Congratulations, you’ve taken a major step and moved into your new home. You found a mortgage lender, secured a favorable interest rate, aced mortgage 101, and signed on the dotted line to become a homeowner.
Here are five ways that new homeowners can maximize their budgets and save money long-term.
1. Invest in energy-efficient appliances.
Unless your home came with an appliance package, chances are you will need to do some shopping for a refrigerator, stove, dryer, and other big-ticket items. There may be some initial sticker shock as energy-efficient appliances are more expensive upfront than standard models. However, these appliances end up saving you more over time.
Operating costs are much lower on these products and they also last longer. This principle not only applies to large home appliances but smaller items as well. To put it into perspective, Energy Star-certified light bulbs last 15 times longer than standard varieties and use up to 90% less energy.
A note on appliance repair
Another valuable tip for first-time homeowners is to still always expect the unexpected when it comes to appliances. It’s important to keep a good appliance repair company on speed dial because waiting to get things fixed can sometimes make the underlying issue worse.
Just make sure to use a reputable company that has experience working with a wide range of brands, like Maytag, Whirlpool, Frigidaire, and other major brands of appliances. Also, make sure you’re booking a certified repairman.
Let’s say you were looking for appliance repair in Bend Oregon after your washing machine went out. You would want to research the company’s site specifically for washer repair and try to see if the brand is featured. Then, simply confirm that techs are available in your service area. Finding a reliable repair company in your area should be on the top of your to-do list as a new homeowner.
2. Purchase high-quality household products.
When considering the frequency that you may use cookware, bakeware, and other kitchen accessories, you should always buy high-quality items. The trick is to buy the top brands but at discounted rates or with a coupon. An online store like outletsale.com, for example, will have popular names like Berlinger Haus and Blaumann at budget-friendly price points.
You have to consider that these products have increased durability, plus they often come with a warranty. Paying a little more upfront will pay in dividends down the road when your items last for years.
3. Use an automated thermostat.
One of the best money-saving investments a new homeowner can make is a programmable thermostat. These allow you automatically select and schedule temperature changes in your home.
A good rule of thumb is to program your thermostat to turn off while no one is home, then back on to your preferred temperature upon arrival. With automatic thermostats like Nest, you can control everything from a mobile app on your phone.
Check with your utility provider to see if there are any discounts on these devices. Oftentimes, they may offer some sort of discount or rebate.
4. Make sure your home has the proper insulation.
Making sure that your home is properly insulated should be considered homebuyers 101. No matter how energy-efficient your appliances or how often you change the temperature of your thermostat, poor insulation will have a negative effect on those benefits.
A well-insulated home is key to lowering those AC and heat bills, mitigating noise, and even protecting your health. Certain materials can create an environment that prevents the growth of molds and mildews. New homeowners can look into having an overall energy audit that will address insulation and other cost-saving home improvements.
5. Check for leaks around the house—both air and water.
If you notice a draft coming from your windows or doors, a quick fix is to caulk them. Air leaks can also be an issue behind your walls, in which case a thermal detector can be used. You can also just go ahead and purchase an insulating foam sealant.
Water leaks can range in difficulty when it comes to repairs, but make sure to either fix it yourself or hire a professional expeditiously. Otherwise, your money is literally going down the drain!