8 Common New Homeowner Mistakes

Purchasing a home for the first time is a dream come true for many people. Whether your home is brand new or needs a little extra care and attention, new homeowners can quickly become overwhelmed with the amount of work that needs to be done. From ignoring simple safety precautions to rushing into decor decisions, there are several things to keep in mind in order to avoid common mistakes. By following the list of things not do to as a new homeowner, you can ensure your home remains at the level of quality you desire.

1. Avoiding Fire Precautions

Taking the time to ensure your home follows proper fire precautions is definitely something you want to do, especially considering the amount of homes that suffer fire damage each year. Typically, it's a good idea to purchase a fire extinguisher for each level of your home, and an extra one for the garage. Also, make sure all of the fire alarms are working properly throughout the house and remember to test them throughout the year.

2. Ignoring Small Stuff

You may be tempted to let some of the smaller fixes in your home go unattended for a while, especially if you have some major renovations to tackle. However, even the small things can add up quickly. For example, a running toilet can end up wasting hundreds of gallons of water over the course of a month, which will definitely impact your water bill. Luckily, repairing a toilet is easy, and sometimes requires little more than replacing a rubber flapper or making adjustments to the float ball. Although the smaller things may take additional time to address, fixing them is just as important as the big stuff.

3. Rushing Interior Decor

Your home is going to be a place that you live in for a long period of time. With that in mind, there’s no need to rush when it comes to decorating. Instead, take your time when deciding what furniture to buy and what color to paint the walls. Additionally, giving yourself some time to thoroughly think through the decor will mean less changes down the road.

4. Leaving the Outside Unattended

Although it's tempting to concentrate solely on the inside of the home at first, the outside needs proper care as well. Depending on the time of year, the outside of the home may need cleaning up, and it’s always good to have a decorated space in time to enjoy summer cookouts and backyard fun.

5. Keeping the Power on While Doing Electrical Work

At some point in your experience as a new homeowner, you will need to do some electrical work. Whether you are rewiring a part of your house or are simply replacing a light fixture, it’s always a good idea to turn off power to the area of the home you're working. In order to this, you’ll need to flip off the breaker in your home’s electrical box. This is also a good opportunity to locate the electrical box, and find out if everything is properly labelled.

6. Not Paying Attention to the Washer and Dryer

Two of the biggest pains a homeowner can be forced to deal with are water and fire damage. While you may be tempted to think of water damage only occurring from flood waters, a common culprit for leaking water can actually be found in the laundry room. If the rubber hose that feeds water to the washer is cracked or kinked, major water damage can occur. With replacement hoses being relatively inexpensive, it’s always a good idea to check the condition of the hose and replace if needed. Additionally, extra buildup of lint in the dryer’s exhaust can be a fire hazard. To remedy this issue, simply place a long dryer vent brush through the exhaust tube a couple times a year.

7. Thinking the Windows and Doors are Energy Efficient

Part of owning a home is dealing with energy costs. In order to cut down on your monthly energy bill, it's best not to assume that your home, whether it’s new or not, is in top shape when it comes to energy efficiency. To find out which places inside your home may need to be re-caulked or sealed, simply light a candle and run the flame along windows and entryways. If the flame flickers and waves, then you have incoming air issues.

8. Going Beyond Your Expertise

While it’s tempting to just use the DIY approach when it comes to improving your home, it's important to know your limitations. This is especially true when it comes to any electrical or plumbing work. While opting to do things yourself instead of hiring professionals can be cost efficient, this approach can end up costing more time and money, especially if the job isn’t done right.