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6 Steps to Take the Day You Buy Your First Home

6 Steps to Take the Day You Buy Your First Home

Buying a home is a big responsibility, financially and for many other easons. It is easily the single biggest expense in life for most people, and it may not be the only home you ever own. There are scores of things that you need to get done in order to prepare a down payment, secure a mortgage, and purchase the home of your dreams, but the work is not done the day you sign on the dotted line or get handed the keys. Here are six things you should get done the day you buy your first home.

1. Take pictures.

You will want them to remember what your house looked like the day you took ownership, and you may need them for an insurance claim later on. Digital cameras mean you can take a lot of pictures without having to worry about the cost of developing film. However, you may want to print out an 8 by 10 of how your house looked the day you bought it.

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Store the rest of the images in the cloud or on digital media. Realize that even flash drives do not hold data forever. Degradation of the digital data on a flash drive takes years, but it does happen. Shooting some video of the inside and outside of your home with a narrative will be fun to view years from now too.

2. Confirm your insurance.

Look over the fine print of policies. Contact your insurance agent to make sure all paperwork has been filled. Buying a house is a hectic time. Make sure your actual coverage is in step with the market value of the house as well as what is owed on the mortgage. Reassess the coverage after moving in with your possessions. Do you have too little, too much, or just the right coverage for the contents? You want adequate insurance coverage, but you do not want to pay excessive premiums.

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3. Change the locks.

Whether you do it yourself or hire a locksmith, make sure the door locks on your home are changed the day you take possession of it. You have no idea who the previous owner has given copies of the keys to. It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to home security. The home is now yours. No one who was granted access before has that right now, and the best way to control access is to change the locks. Do not forget to have the locks changed on outbuildings too. New door locks can all be keyed to open with one key. Specialty keyed locks may offer more security than mass-produced models.

4. Get a security system.

The FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics indicate that there were 1,729,806 burglaries in the United States for 2014. That is about one burglary every two seconds of homes and businesses. Home security systems act as an early warning system and a deterrent. Criminals do not want to get caught, and they choose easier targets than homes with alarm systems. Plus, fire and carbon monoxide detection tied to a central monitoring station can send help whether you are home or away, and also if you or your family is incapacitated.

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5. Check your utilities.

It is easy to tell if the electricity is on, but it is more difficult in some homes to determine if the natural gas is on or if propane is available. Also, it is important to check your water heater. It may have been turned off or turned to its lowest setting to save energy while the house is unoccupied.

If you do not have a gas stove but have gas heat, turn the furnace on and listen for the flame to start. Check the temperature setting on the water heater. If you do not know how to check for a lit pilot light on a tank water heater, just run the hot water for five minutes and listen for the flame to start at the water tank. If it does not, have it checked.

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6. Look over home guarantee policies.

Within a few days of living in your new home, you may discover things that need fixed that neither you nor your home inspection expert noticed. Homes that have been unoccupied for a time may develop slow drain issues. The sewer systems of unoccupied homes dry out. Sludge in the drains can harden to a plaster-like consistency. As you begin to flush solids down the dry drains, build up may cause slow drains or clogs. This can especially be a problem in homes that have terracotta drains.

After a few months, a lot of homeowners start to develop a nervousness as they realize that something could break and cost them a lot of money that they simply don’t have. I use a home warranty in order to better budget and not have to worry about large repairs breaking the bank around the holidays.

Your new home is going to quickly become your castle and family place of comfort, safety, and refuge. However, it is practically inevitable that there will be some issues, quirks, and other things you notice about your new home after you move in. Every home has its own sounds and peculiarities that can be irritating or endearing. Some have never forgotten the sound of a noisy water pipe, a cozy sunny spot, or even that cold drafty spot in a home they have lived in. Enjoy your new home and all it has to offer.

Featured photo credit: https://pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on November 17, 2019

20 Creative Ways To Say Thank You

20 Creative Ways To Say Thank You

Saying, “Thank you,” can be difficult to do. Some things just demand a little something extra because of the magnitude of the favor or the depth of appreciation involved. But what can you do to say thank you in a meaningful way? Sometimes you have to get a little more creative than just firing off an email. Here are 20 creative ways to say thank you that your friends and family will remember and cherish!

1. Make a gift bag.

A unique, homemade gift bag with a custom label or a note is a simple but heartfelt way to show your appreciation for the wonderful things your friends or family have done for you.

2. Give a toast.

Many people fear public speaking more than death, giving this particular thank-you a little extra meaning. Composing a sincere, eloquent toast and delivering it is a nice way to show appreciation that truly comes from the heart.

3. Write a poem.

“Roses are red, violets are blue…” Uh, you could write that...but why not put a little extra zing in it? Find out what their favorite kind of poetry is: haiku, free verse, iambic pentameter, and so on. (Google them if you don’t know what they are.) Then write one that expresses why they deserve your thanks…and why you’re glad to give it!

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4. Create your own labels.

There are a number of websites that offer custom gift labels. Find one that fits your personality and that of your friends and create a personalized thank-you label!

5. Give a gift card.

Sometimes choosing what to give a friend can be tough. A gift card is a good way to get around this problem. As always, be sure to include a personalized note or card thanking the recipient for their friendship and help.

6. Send a letter.

Snail-mail is a largely lost art form. Don’t worry about how long the letter is, though. What really matters here is that you took the time to put pen to paper and express your feelings sincerely and honestly!

7. Use social media to send a special message.

If someone’s done something you think the whole world should know about, why not put out a social media blast? Use your blog, your Facebook, your Google+ account, and your Twitter to spread the word about why this person’s someone your friends will want to know too!

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8. Make your own digital greeting card.

While an email isn’t always the best way to go when saying thank you, a digital greeting card that you put time and effort into creating can really brighten someone’s day! Make the card reflect the recipient’s personality and compose a short message of thanks for their generosity.

9. Make a YouTube video.

Sometimes, actually hearing someone say, “Thank you,” can make all the difference. Why not take it a step further and create a special video of thanks for your friends, family, and those special people who helped make your day so important…or who helped you through that rough time?

10. Deliver cookies or candies.

Making something yourself is a fun and delightful way to say thank you to someone. Create a sampling of baked goods or homemade candies and decorate them with a simple message, or make them so they form letters! (Think Valentine’s candies, only situationally appropriate.) Attach a thank-you note or label and surprise those special people with the gift of your time and creativity.

11. Make surprise gifts for guests.

There’s no need to wait until “later” to send a thank-you message. Why not do it at the time? Create little gift packets or bags for your guests with surprises inside. This is a great way to say thanks to the people who attended your event, and make sure they won’t want to miss the next one!

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12. Put together a flower basket.

Whether you prefer fresh or artificial flowers, assembling a flower basket with a thank-you note is an excellent way to brighten someone’s day and show you appreciate them.

13. Take a picture.

Sometimes capturing the moment is the best way to put a smile on someone’s face. Have someone take a picture of you receiving that special gift or opening that surprise package and send the giver a copy with a quick but sincere note to say thanks!

14. Repay their generosity by paying it forward.

The best gifts come from the heart, and the best way to repay a gift is to pay it forward. If your friend has a special cause they care about or something they believe in passionately, why not make a donation in their name or volunteer some of your time to the cause? This will mean more than any number of cookies, candies, or thank-you notes because you’re taking your friend’s love and spreading it around to others.

15. Do something special for them.

Take them out to dinner. (See “make a toast.”) Give them that movie they’ve been wanting forever. Cook them dinner and give them a present when they arrive. Any of these are good options for showing someone you really appreciate them and how grateful you are to have them in your life.

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16. Reciprocate their help.

Everyone needs help sometime. Whether it’s holding their hand through a particularly traumatic incident or helping them replace the alternator in their car, being there when they need it shows you remember what they did for you and how much it meant. It also shows that you’re willing to be just as good a friend to them as they were to you!

17. Be there for them.

Not every thank-you gesture has to be a grand public spectacle. Sometimes just giving them a place to come hang out when they’re lonely or showing up to offer them a sympathetic shoulder means the world to a person.

18. Listen to them.

Listening is almost as lost an art as the handwritten letter. When your friend or family member needs to talk, listen to them. Ask questions when appropriate, but just letting them know you’re there and paying attention to them to the exclusion of all else for a little while is a great way to say thank you for the times they listened to you.

19. Say it in another language…or two…

A simple thank you is great…but why not spice it up a little? Instead of just saying, “Thank you,” write or make a video of you telling them thank you in different languages. Some examples might be, “Gracias! Merci! Danke schoen! Spasibo! Mahalo!” and any other ways or languages you can think of. (The ones listed above are Spanish, French, German, Russian, and Hawaiian, in case you were wondering.) If you want to really get tricky about it, say a short phrase in each language that conveys why you’re thanking them!

20. Show them some love.

A simple touch, a hug, or helping out when they need it without being asked may be the most powerful gratitude message you can send. Offer to take the dogs for a walk, sit for the kids for a few hours, or run to the grocery store so they don’t have to. The little things are often the most important and meaningful. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still send a note, but sometimes your simple presence and willingness to help is all that really matters.

Featured photo credit: Hanny Naibaho via unsplash.com

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