Your home is your biggest and most important investment. So, why wouldn’t you take proper care of it? Just like a car needs regular oil changes, keeping up with home maintenance tasks is a must. It is much easier to do your chores every now and then instead of having to pay for big repairs.
All these tasks can seem quite intimidating, especially if you are a new homeowner. Let’s face it; nobody wants to spend their day off pulling leaves out of a gutter. Or, even worse, nobody wants to spend the entire day figuring out how to drain a boiler. Good news is that you can do all the tasks on your own, even if you have absolutely no experience. If you get stuck, you can always use Google or call a friend.
In order to get all the tasks done and also maximize your efficiency, it is smart to create a home maintenance checklist. Start by writing down some regular tasks that you can do every weekend. To help you out, we’ve created a checklist that includes tasks that should be done monthly, quarterly, biannually. We also included some activities that can be done seasonally. Keep in mind that our you don’t have to strictly adhere to our checklist. You can take care of your home whenever you want and as often as you want. And, as long as you don’t forget to accomplish all of these tasks, your home will be in a good shape for years to come.
There are some tasks that should be done on a monthly basis. You can pick one weekend every month and turn home maintenance into a family activity by involving your children in some of the tasks as well.
Once the snow melts and the trees begin to bud, your home is ready for the spring clean and maintenance. Here are some tips that will help you prepare your home for the rest of the year.
Summer is great for focusing on the exterior of your home, including your lawn and garden.
Check grout in bathrooms, kitchen, etc.; repair as needed. This will prolong the life of your tiled surfaces and just looks better.
Fall is the season during which you should finish all the tasks you didn’t have the time for so you could get your home ready for winter. Rain, snow, and cold weather can cause significant damage so make sure you are prepared.
There’s not much you can do outside during winter. Instead, focus on the interior of your home and check out all those little things you may have overlook or postponed for some time later. Also, if you have any interior DIY projects, winter is a great time to do them.
Home maintenance expenses can sneak up on your. Unlike a lot of the costs of homeownership, home maintenance is not included in your monthly mortgage payment and can add up to thousands of dollars per year. Expert recommendations differ, but a general rule of thumb suggests budgeting $1 per sq/ft per year based on the size of your home or 1% of your total home value.
If you find yourself with a major maintenance expense and don’t have the savings to cover it, you could always consider a cash out mortgage to cover the cost of major repairs like a roof replacement. Enter your information below to see what you qualify for.
The time has finally come – you are officially an adult and about to live in your own apartment for the first time ever. While you’re probably thinking about all the beautiful decorations you’re going to buy, there is something else you need to do first. You will have to buy some basic goods you never had to buy before. Let’s face it – have you ever had to buy your own towels, dishes, or silverware? We thought so.
Moving into a new apartment can turn out to be a daunting task. There are some items that you’ll obviously need such as furniture and appliances. But, it is very likely that you may have overlooked some other necessities. Have you bought a bath mat, cutting board, corkscrew or shower caddies? You may not need all of these items, but some of them sure can come in handy.
Take a look at our checklist before you finally move in your new apartment and see if you have everything you need.
Consider this section as an extra short version of all must-haves. Make sure you bought all these items before moving at all. Then, keep them close by when you move. You’ll probably want to unpack these first before anything else. You definitely don’t want to find yourself be searching for a shower curtain instead of getting ready for work or class.
A mattress should definitely be one of the first few items you buy for your new place. Picking out the right mattress can turn out into a very time-consuming task. You probably will be fine sleeping on the floor for one night or even a week. But, life gets crazy busy when you’re moving and you might find yourself sleeping on the floor for a month because you didn’t buy a mattress on time.
We recommend ordering your mattress online from one of the many startups that have popped up in the last few years. It’s easy to have the mattress shipped directly to your new place, they come quickly, and they’re cheaper than your standard mattress. Plus they’re comfortable! We like Nectar mattresses, our readers get $125 off by clicking through this link.
Besides the mattress, don’t forget to buy new pillows, bedding, and even a mattress topper if you need one. MyPillow.com has some great options for pillows and mattress toppers.
When you walk inside your new apartment, you’ll probably want to decorate it somehow. And, it is also very likely that you’ll need to put something together, for example, a bookshelf. When that time comes, you don’t want to be unprepared. There is nothing more frustrating than being in an unpacking groove only to realize you lack the basic tools. Make sure you have a hammer, a screwdriver, wall hooks, and some nails. Amazon Basics has a great home maintenance toolkit to get you started.
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What are the chances for remembering to bring a step stool with you in your new apartment? Make sure you put it on the top of your checklist. A step stool can be extremely valuable during unpacking, especially if you’re short or if your apartment as high ceilings. It is recommended to buy a step stool that is light, easily portable, and easy to store.
Accidents are quite common when moving. Usually, people tend to cut a finger, sprain an ankle, or trip and fall down. If you do get injured, you’ll want to have a first-aid kit nearby. Make sure to include the following:
It would be a bummer to unpack all the things in your new home only to realize that you don’t have anywhere to plug them in. Make sure to purchase batteries, extension cords, and power strips before moving so you could finish unpacking as quickly as possible.
This one is a no-brainer. You might make some mess while moving in or find spots that the previous tenants forgot to clean. Make sure that your cleaning supplies are easily accessible so you can clean everything before you start unpacking. Here are some items you might need:
Check out our house cleaning checklist to make sure you’ve covered all the bases!
Talking of bathroom essentials, here is another one you shouldn’t forget. After a long day of unpacking, you’ll probably be dying for a hot shower. And, using a shower without a shower curtain is a great way to ruin the floors in your brand-new apartment. To prevent this from happening, make sure to pack all the toiletry items you might need, including a shower curtain.
Unpacking and moving in is hard work. When you take a break, you’ll probably want to grab something to eat and drink. You could use paper plates and cups for the first few days, but why don’t you make things easier and immediately buy a full dish set? Here are some items you might need:
We absolutely love a well-outfitted kitchen, check out our list of kitchen essentials to see our recommendations on everything from flatware to pots and pans.
Here are a few things you should do before you move in:
For more tips, check out our moving checklist to make sure you’re all prepped for your big day.
When people start coming to your new place, you’ll want them to fall in love with it as soon as they come in. Here are some items you can place in your entrance area or corridor:
Decorating your bathroom can be quite fun. And now that you can buy all the bubble baths and hair products you want, you might get a bit carried away. If you get too excited about choosing the right soap that you forget to purchase a toilet scrubber, this checklist will save the day.
It is impossible to think of all the items you will need in your kitchen all by yourself. This checklist will help you get all the items you need to cook like a boss, keep your leftovers properly, and, most importantly, host awesome parties.
Here is the room that you’ll probably spend the most time in. Here are some items that will turn your living room into the perfect place for relaxation and hosting friends and family.
The only thing you need in a bedroom is a bed, right? Well, not really. Here are all the other items you’ll need to make your bedroom a cozy place.
So, you made your first apartment checklist, prepared the apartment, and now you’re finally ready to move in. Here are a few things you should do upon moving in:
Don’t worry if you don’t get all the items at once. Moving in generally requires lots of trips to the store. However, to make things easier for you, you can plan those trips in advance. For example, you can start by buying the things that are a must. Then, you can do the shopping for each room separately. Don’t spare any money on essential items. They should be high-quality items since you will have them for years and, hopefully, you won’t have to buy them the next time you move.
You’ve finally found the home of your dreams and now you’re ready to sign the contract. But, there is one key step before making the purchase final – getting a home inspection. The freshly painted walls, hardwood floors, and granite countertops are simply superficial touches. What you don’t see is the dangerous wiring, ancient plumbing or foundation cracks. All these defects can be revealed if you hire a home inspector.
A home inspection is, basically, your chance to investigate a property thoroughly and reveal any serious flaws. People usually hire an expert that walks through the house and makes a report that lists the major components of the home, the condition they are in, and whether something requires maintenance once you move in.
If you sign a purchase agreement that has an inspection contingency, then you can walk away from the deal without any penalties if the home inspection reveals some serious flaws. You can also ask the seller to make all the necessary repairs, saving you money and hassle.
Even though you might hire a home inspector, it is wise to have your own home inspection checklist which can help you get the most out of the inspection report.
Finding a good home inspector might take some time. If you have a real estate agent, then it is very likely that he will recommend several inspectors. You should also do research on your own and ask for recommendations from your friends, colleagues, or family members. Keep in mind that licensing requirements for home inspectors vary from one state to another. For example, in some states, a home inspector must complete training, pass an exam, and demonstrate experience in order to get licensed. However, in other states, home inspectors are not required to be licensed at all. The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) provides an interactive map which lists home inspection license requirements in all states.
Once you find a home inspector, make sure to ask for a sample report before you hire him. Some reports might be 100 pages long while others only contain checkboxes. A longer report doesn’t necessarily have to be better. Make sure to check with the inspector what is included in the inspection. If there are certain concerns you want to have addressed, ensure that the inspector adds them to the list.
The scope of a home inspection depends on the inspector. However, there is one thing that is consistent – all inspectors focus on the physical components of a home. This certainly covers many things but doesn’t include absolutely everything.
A home inspector can only report what he can see, not what is inside the walls or underneath the furniture. However, if there are accessible crawl spaces in the home, the inspector will enter and check the foundation. In addition, the home should be vacant so that the inspector can inspect as much as possible.
A home inspection typically does not include:
There are some red flags you should look out for in every home inspection report. For example, a water leak can cause a lot of trouble to homeowners. However, locating the source of the leak can be a bit tricky. Make sure that this is included in the report and that the inspector checks the plumbing properly. The water should be turned on during the inspections and the faucets should run for a period of time so that leaks can appear.
Make sure that the home inspector pays attention to any structural issues. Even though a small crack seems innocent, it can cause larger problems. Inspectors should look for cracks between doors and windows, bulging walls, and sloping floors.
Even if your home has a concrete foundation, it doesn’t mean that it is immune to termites and other wood-destroying insects. They can crawl through small spaces and damage wooden structural supports and even porches and windows. It is recommended that your home inspector searches for these pests since they can cause thousands of dollars in damage.
Keep in mind that the home inspector typically only searches for problems and won’t estimate repair costs for you. If you have any questions, make sure to discuss them with your inspector and ensure that you are making a good investment.
Below we cover our 80+ point home inspection checklist. While we always recommend purchasing a home inspection prior to buying a home, you can use this list as a way to do your own DIY inspection while you’re house hunting and before making an offer.
Before checking the interior of your new home, don’t forget to check what the exterior is like.
Getting a home inspection is only one part of the home buying process. If you’re interested in learning more about buying a home we recommend reading our article about what to look for when buying a home. If you’re ready to buy a home we recommend checking your rate below to make sure you’re getting the best deal on your mortgage:
And if you’ve made your purchase, we definitely recommend downloading our new house checklist to make sure your home is move-in ready on day one!
Nothing feels quite as good as a squeaky clean house. Our house cleaning checklist has 144 tasks and we promise, if you or your housekeeper complete all of them, your home will feel brand new. This checklist goes room by room to help you clean your home, and we even included a bonus spring cleaning checklist at the end for those times when you want a deep cleaning.
Before we dive into the list, it’s worth calling out some of the supplies we think you’ll need to complete the job. We try to keep toxic chemicals out of our home, so we prefer natural & eco-friendly cleaning supplies.
Includes hallways, stairs, etc.
Every so often you’ll want to go above and beyond your normal cleaning routine. We think this is the perfect spring cleaning checklist. But that doesn’t mean you have to wait until April! In some cases we’ll go through these tasks every 3-6 months.
You are ready to find the right home: You have a budget. You know your affordability amount. You’re pre-approved for a loan. You’re working with a realtor, or you are comfortable working on your own. You know your timeline. You’re now a highly-qualified buyer, the only thing standing in your way is finding that perfect house. The great home search has begun!
Moving into a new home or apartment? With the whirlwind of things to do, it’s easy for some of the smaller items to fall off to the wayside. That’s why we created this moving checklist. There are a few basic things you can do early on in the process to make moving day a breeze. Below we’ve listed 12 important things to do when moving.
Whether you’re moving into your first apartment or you’re moving to a new house, the kitchen will be an important part of your new home. Our checklist of kitchen essentials has all of the tools, utensils, cookware, and gadgets you’ll need to whip up some delicious meals. Below we’ll cover the necessities you should have for your first kitchen as well as some nice-to-haves that will help expand your cooking repertoire.