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Congratulations on your new home! You survived the paperwork. You got all your belongings moved in and everything unpacked. You even got a lawnmower, some power tools and a massive tool chest. Now what?

Many new homeowners don’t even think about home maintenance until something breaks, but that’s not the best way to take care of your new home. Here are some tips to help you protect your investment and keep your property in good shape for years to come:

Set a Maintenance Schedule
A good place to start is by following a home maintenance schedule. Just as your car needs to have an oil change and checkup regularly, your home and yard will need some regular maintenance, as well.

If you bought new appliances, make sure you send in your warranties and keep all of the owner’s manuals. If you bought an older home, the previous owners may have left those documents in a kitchen drawer for you to reference. Some of these appliances will have recommendations for repairs and maintenance.

You’ll need to mow your lawn, trim your bushes and perhaps even top your trees from time to time. For pest control, you may need to spray or have ground treatment performed a few times per year. Don’t be afraid to do some research and speak with professionals about maintenance specific to your location.

Check All Your Systems
It’s important to get your electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems checked annually to keep them in good shape. Some of these tasks can be done yourself; for instance, you might need to clean your air filters, remove debris from the vents and flush out your water heater.

Many home repair companies will offer a free inspection at various times of the year or have a maintenance program, so be on the lookout for those. Calling some local companies and asking if they offer free inspections or have any special pricing is also a good option. Check customer reviews online when searching for a new company. Always go with one that is experienced, licensed, bonded and insured.

Follow a Cleaning Schedule
Home maintenance often focuses on repair work, but keeping your home clean can be just as important and add a lot more enjoyment to the experience of homeownership. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to housecleaning, but it’s a good idea to perform some cleaning tasks at least once per week, such as mopping the floors, vacuuming, spraying down the shower and faucets, and dusting the shelves.

Deep cleaning every month or so is also a good idea. This could mean moving furniture around, pulling out the washer and dryer to clean behind them, and clearing out the garage. You might think some of those tasks are unnecessary at those short intervals, but another advantage of moving things around is that it also gives you a chance to inspect for pest problems, water damage and other issues that can quickly escalate into expensive repairs.

Being a homeowner is rewarding on many levels, but homeownership comes with a great deal of responsibility. As long as you put in some effort on a regular basis, you should have no problem keeping your home in good repair.

Source: Dixie Somers/RISMedia’s Housecall

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