If you’re buying and moving into a new home for the first time, first of all, congratulations! Secondly, there’s a whole lot of stuff you’re going to want to get your head around in the coming weeks. Buying a house is a smart investment and making the jump from being a renter to a first-time homeowner is truly exciting.
However, this does mean that you can’t turn to your landlord for advice or when things go wrong – and therefore it’s both useful and important to brush up on your homeowner knowledge. To help you out, we’ve put together a few tips and tricks to help make your transition from a renter to a property owner a little bit easier.
Read on for five things every new homeowner needs to know.
Learn how to identify potential issues in your new home
Knowing how to spot potential problems in your new property can save you a lot of time and a whole lot of money. In fact, learning how to identify issues is one of the best things a new homeowner can learn. Minor problems can quickly turn into big issues and therefore it’s useful to take the time to learn about some common property problems when moving into your new home. Catching problems early will prevent further damage to your home.
For example, familiarising yourself with the early signs of rising damp and mould can save you a lot of headaches down the line, ensuring you can spot and treat the issue before it leads to structural damage. Knowing how to spot a leak in your roof or being aware of the danger of woodworm and rot is extremely valuable.
Watch your energy usage
Now that you own a property, controlling your energy usage and paying your bills is completely down to you. While you should always pay attention to how much energy you use whether you’re a renter or a homeowner, now is a good time to start paying close attention to your energy bills. Look at all of the ways your home is using energy; from this, you can work out where you can cut down.
Reducing your energy usage will not only keep the cost of your bills low, but it also helps to reduce your carbon footprint and do your bit for the environment. Even switching off lights when you’re not using them can make a huge difference.
According to Ofgem, the industry regulator, the average household spends around £1,254 a year on heating and power. Follow some of our simple homeowner energy saving tips below to save energy and money:
- Turn off standby appliances at the plug when you are not using them.
- Purchase energy-efficient appliances for your new home. For example, an A++ washing machine will use far less energy than an A+ one.
- Install an energy-efficient boiler in your new home.
- Invest in double glazing to help keep cold draughts out and trap warm air in.
- Insulate the roof of your new property to stop warm air escaping through the roof.
- Install a smart thermostat to ensure only rooms you are using are heated.
Find out how to turn the water off in your house
Knowing how to turn off your water valve is extremely important. If one of your pipes suddenly bursts, you’re going to need to get to the water valve pretty quickly to stop the water flowing and prevent any further damage being caused to your property. If a pipe in your property bursts and it takes you five or ten minutes to find and shut off the water valve, you could be in serious trouble. You need to know exactly where it is for those times of crisis.
When you first move into your new property, take the time to locate the water valve (or stop cock) so that you know where it is in the case of an emergency or if you need to turn it off for repairs.
The main stop cock can either be found inside your house or outside. If it’s inside, it will usually be found with other utilities such as gas and electricity near the entrance of your property. Alternatively, you may find a main stop cock outside your house in the street. If your stop cock is outside, it’s important to note that this is actually the property of the water board; however, you can use it to turn off your water supply in an emergency.
Create an emergency house fund
If you suddenly run into a problem or something in your property needs repairing, it’s going to cost you. Unfortunately, that’s just the way it is. You can never predict when something is going to go wrong or how big a dent it’s going to put in your wallet, so one of our top homeowner tips is to start an emergency house fund when you move in.
All you have to do is open a savings account and deposit money in each month towards future emergencies, repairs and household items. If your fridge suddenly breaks down on you or you need to call out an emergency electrician, your emergency house fund will cover it. Being smart and saving early will eliminate some of the stress when you do run into an emergency.
Test your fire alarms
You’d be surprised by just how many people neglect fire safety in their new homes. When you first move into a new property, it’s absolutely essential to test all of the smoke alarms. Fire safety in your new home is equally as important as security; both play an important role and need to be paid attention to.
Sadly, house fires are more common than you may think. Inadequate fire safety puts the lives of you and your family at your risk, so it’s important that this is one of the first things you focus on.
We recommend fitting new fire alarms in your new property. This way you know exactly how old they are and can ensure they conform to British Standard 5446, Part 1 (BS 5446-1). You should also install fire monoxide detectors. Following this, design a fire safety escape route to follow in the event of a fire. Fire exits should be kept clear at all times and the whole family should know what to do in the event of a fire.
Remember to ensure that plug sockets and electrical outlets are never overloaded as this can lead to fire hazards and overheating. Cooker and boiler installations should also always be carried out by a Gas Safe Registered engineer.
Essex Removal Service & Co: professional local and international removals services
If you’re moving into a new property and you’re looking for a reliable and professional removals company, you needn’t look further than the experienced team at Essex Removal Service & Co. We understand that moving can be a stressful time, especially if you’re buying a brand new property. This is why our reliable and helpful team are dedicated to taking the stress out of your move for you.
We have over 25 years of experience providing hassle-free house moves, storage and shipping services. Whether you’re moving down the road or across the globe to a brand new country, our trusted team has got you covered with our quality removals services.
Our talented logistical team can plan your move in great detail to ensure everything goes smoothly from start to finish. We also offer expert packing services, ensuring your belongings are packed safely and professionally while you get on with other house moving tasks.
For more information about our services, visit our website today.