While all of us love the idea of being a home owner, we aren’t always as happy with being responsible for that home once we have it. There are so many things that you need to know when it comes to a house, particularly if you own a single detached house in a neighborhood of similar homes. Just keeping the roof in good shape, the yard reasonably kept up and the foundations solid is enough for most of us.
But beyond the basics, there are a few things that a home owner needs to care for that were never a consideration when you were a tenant in an apartment. If you are thinking about buying, or if you have just recently bought a new house, you might want to think carefully about how you want to handle the daily needs of your home, like heating and any upgrades it needs. Here are some places you might want to know about that can help you find answers when something goes bump in the night or that toilet tank springs a leak.
One of the basics that you never have to consider when you rent is how the heat is produced for your unit. When you buy an home you also buy the heating system, and that can be a deal breaker for many. If the house is older, you might want to consider upgrading the heating system before your first cold winter sets in.
Is your heat from a gas furnace and does it need electricity to keep the pilot burning in case of a power outage? You might want to talk to your local gas provider, such as Lingas in many parts of the country, to get the big picture on what is needed to get you through the winter. Lingus answers such questions as “how much propane do I need for…” let’s just say the first big winter. Knowing these kinds of details can help you to budget so you won’t be surprised by your gas bill mid-winter.
Budgeting for Electricity
One of the common mistakes new home owners make is not realizing just how much extra each month they need to allocate for something simple such as electricity. If you are moving from a small apartment to a several-bedroom house, the cost of heat and air conditioning can be twice or even three times what you are used to paying. But not all months are the same, so be sure to talk to your electric company about setting up a budgeted account that evens out those high electric bills so you can always cover what you need.
Gardens and Yard Work
You may have never had to take care of a garden before you bought this house. For some, it is a chore they are looking forward to doing every weekend. For others it is just one more headache. If you are someone who loves to garden, then planning out your first year in a garden can be exciting. Check with your local library for books that are geared for your geographical area. They may also be able to steer you to a local garden group that can be mentors as you begin your own garden. If gardening isn’t your thing, be sure to have a local gardening service set up a yard with low maintenance that you can leave in their capable hands and just forget.