You saved up enough money for a down payment, enlisted the help of a real estate agent who found you your home, got through the tricky escrow process, signed the closing papers and now you’re a first-time home owner. Congrats! Not to burst your bubble, but the work’s just begun.
Being a home owner comes with a lot of new challenges you didn’t face as a renter and if you’re not careful, you could wind up making a mistake that could seriously impact your budget. Take a look at some common mistakes new homeowners make.
Some homeowners don’t realize that many attic and garage trusses are designed to support only the weight of the roof and ceiling and can’t be used for additional storage. Storing household goods in these areas can result in sagging or collapse of the roof or ceiling. If you want to use this space for storage, consult a structural engineer first to determine if additional reinforcement is needed.
Skimping on Structure
Add-on structures such as a deck, sunscreens, or lanai are often just nailed or bolted directly to the outside wall of the home which won’t give you a watertight seal and can lead to dry rot. If bolts are used to attach the ledger board to the home, the bolt holes should be filled with caulk to avoid this issue. Make sure you check with the local building department before starting work as many additions will require permits.
Sprinkling Your Walls
Check your sprinklers for broken heads and to ensure they are spraying away from your home. Some homeowners have reported serious damage such as rot and foundation movement as a result of water hitting their home’s exterior from a misdirected sprinkler. Check them regularly to make sure they have not turned towards your home to avoid major problems.
Not Airing it Out
Some homeowners with noisy bathroom and laundry fans disconnect or don’t use them, which is a big no-no. Since bathrooms and laundry rooms are areas of high humidity, not using the fan can result in damage to drywall, electrical outlets, and even the framing. Over time, mold, mildew and fungi may grow in these areas, causing even more headaches.
Walking on the Roof
Walking on your roof should only be done by trained professionals. Not only is it dangerous, but untrained people can break or scuff the roof covering and cause roof leaks. If you have a reason to be near your roof, such as to clean the gutters or to retrieve an item that was thrown up there, use a ladder and a telescoping pole rather than walking on the roof.
Overloading Upper Cabinets
Do not stack heavy dishes and glassware in an upper cabinet as you could overload the cabinet and cause sagging shelves or detachment from the wall. Heavy china and cookware should always be placed in the lower cabinets to avoid this.
Not Getting a Home Warranty
A home warranty is a great way to save money and protect your budget. In the event one of your home’s major systems or appliances breaks down, a home warranty can help protect you by subsidizing some of the costs associated with getting it repaired or replaced. Learn more about what a home warranty is here.