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10 Things All New Homeowners in California Should Know
When you own a home there are just some things you should know. Whether it’s how to fix a key appliance, a little trick to reduce your bills, or how to make sure your home retains its value, these tricks are gained through years of experience owning a home.
We’ve compiled some key new homeowners tips that will help you live like a 20 year home owning veteran. Read our homeowner tips below!
#1 You should not be paying an arm and a leg for energy
Let’s face it — everyone needs to power their home. Modern society needs electricity to run. With that said, it doesn’t need the power company to run, does it!?
Solar panels are a must if you’re a California homeowner. Not only does it lessen your reliance on fossil fuels, it puts money back into your pocket, too.
It’s never been easier to own solar panels, either! With financing available, anyone can acquire solar panels for their home. Just make sure to buy and not lease your solar panels. While leasing may seem attractive, since you aren’t the owner you won’t receive many of the benefits you’re entitled to.
Look at the difference in cost!
Cost of leasing per kwh: $.18/kwh (plus the lease increases 3% every year)
Cost of buying per kwh: $.06/kwh (sometimes less!)
#2 You don’t need AC to cool your home
Contrary to popular belief, air conditioning is not the only way to cool down your home. One of our favorite ways is through the use of a whole house fan.
These fans blow out the hot stuffy air in your home to allow room for the fresh, cool air. These fans also help your air conditioner run more efficiently by creating room for the cool air.
The result is a home that costs less to achieve the temperature you want!
#3 Don’t let a leaking water heater stay leaking
When it rains, it pours. This is true outside with weather, but also inside with your water heater. While drain valves do leak from time to time and can be easily replaced, a leak in the tanks spells trouble.
Tanks are generally comprised of glass-lined steel tanks. When glass cracks, the steel starts to rust and puddles will appear on your basement floor. This can cause the crack to grow and the problem to get worse and worse.
When you see a leak, call a water heater specialist ASAP to prevent a serious flooding situation.
#4 Most crime happens during the day
While many people get freaked out by the thought of intruders during the night, most crime actually happens while your home is empty during the day. We’ve even run into new homeowners in California that leave their doors and windows unlocked or open while at work!
Make sure to always lock your doors and windows when you leave your home. No exceptions.
#5 Replace furnace filters
It can be hard to remember to replace your furnace filter regularly. It’s just not a thing many of us think about. But not replacing your furnace filter can lead to poor air quality, higher energy bills, and a shorter lifespan for your HVAC system.
One of our favorite new homeowner tips is pre-buying a couple of years supply of furnace filters. This will make it easy to just grab and go when they need to be replaced. This cadence can range from every month to every year depending on the size of the filter.
#6 Find out where your main water valve is (and shut it off when you go on holiday)
It’s every homeowner’s worst nightmare — you get home from a long day at work to a flooded home.
Knowing where the water main valve is in your home will prevent major damage as you’ll be able to turn it off the second you notice the issue. Not knowing will lead to you searching for the valve while gallons of water surges out into your home, destroying your belongings and decimating your home’s value.
It’s also a good idea to know where it is so you can turn off the water prior to heading out on vacation. This will ensure that if something goes horribly wrong while you’re gone the damage will be limited.
#7 You need to know where your property lines are
When you own a piece of property, you should know where it begins and where it ends. Finding your property line will help you in any property disputes and will be helpful when you want to build a fence, plant trees, or work on projects on the border of your property.
The best way to find out where it lies is to request a plot plan from city hall. Most cities at some point used iron stakes to mark your property, and these can usually still be found either sticking up or with a metal detector.
#8 Go with a timeless design
The last thing you want to do is to complete an interior design makeover just to remodel again a couple of years later. We see this all the time, and it can be remedied by only choosing timeless design styles.
While every home needs some personality, focusing on designs you know you’ll actually like long term should be the focus.
#9 Always measure when buying new appliances or fixtures
There is no worse feeling than saving up to buy a new fixture or appliance that you think will look perfect, just to install and realize it’s too big or small to be the perfect fit for your home.
Before going shopping and making a final purchase on these items, make sure to get measurements for your current appliance or fixture AND the space it’ll be going.
#10 Use a programmable thermostat
Nothing is better than a perfectly dialed-in home temperature. There is no better way to do this than with a programmable thermostat.
Popular models, including those from Google’s Nest, allow you to set temperatures easily for different times of the day and year. You can also control from their app no matter where you are. This not only creates a more comfortable home, but a more energy efficient one, too.
Take action! All new homeowners should switch to solar panel energy ASAP
Of all these new homeowner tips, switching to solar panels and getting your household off the grid is the most important! This switch will save you money and lessen your reliance on utility companies. It’s also really good for the environment and increases your home’s value. What’s there to lose?