Owning a home is one of the biggest and most sought after American dreams. With the market so buyer friendly right now, both with an abundance of housing choices and low interest rates, it’s no wonder that people are grasping at the offer to own their own place. Owning a home is not as easy as it seems though, it takes some consistent maintenance to ensure that everything doesn’t end up broken at the same time.
When you are renting you have the luxury of calling your landlord when you have pest problems or appliance problems. If the heater or air conditioner die the landlord is responsible for replacing them. If there is a plumbing issue it’s the landlord’s responsibility. You’re really only responsible for cleaning, changing light bulbs, and sometimes yard maintenance (but not always). When you own your own home suddenly all of these things are your problem. If the gutters need to be replaced it’s your responsibility as well as a myriad of other situations.
There is no need to despair though. A regular maintenance schedule can keep your home running smoothly. It’s important to spread it all out throughout the year, so that it doesn’t become a huge burden at some point. You can pick 1-2 big things to do every month to make sure that things are working well.
Check your smoke/fire alarms as well as your CO2 alarms regularly. Every month you should test the batteries to make sure they are up to par. A good time to replace the batteries is every time you change your clocks, so every 6 months. If you live in Arizona you might just want to pick a couple of months that are 6 months apart and easy for you to remember.Every year it is important to have your vents cleaned. Dust, mold, pollen, and other allergy and sickness inducing things pile up in the vents all year round. Although the mold may not be toxic it can still cause problems – and if it is toxic you’ll want to know as soon as possible. While the company is out cleaning your air ducts and ventilation system be sure and ask them to clean out your dryer vent. House fires often start from pile up in the dryer vents – in fact it is one of the leading causes. Also be sure and replace the filters in your furnace before you turn it on and then again every month during the winter. They are very inexpensive and will greatly improve your air quality as well as lengthen the life of your heater.
Pest control is incredibly important. You can do this at several different intervals – 3, 4, or 6 months. When you keep up the maintenance of the outside spraying a lot of the inside pests are taken care of as well. There are home sprays available at your local hardware stores that are east to use and very effective as well. Orange County Pest Control companies especially do a fantastic job at targeting the bigger pest problems, like wasps nests.
There are some great tips available on the internet and in books of how to maintain your appliances. Following the instruction manual is of course important, but it can also be helpful to go to a local repair shop and learn some of the inside tips of how to keep everything running smoothly and for longer periods of time.
Finally just be sure that your home is insured. Never let that payment fall through the cracks. Accidents happen and it could be extremely useful some day.