For some, the transition from apartment renter to homeowner can be overwhelming. There is no doubt that the move to home ownership signifies a live changing event for a first-time home buyer. Your personal attitude coupled with a proper planning will greatly reduce your anxiety and lead to an overall well executed move from the apartment to your very own home. Before you pack your belonging or even order the moving truck, lets go over what you will mentally need to know.

Maintenance – Who’s Going to Fix That

I will be the first to tell you: There are some conveniences to living in an apartment. Like, having someone else be responsible for the maintenance of the property. When appliances malfunction, the repairs can be done at no cost to the renters. When moving into your own home, you are the maintenance person. Much like owning a car, knowing a little or being will to tinker could save you money while enhancing the home ownership experience. So, sharpen up on your home maintenance skills.  These basic areas include construction, plumbing, roofing as well as gardening. Having the right tools for the job are essential. Some items to consider are a good quality lawn mower, weed eater, screw driver set, socket and ratchet kit, and shovels. This will get you started. Also, it is important that you store and maintain these tools in the proper location. However, it you would rather not tinker, hire a handyman to assist you in the inevitable that the repairs may be outside your level of comfort.

Energy Thrifty Conservation

The average apartment is roughly 800 Sqft. Which means that more than likely your new home will be larger. Depending on many factors such as the age of the property and what upgrades we done to the home your moving too, you could experience increased energy consumption. These factors should have been identified during the inspection of the property. This does not necessarily mean that you’ll have higher energy bills. I would be a good idea to do a personal audit of your energy usage and the cost for the first 6 months of living in your new home. Below are just a few was of cut down your energy consumption to keep your bill affordable.

  • Appliances - when possible choose energy-star rated appliances
  • Programmable Thermostat - Program and optimize setting for best temperature when home or away
  • Fans - Use fans to assist you HVAC system in heating and cooling
  • Drapes & Blinds – Keep drapery and blinds during the day
  • Light Buds – Use energy efficient LED or compact fluorescent bulbs

Watch Your Cash – Don’t Spend it All

It would seem that you could never be prepared for everything that new home ownership brings. You have saved for the down payment and a few extras after closing and your head is filled with all the things you would like to buy to fill your new home. These feeling are not unreasonable, but be warned “Don’t spend it all”. For many buying a home will prove to be the biggest investment you’ll ever make. According to Home American Mortgage Corporation you should save a little to cover other associated expenses. You should budget for moving, a possible increase in utilities, decor and furnishings.  These forward thinking could prevent you from falling into credit card debt immediately after purchasing your house.

And There Were Bugs

While living in an apartment, maintenance is something that a renter typically never considers until a need arises. You are always one phone call away from someone addressing your concern. Depending on the quality of the apartment community you lived in, many scheduled maintenance tasks such and filter replacement and pest control were completed unbeknownst to you.

Like living in an apartment, scheduled maintenance on your new home is paramount to a quality living experience. Pest control is a must. As a new home owner, this thankless duty falls in your hands. You could contract with a pet extermination company for this task or do it yourself. You must be willing to perform the task of pest control on a regular basis to prevent pest and rodents form getting out of hand. Depending on where you live, ants, mosquitoes, cockroaches as well as mice are common place in your area.

Hardware stores typically have a great selection of pest control options to include those that are pet-friendly.

Safety First – Home Safety Equip

Safety Check. While you should be excited about your new home purchase take a few minutes to ground yourself and think forward.

  • Keys - Did I change the locks? How many former family member or neighbors have a copy of the keys?
  • Smoke Detectors - Inspect and test your smoke detectors. Test all smoke detectors and replace batteries or units that are no longer working. It’s recommended that you test smoke alarms monthly and replace the batteries once a year, even if they’re still working.
  • Fire Extinguisher – equip your home with easily accessible fire extinguishers as needed.
  • Evacuation / Escape Plan  – In the event of a real emergency where your family is forced to move have a plan that everyone practices. 

Homes Safety

Small Changes Equals Big Rewards

In picking the house you chose to call home; your probable had some ideas about future upgrade and renovations. Immediately after a new home purchase for most is not the best time to consider major changes.  However, there are many cost-effective do-it-yourself projects that you could undertake to upgrade the look, feel and desirability of your new home:

Consider these Updates

  • Wall painting
  • Refinishing Kitchen Cabinets
  • New Door Hardware
  • Updated Lighting Fixtures

These small cheap and easy updates will transform dull spaces into exciting ones.

Safety & Home Security Options

Depending on the apartment that you lived in, an alarm system may have been provided at no additional expense to you. As a homeowner, your home and personal security is your responsibility.  You have the option of purchasing any of the myriad of security system available on the market.  A security system may allow you to feel safer while in or out of your residence. Some home security systems can be self-installed with cameras with real-time videos, and monitoring alerts. Companies like Alarms.com offer higher levels of security options and servicing. Shop and compare the terms and conditions offered by local Home Security Service providers before making a decision on which provider to use.

Bedazzle – Bling, Bling

I’m not taking about buying expensive items. I talking about a splash of this, that and the other to make your home feel more like you. Small personal items such as furnishings, throw pillows, rugs and blankets can you the satisfaction of transforming a room to a working space.

Give a fresh new look to a bathroom with new wallpaper and fresh towels. These small changes reflect your taste without breaking the bank. Your home is entirely yours to decorate and design to make you feel as safe and as comfortable as you chose to be.

Home ownership is your personal key to the freedom from apartment life. Congratulations on your decision to purchase a new home.

Take the advice referenced above to prepare yourself for a smooth transition from apartment life to enjoying your very first house.