Congratulations, you are now officially a homeowner! Although furnishing your home probably feels like the most immediate priority, we’ve gathered a list of essential tips to ensure you’ve checked all of the important boxes on your to-do list.
1. Check Your Homeowners Insurance Policy
Your new house is probably the most valuable asset you have right now. Secure your asset by making sure that you are adequately insured. Did you know that about two-thirds of homeowners are under-insured? Stay ahead of the game by checking what your home insurance policy covers.
2. Change The Locks
This may seem obvious, but changing the locks is overlooked by many new homeowners. Your home’s previous owners probably won’t change the locks before you move in, which means there could be people with copies of keys to your house!
3. Find Local, Reliable Contractors
If your new home needs some repairs or remodeling, ask your local real estate agent for contractor recommendations. You can also check out search tools like Home Advisor. But if you go that route, know that as soon as you enter your contact information, local contractors will be contacting you almost immediately. This can be a great thing – as long as you’re ready for that next step. Once you find a reliable contractor or team, it’s a good idea to build a professional relationship so you can easily reach out when future improvements/repairs arise.
4. Know Your Tax Benefits
Now that you are a homeowner, several costs will start piling up. However, there’s a silver lining: the tax deductions you can claim! Be sure to read up on itemized deductions vs. the standard deduction.
5. Start an Emergency Fund
As homeowners, it’s best to expect the unexpected. The old cliché “better safe than sorry” really is true in this case. We suggest starting a high yield savings account emergency fund. Open a personal savings account and send a portion of your paycheck monthly to that account. Don’t know how much you need to save? Check out this article on emergency funds.
6. Plant Trees
If you’re planning to live in your new home for a number of years, you’ll want to get a head start on planting trees, especially those that are medium to slow-growing like Japanese maples. If you’re looking to create a bit more privacy in your yard, check out this list of trees. Want to enjoy some fruit trees? Here are some ideas for fruit trees that do well in our zone 8b climate.
Additional Information: Our Local Resource Guide
If you just moved to our area, check out our Newcomer’s Guide to Kitsap County. In it, you’ll find videos, articles, and helpful links to learn about our communities, schools, daycares, recreation options, housing prices by city, and much more.