So you've just finished shopping for D.C. homes for sale, congratulations! Now it's time to begin making that new home your own. There are some maintenance tasks that you'll want to take care of quickly in order to make the transition to your new home as smooth and stress-free as possible. Our real estate agents have all the details on common home maintenance tasks for first-time buyers and the tools that you'll need for the job.
- Tools Worth Having as a New Homeowner
Before you get busy with maintenance, it's worth stocking up on a few tools that will make your life easier. A cordless drill, adjustable ladder, shop vac, and basic toolkit are all essentials that will serve you well for years to come. A small lawnmower and long garden hose will make getting your new yard in shape that much easier. Finally, consider a generator if you're moving to a place where power outages from storms are common, as well as snow removal and de-icing equipment if you're moving during the winter.
- Start with a Deep Cleaning
When you move into a new home, you want to start with a clean slate. Even if the previous owner had the home professionally cleaned before moving out, it's worth doing your own cleaning while the home is empty and easier to clean. Basic cleaning supplies and disinfectants should be enough to tackle most cleaning tasks.
- Review Your Utilities
It's always a good idea to know exactly where your water shut-off valve and electrical control panel are located, as well as how to operate them. Your home inspection should include the location of the water shut-off valve, while the electrical control panel will typically be located in an out-of-the-way room like the garage, laundry room, or closet.
- Maintain Your HVAC System
No matter the season, keeping your home comfortable starts with HVAC maintenance. Check the filters on your HVAC system, and replace them if needed. If the system hasn't had routine maintenance recently, then it's worth having an HVAC pro give it a thorough check.
- Test Safety and Security Devices
While you're settling in, do a quick check of safety and security systems. Check that all locks on doors/windows are working correctly and that the security system (if present) is ready to go. You'll also want to check that smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order.
- Give Your Curb Appeal a Boost
Outdoor maintenance is so much easier when you make it a routine, so why not start right away? Clear debris, mow the lawn, spruce up the garden, and consider renting a pressure washer to clean outdoor surfaces.
- Seal Drafts and Openings
Protect your home from drafts and critters by making sure that any openings that lead from outdoors to indoors are properly sealed. In most cases, caulk and weather stripping will be your primary tools for sealing your home.
- Inspect Your Basement/Crawlspace
Basements and crawlspaces can be susceptible to flooding and other forms of damage. It's worth checking those areas for any signs of damage or having an experienced contractor give them a thorough look. The home may already have a sump pump if it's located in a flood-prone area, but if not, a sump pump is a worthy investment.
Are you a first-time buyer who's still searching for the right home? Let our team help you accomplish your real estate goals. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Washington, DC area.