When you buy a home you become responsible for maintaining the property. If you lived in an apartment previously, you could call your landlord or property manager to handle any repairs. In your own home, upkeep is one of your jobs. When purchasing a house, here are a few things that homeowners need to know.

1. Homeowners Need to Know the Location of the Main Water Shut-Off

This could potentially save you thousands of dollars in repairs if your water heater leaks or a pipe bursts. Turn the water off before you go on vacation, too. That way if something goes wrong while you’re away, you won’t return to a flooded house.

2. Pay Attention to the Water Heater

A leak coming from the water heater’s tank can eventually cause flooding and extensive damage. If your tank’s leaking, it’s time to replace the water heater.

3. Repair a Running Toilet

A running toilet isn’t just bothersome, it also increases your water bill. Fixing a running toilet is an easy repair that typically isn’t too expensive or difficult to DIY.

4. Label Your Electrical Panel

When you buy a house, the labels inside the electrical panels may not be accurate. Check your circuit panel and label each breaker correctly. This will help you make sure the power is off to the right area before beginning any electrical work.

5. Homeowners Need to Know How to Change Furnace Filters

Changing your HVAC filters as recommended by the manufacturer improves indoor air quality, extends the lifespan of your furnace, and helps you avoid expensive repairs. In most homes, the furnace filter should be changed monthly.

6. Program Your Thermostat Correctly

This may sound like a no-brainer, but learn how to program your thermostat. If you have a new one, read the user’s manual, or ask your heating and cooling company for instructions. Using a programmable thermostat correctly will help keep your home comfortable in all seasons while saving money on utility bills.

7. Homeowners Need to Know their Property Lines

In some communities, iron stakes at the corners mark property lines. You might need to rent a metal detector to find yours. Otherwise, the city may be able to help you find your boundaries. Property lines are important to understand so you don’t accidentally build a fence or let your garden space cross into your neighbor’s yard.

8. Keep Gutters Free Of Debris

Leaves and twigs build up in the gutters and prevent them from draining properly. Clogged gutters can cause roof damage, mold growth, and foundation damage, and are also a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

9. As a Homeowner, You Should Know How to Find Wall Studs

To safely hang mirrors, shelves, and pictures, you’ll need to know how to locate the studs in the walls. It’s a good idea to know how to install wall anchors, too, in case you want to hang something heavier where there’s no stud.

10. Clean Your Refrigerator Coils

You’ll prolong the life of your fridge by keeping the coils free of dust and pet hair. This is not a difficult task to perform, it’s just easily forgotten. Wipe the coils or use a vacuum attachment to clean them a few times a year.

11. Forget the Drain Cleaner

When a sink or tub is clogged, reaching for a bottle of drain cleaner sounds like an easy fix. However, drain cleaners are harsh on your plumbing pipes. A better plan is to have a sink plunger and drain snake on hand and know how to use them.

12. Homeowners Need to Know Who to Call for Help

Don’t wait until an emergency to find a reliable contractor or handyman to fix things around the house. Ask for references from your family and friends and keep a list in your address book. One of the most important things homeowners need to know is who to call for help.

Precision Home Inspectors provides inspection services to Hampton Roads. Contact us to schedule an appointment.