Owning a home really is a huge responsibility. Even if you manage to save up for a deposit and are lucky enough to snag a mortgage that’s just the beginning. You have a lifetime of home maintenance ahead of you and a million things that could go wrong! Of course, owning a home is completely worth it and there are few greater achievements as an adult than getting a foot on the property ladder, although you do have to be prepared to deal with everything that comes along with it. Here are just a few of the jobs you will have to contend with when you’ve signed your name on the dotted line for your mortgage.
Pests are every homeowner’s nightmare. Don’t be naive enough to think you’re immune from getting them because you keep a clean home- while everything being clean and tidy makes them far easier to spot pests can (and do) move into clean and dirty homes alike. Rodents can squeeze through the tiniest of gaps, and cause havoc by chewing electrical wires, plaster, getting into your pantry and spreading disease over the home. According to rospa.com/leisure-safety/water/advice/weils-disease, rodents can spread diseases called Leptospirosis and Hantavirus which are incredibly dangerous to humans. They’re also known to carry and spread antibiotic resistant strains of e-coli and salmonella which is extremely bad news. Then you also have pests like insects. If your home was unoccupied for a while before you moved in you could be dealing with nests of spiders, cockroaches, certain species of moth can even lay eggs in your carpet and feast on it for generations of life cycles causing damage. Termites are a particularly problematic pest since they can cause structural damage to the home. Outside you may get nests of wasps or bees, or pigeons nesting in the eaves of the roof. Because their droppings are corrosive, they can lead to damage which eventually causes leaks and other expensive repairs. While there are effective DIY solutions for pests, depending on the extent of the problem you may be better off calling in an exterminator. Since it can be difficult to completely kill the life cycle of some pests, you might think they’ve gone only for the problem to come back as a few eggs managed to survive. Have some money in your home maintenance account to be able to tackle problems like this as they come up.
As a homeowner, it’s your responsibility to keep your family and possessions safe. As long as you have anything valuable, there will be someone out there that’s happy to take it given the chance. Even if you live in a nice neighborhood, you’re not safe, if anything you’re more at risk as thieves will come from elsewhere knowing you more than likely have more valuable possessions. Your first port of call should be to get covered with a good home insurance policy. That way, at the very worst case scenario you will at least get the money back for the items stolen, and won’t end up out of pocket.
If you go to a site like oklahomainsurancequotes.net/home-insurance/ you can compare prices quickly and easy without the need to trawl all over the internet. Your next step would be to stop burglars in their tracks should you become a target. Both visible CCTV and a professionally installed burglar alarm will act as deterrents as well as be useful if a break-in attempt is made. Good quality windows and doors will prevent access being made through jimmying with a crowbar, and decent locks will physically keep your stuff in- and the bad guys out.
There are all kinds of other security measures you can take on top of this. Using smart home equipment allows you to monitor your CCTV through your phone as well as turn lights on and off from it. That way you can create the impression that someone is in, even if they’re not. You could use an automated curtain rail to open and close curtains- ideal if you work odd shifts or are away from home a lot. If you set up a tv or radio to a timer switch, this will go on and off periodically, again creating the illusion that someone is home. That way if a burglar is scoping out your home, it doesn’t look empty so prevents the chances of it being targeted. While dogs should be one of the family instead of purely seen as guard dogs, if you have space in your home for a furry friend then teach them to bark at the door. Burglars hate dogs, and should an attempt be made it’s likely to put them off if they can hear a dog causing a racket inside.
As well as security, safety in the home is another issue. Our houses have the potential to be incredibly dangerous, so much so that more accidents happen in the home than anywhere else. Some of the home safety measures you should take are placing fire extinguishers and knowing what kind of fires each can be used on. For example, a foam extinguisher in the shed would be useful as it can be used for burning paint or petrol, but not on chip pan fires. A fire blanket is far more useful for this so something worth having in the kitchen. Water extinguishers are useful for things like wood and cloth, if a fire were to start in the bedroom or living room due to a candle being knocked over for example this would be useful. https://www.thespruce.com/best-fire-extinguishers-4119474 has more information on this if you’re planning on making a purchase.
Other home safety features you could add are a smoke alarm (one should be installed on every floor of the house) and a carbon monoxide alarm. You also have to be wary of things like nails sticking up in wood or loose carpet on stairs. They have the potential to cause a serious accident. If someone comes into your home and is injured on this, you might even end up with a lawsuit on your hands. If you have children in the home, childproofing is another important step. Remove cleaning chemicals from low down cupboards or buy cupboard locks. Make sure there are no choking hazards on the floor, and a lock on the outside of the bathroom can be useful too. Children have been known to turn on taps drown in shallow baths when adults backs have been turned for just a few minutes.
Paying for home maintenance is never much fun. It’s often expensive, and you usually can’t even tell anything has been done. Whether it’s electrical safety or repairs, plumbing, roof repairs or having the gutters cleaned. However, these are important jobs and something you need to be on top of as a homeowner. It can be useful to save the dates and nature of any maintenance visits you’ve had done, just in case you need to refer back to it at a later date. Other maintenance repairs include decoration- peeling wallpaper, chipped paint and out of date tiling might not be the end of the world, but certainly, wont be allowing you to make the most of your home. And don’t forget the gardens and outside space too. If you don’t want to pay a gardener, it’s something you could get into yourself. It will keep you fit and give you something to keep you busy over the warmer months.
Our homes can be huge energy drains, the average home using excessive amounts of fossil fuels to keep it powered. But as a homeowner, you have the opportunity to be a little kinder to the environment. Small changes like recycling your plastic and paper, or composting old foods and cardboard all reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill. Either buy a composting bin or make one yourself, your reduce your carbon footprint and get free compost to use on your garden once it’s all broken down too. You could switch the bulbs in your home to energy saving bulbs, these use far more power, and as a bonus, they have a much longer life too. https://www.digitaltrends.com/home/crees-new-led-light-bulbs-last-27-years/ states that some can even last over twenty seven years! So as well as spending less money on bulbs (which can be expensive!) you also save money on your bills and help the environment by using less power.
As an adult and homeowner, you’re the one responsible for keeping things tidy. You don’t have parents or anyone else nagging you to keep it clean, it’s something you have to just get done yourself. Find a system that suits you and stick with it. If you’re busy in the week, you could do a big clean at the weekend instead. Otherwise, you could spend fifteen minutes each day doing jobs to keep on top of everything. Each household member could have a set number of chores that they’re responsible for each week, or you could create a rota. When you’ve spent all of this money on a home, it makes sense that you’d keep it nice which will allow you to enjoy the space.