Happy New Year! It’s that time of year when people make resolutions, goals, and life changes in an effort to better themselves. Why not take the opportunity to better your home and yourself as a homeowner as well? Here are some perfect new year’s resolutions any homeowner can make for 2019. Whether you choose to concentrate on one or two points or try to tackle the whole list, doing any of these will help you feel like an even better homeowner this year.
Make a realistic cleaning plan.
If one of your resolutions is to be better at keeping house, it’s a good idea to sit down with a pen and paper and make a realistic plan that will help you do so. Keeping things neat and clean can be a difficult job, especially if you’ve got a whole family to pick up after. Create a plan that divides up chores among your household, making one person responsible for a certain task on certain days or weeks. If it’s just you, designate a day for each chore. Monday might be laundry day, Tuesday could be the day you scrub down the bathrooms, and so forth.
Learn how to maintain something on your own.
Resolve to learn how to do maintenance and cleaning of a major part of your home. Maybe you’d like to learn more about your HVAC system. Perhaps you’d like to educate yourself on preventive maintenance on your home’s appliances. Whatever it is you’re hoping to learn about, there’s a wealth of information out there for you. Look for educational videos on YouTube, check out books from the library, ask a professional to help you out, or just scour the internet for great informational sources.
Go energy efficient.
There are so many benefits to going green and making your home more energy efficient. Of course there’s the question of doing your part to clean up our environment, but there are also immediate benefits to you. For example, investing in Energy Star appliances, windows, and doors can help you save on energy bills each month. Look into smart home features that help with energy efficiency as well, such as smart thermostats and lights that turn themselves off or down when no one’s home.
Squeeze in extra mortgage payments.
This is one of the best things homeowners can do for themselves. If you your budget supports it, add a little more money to your mortgage payment each month to pay down your principal. If you can’t manage to pay extra every month, just put a little bit toward your principal whenever you find yourself with extra cash. This will help you build equity faster, and your future self will be glad you did it.
Spruce up your landscaping.
Make this year the year you finally bump up your curb appeal. Go all out and turn your back yard into an entertainer’s paradise, or just do something as simple as edging the driveway and walkways with some pretty brick. Make sure the trees, bushes, and plants are nice and tidy, flowerbeds are weed-free, and grass is neatly trimmed at all times. If you feel so inclined, give your porch and front door a fresh coat of paint. It’ll do wonders!
Do a safety audit.
Make sure all of your home’s safety features are in good working order. Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, alarms, emergency supplies, first aid kits, and fire extinguishers. If you find yourself lacking any of these, now’s the perfect time to go out and get them. It’s also a good idea to check with your home insurance agent to see if there are any other safety items you might be lacking. Did you put in a pool, for instance? Your insurance policy might require that it be fenced off to prevent any accidents.
Start a no-shoes policy.
This is a small detail that can really help out when it comes to cleaning and preventing damage to floors. Think about all the places you walk every day wearing shoes. Sure, you pick up things you can see like dirt, sand, and leaves; but you can also track in germs and general grime from animal waste and other sources you might not be aware of. Bare or socked feet are also easier on floors than shoes are, which means less wear and an extended life for your flooring of choice.
Start an emergency fund.
Open up a new savings account specifically for a home emergency fund. It’s never a good feeling when you have shallow pockets and a need for expensive emergency repairs. Homeowners insurance won’t always cover everything. You could find yourself stuck with a major bill after a natural disaster or other unforeseen problem. But if you can put a little extra cash into an emergency fund each month, you’ll have a safety net to fall back on just in case.
Review your insurance policy.
Speaking of homeowner’s insurance, now is also a great time to sit down with your insurance agent and review your policy. You might find that you need more coverage, or you might find something obsolete and unnecessary. Things change, and so should your insurance policy.
Refinance your home loan.
It’s always worth checking to see if you can get a lower rate or better terms on your mortgage. Make an appointment with your favorite lender or bank to check up on your home loan and see if there’s anything better out there for you.