kinds of homes, there are seasonal maintenance items that should not be overlooked.
- Fireplace and Chimney Inspection
Every fall, before you begin using your fireplace and chimney more regularly, remember to have it cleaned and inspected to make sure it is functioning properly. An unmaintained fireplace or chimney can be a fire hazard and pose a serious threat to the safety of your home.
- Pool and Spa Inspection
Once the warmer weather starts breaking
through the cold, residential pools will start to open for the season. Have your pool and spa thoroughly inspected for any damage, hazards or other safety concerns before you and your loved ones start enjoying it all summer long.
Health and Safety in Your Home
Radon – Radon is a colorless, odorless radioactive gas that can be found in any home of any age in any area. It is impossible to detect it without proper testing from a licensed professional. Whether your home is old or new, you could be exposed to radon and at risk for certain respiratory issues.
Mold, Asbestos, Lead, and Meth – Traces of mold, asbestos, lead or meth in your home can be hazardous to you and your loved ones’ health. Proper testing can locate traces of these bacteria and substances so you can mitigate them appropriately.
Air Quality – The air you breathe is essential to good health and quality of life. Make sure every breath you breathe is clean and pure by getting an Air Quality Test, cleaning the air ducts, changing the air filters every three months, and dusting and vacuuming frequently.
We hope that your first year in your new home is everything you hoped it would be and more! WIN Home Inspection is here for every stage of your homeownership journey. From buying and selling to maintaining, we have vital health, safety and maintenance inspections, so you can live more comfortably in your home. Give us a call and talk with your local WIN home inspector, today!