You’re a New Homeowner – Now What?

You’re a New Homeowner – Now What?

  You have signed your life away. You’ve stressed out over everything falling into place and the day is finally here and you have bought your dream house. You’ve got the keys, now what? Well, now the fun begins. There are so many things that you can do to make your house your own. Here are a few that I think are top of the list: Change the locks. Unless you bought a brand new construction home that has an owner key that trips the locks as soon as you use it the first time, this is a MUST. You have no idea how many keys are out there to your new house. The Seller can tell you they gave you all the keys but they may have forgotten about the house cleaner they left a key for just to clean after they moved out. If they didn’t get the locks changed when they moved in, the previous handyman could have a key. It is a very inexpensive first step that can give you real peace of mind. While we’re on the subject of peace of mind… Set the alarm. Have an alarm installed or get the existing system checked and begin monitoring. You are going to be in and out of the house. You will have many people in and out of the house as well. People will see your belongings being brought in, and, some may take notice of your nice things. You will be exhausted and may forget to lock up properly when you leave. The best deterrent for thieves is a good alarm system that is armed. Just remember to arm it when you leave or go to bed! Hire a designer. I know what you’re thinking. “I can’t afford to hire a designer – I just bought a house!” There are many designers that will just charge a consultation fee and will help you with everything from where great-grand-dad’s grandfather clock will look best, how to arrange the bonus room for maximum game space, to what colors will look great to show off the family photo above the fireplace. You can get great bang for your buck on this one, trust me. Meet the neighbors. You may think you can wait on this one. You can’t. Once you’ve been in your house for a month, you’re no longer the new neighbor. I agree that the neighbors should make the effort to meet you first, however, if they don’t come by, make the effort. There will be a time when you need them to sign for a package, pick up your mail, borrow a cup of sugar, or you have water running from a pipe...

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Independence

Independence

  On this Independence Day, the day our nation celebrates its freedom, I thought I would reflect on the significance of the word and how it pertains to real estate – I mean everything pertains to real estate, right? Most of us don’t remember taking our first steps, some of us can’t recall our first day of kindergarten, but most of us know what it felt like to walk onto that college campus. The fear, the exhilaration, the feeling that we were all on our own. That’s independence. Later curfews, if any at all. Adults weren’t watching your every move. You had some space to grow and to make mistakes. Much like it was to get that first apartment. That was real freedom. Until the landlord came asking for the rent. But, we could come and go as we pleased, have anyone over to visit at any time of day, and have only cheese balls in the pantry and Budweiser in the refrigerator if that’s what we wanted. There were some limitations about how loud you could play your music and what color your walls could be, but it was ours, nonetheless. Real independence is the day you buy your first house. You can landscape your yard, put wood on the floors, paint the front door, and call it home. In this country, we are truly fortunate to that homeownership is highly attainable and that we have that right at all. Today, as you’re grilling outside on your patio, sitting by the pool or playing corn hole in your yard, take a moment to smile and be thankful for your independence. It’s yours, you did it, and be thankful for the others that fought to keep this country...

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