[titled_box title="Special Homeownership Resources"]
This post is part of the Guide to Homeownership, a series of articles and resources designed to prepare people to become informed and responsible homeowners.
Making your mortgage payments on time every month isn’t the only obligation you have as a homeowner. In addition to taxes, insurance, utilities and other financial obligations, your home’s upkeep is also your responsibility.
Former renters who are new to homeownership may be overwhelmed by all of the new duties they must take on.
- Clean out gutters
- Service air conditioner
- Check home exterior–paint, windows, roof, etc.
- Begin spring-summer lawn care
- Service furnace
- Clean/service fireplace
- Weather seal windows, doors, etc.
- Seal cracks in driveway
- Check insulation
- Snow and ice removal
- Check/change air filters as needed
- Test fire alarm & change batteries
- Check other alarms (radon, carbon monoxide, etc.)
- Check plumbing for leaks
This is just a bare minimum when it comes to the duties facing you as a homeowner. Clearly it is beneficial to be as handy as possible so you can complete most of these tasks yourself. Some jobs, like servicing your heating and AC, will require a professional. It’s tempting to forgo these service calls, but replacing these systems is very expensive. Regular service calls are a kind of insurance that can save you thousands of dollars by not letting problems escalate.
Depending on the seasons where you live, you may have to do things like swap storm windows for window screens, drain and shut off outdoor plumbing fixtures, winterize your lawn sprinkler system, and service your home humidifier.
You’ll also need to prepare your lawn care equipment for winter. Drain the gas from your lawn mower in winter, and if you have a snow blower, drain its tank in spring.
It may seem like an awful lot of responsibility, and it is. There are many great rewards to homeownership, but it is a rigorous undertaking, and it takes organization and planning to be successful.