New home, New Year – it’s the perfect combination for setting a few real estate related resolutions. If you’re a first-time homebuyer or it’s been awhile since you’ve owned a home here are few ideas to get things off to a productive start come January 1st.
Give Everything a Good Cleaning . . . Before You Move In
Get a fresh start in your new home, literally, by giving everything a good scrub down. We’re talking the windowsills, baseboards, shower tile grout – everything. Basically, if it’s a surface give it a good cleaning. If you’ve already moved into your new home that’s okay. Deep cleaning is just a lot easier when there’s nothing in the way.
Eliminate Bathroom Mold
Now that you’ve got the bathrooms clean you can keep them free of mold and mildew by taking a few extra steps. First, treat the grout with a sealer to prevent moisture build up that leads to mold and mildew. Second, test the exhaust fans to see if they are effectively clearing moisture out of the air. The fan should be able to clear the air within 10 minutes. To determine whether your fans are the correct capacity, measure the square footage of the bathroom and multiply it by 1.1 if the ceiling is 8’ high or multiply by 1.5 if the ceiling is 9’ high.
Loss Weight By Cutting Down the Clutter
Hopefully you were able to cut down on the bulk of the clutter while you were packing up. If not, the unpacking process is the second best opportunity to get rid of unnecessary clutter. It’s not just a matter of keeping your sanity. Clutter in a home can make spaces look smaller and makes it more difficult to keep things clean.
Make Friends With the Neighbors
Now that you’re a homeowner you belong to an exclusive, tightknit group known as the neighborhood. Your new neighbors can have a significant affect on your home value, safety and general wellbeing. When you’re on friendly terms with your neighbors they’ll keep an eye out while you’re away. They’ll lend you home improvement tools that you haven’t gotten around to purchasing yet. They’ll cut you a little slack if your lawn starts looking a little more like a field. When you first move in you’ve got a great excuse to make the rounds and get to know the people that live next door.
Switch Out Old Bulbs for CFLs and LEDs
One of the easiest and most affordable ways to improve energy efficiency throughout your whole home can be found in your lamps and overhead lighting. Switching out old incandescent lights for LEDs or compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) can save a couple hundred dollars in the first year alone. These bulbs use 75% less energy than traditional incandescents, and they also have a much longer lifespan.
- LEDs last an amazing 25,000 hours
- CFLs last about 10,000 hours
- Incandescents last roughly 1,000 hours
Considering that you won’t have to replace LEDs and CFLs as often the higher price definitely balances out.
Make One Extra Mortgage Payment
Want to cut your 30-year mortgage down by five years and save around $20,000-30,000? Then make just one additional payment on the principal and interest (P&I) amount each year. Take a look at your first mortgage payment to determine how much the P&I is on it’s own (without tax and insurance included). Divide this by twelve to come up with the monthly overage. Next, set up your billing so that your monthly installments automatically include the overage for the extra payment.
Also, don’t forget to set aside 1-3% of the value of your home for annual maintenance and improvements.
Position Yourself for a Better Home Insurance Premium
Home insurance is a part of home ownership. It protects your new (very valuable) asset, but that doesn’t mean good coverage costs more. There are a number of factors that are used to determine your monthly premium, and many of them have to do with the choices you make not the home. There are three things you can do to get a lower rate:
- Pay down your debt – a high debt ratio is a signifier that you’re more likely to file a claim.
- Make all your payments on time and check your credit report to get everything up to date.
- Install a home security system.
If you’re still planning a move in Central Texas Square Cow Movers can help! Our resolution is to always provide exemplary service from the very first call. With our moving team taking the reigns and handling all the heavy lifting you’ll have plenty of time to get the New Year off to a great start in your new home. Call us today to discuss your moving needs or fill out the form online to get an instant moving quote!