If you’re looking at becoming a homeowner or you just recently became one, we’d like to offer our congratulations on this step in your life! Homeownership is a great feeling. Still, with all of the perks of homeownership (no more rent rate fluctuations, being able to do what you want with your home, etc.), homeownership can have some hidden costs. In order to help you save as much money as possible in regards to owning a home, we’ve put together a list of seven tips easy-to-implement tips.
1. Go the efficient route when buying new appliances.
There’s a very likely chance that you will have to buy some new appliances for your new home. When looking for new washers, driers, refrigerators, and other appliances, go with the most efficient models. These may be a touch more expensive up front, but you’ll definitely spend much less in the long run on your energy and water bills.
2. Use masking tape to track the possible progress of cracks in the basement foundation.
If your home has a basement, it pays to take a look down there for a number of reasons. A major reason is to check the foundation for cracks. Even though most smaller cracks don’t usually expand and pose little threat, larger cracks are best treated before they expand too far. Place pieces of masking tape across the cracks, marking each piece of tape with a date. If the crack expands too far, you’ll definitely be able to tell thanks to the tape. Check the tape around the time you change your smoke alarm batteries every year. If you notice torn or stretched tape, contact a foundation repair specialist to fix it before it becomes too expensive.
3. Make the switch to LED light bulbs.
From being able to customize lighting moods to saving money in the long run, considering switching all of your light bulbs to LED. Even though LED bulbs are more expensive than their alternative bulbs, they last a significantly longer time. They also practically sip electricity in comparison to incandescent bulbs. If you’re not sold yet, customizing the color temperature for every room of your house is possible by selecting certain LEDs.
4. Change out the toilets to low-flow, dual-flush toilets to save water.
Even though your toilet has a very real purpose, you’re almost literally flushing cash down the drain in the form of your water bill. Wouldn’t it be nice to flush less cash each time? A dual-flush toilet is a toilet with a two-part water tank. Each sub-tank has a button or lever so it can be independently operated. When you only need a light flush, you can use less water and when you need more water, that is also available. Replacing the toilet itself isn’t drastically more expensive and there are also retrofit kits to make existing toilets dual-flush.
5. Check out the attic insulation situation.
Even though a house’s attic looked ok when you purchased the house, making sure the insulation in the attic is appropriate can help make your home vastly more efficient. If the attic is unfinished, you should see ample insulation between the beams. Between each beam should be no less than six inches of undamaged insulation. If you do not see this amount of insulation, installing more insulation may be necessary. If you live in colder states, it may make sense to install even more than six inches of insulation. The U.S. Department of Energy has created this very handy guide on home insulation.
6. Replace all air filters in your new home.
Breathing a sigh of relief after closing on a new home can be harder to do with old air filters hanging around. Even if it doesn’t seem necessary yet, go ahead and replace the air filters for your new home’s HVAC system. It’s usually very inexpensive to do, takes ten minutes to complete, and greatly increases the air quality of your new home. In addition to freshening the air in your home, new air filters also make life easier on your HVAC system, resulting in less wear on components and lower energy bills for you.
7. Install surge protectors for your major electronics.
While you’re moving your television, stereo, and computers into place, now is a great time to purchase and install surge protectors. A power surge from a lightning strike or other malfunction can damage expensive electronics. Most surge protectors are not overly expensive and come with many other cost-saving features.
These are just a few cost-saving tips for new homeowners. If you know any others, we’d absolutely love to hear them. If you’re considering building a custom house of your dreams, look no further than the home construction professionals at Perry Hood Properties.