Tips for New Homeowners

If you just bought a house, and especially if you’re a first time home owner, there are a few things to learn about when repairs are needed, or if there’s some type of emergency. Here’s just a few you will probably have to acquaint yourself with:

1.      Where is the main water line shut off valve?  This is important to know if you need to repair any pipes or if a pipe bursts. You don’t want to be running around like a crazy person trying to figure this out during an emergency. It’s usually in the basement where the water supply enters your home. You might want to test this valve out prior to moving in (or soon after) to see if it works properly.

2.      How do you fix a running toilet? Most likely the “flapper valve” is the culprit. There are many how-to videos online that are wonderful resources for almost any home project.

3.      What if the toilet is overflowing? Take the lid off the tank and lift up on the arm with the rubber ball. This will stop the water from enter the toilet bowl. Next shut off the water valve behind the toilet (righty, tighty) and get to plunging.  Yuck!

4.      How do you fix a leaky faucet? In this case, a faulty washer probably needs replacing. It’s important to fix leaky faucets and running toilets – not only because they are annoying to listen to - but because they will run up your water bill. Once again, go online for step by step how-to’s.

5.      Label your circuits! Find the circuit breaker box and if the circuits are not labeled find a friend and start the process. Turn off all the circuits and then turn on one at a time. Have your friend tell you what is turning on and then label the circuit. This will come in handy when you are doing home repair projects and don’t want to get electrocuted.

6.      Take a home inventory for insurance purposes. Keep a file online with copies of receipts for major purchases or home renovations. Also keep a spreadsheet listing the make, model and serial number of all your appliances, TVs, furniture, etc. It’s also a good idea to make a video, room by room of your entire house. Keep this inventory updated and backed up!

There are so many things to learn about when you are a new homeowner but don’t worry, it gets easier and in the end having a place to call home is worth all the trouble.