new home owner tips

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Are you planning on moving into a new home sometime in the near future? Before you do, you might need to prepare to spend a lot of money.

We’re not just talking about what you’re going to spend on your new home, either. We’re also talking about everything you’ll buy during your first year in the house.

According to a 2017 study conducted by the National Association of Home Builders, most homeowners spend more than $10,000 on houses in the year after moving into them. That includes everything from moving costs to new furniture.

If you want to avoid shelling out that kind of money when you’re moving into a new home, there are some simple ways to do it. Here are 10 must-try tips that’ll help you come in well below the $10,000 mark.

1. Find Free Cardboard Boxes for Moving

You can start saving yourself some money before moving into a new home if you want. To do it, try to find places that will provide you with free cardboard boxes for moving purposes.

There are a number of different establishments that always have extra cardboard boxes lying around. Many of them are more than happy to allow customers to take them off their hands. Start your search by visiting:

  • Liquor stores
  • Bars
  • Restaurants
  • Bookstores
  • Grocery stores

You might not realize it, but buying cardboard boxes for moving can cost you a lot of money if you’re not careful. And why pay astronomical prices for them when you can scoop up a bunch of them from a local store for free instead?

2. Move Your Stuff Yourself

Studies have shown that people usually pay moving companies about $1,200 on average for moving services for three-bedroom homes. And that price could skyrocket if you’re moving into or out of a home that’s larger than that.

There are some items that you might want to consider hiring moving companies to help with. For example, if you have a piano, appliances like refrigerators and washer/dryers, or heavy furniture, those are the kinds of things you can leave to a moving company.

But generally speaking, you should be able to move most of your clothes, books, kitchenware, and more on your own. It’ll be well worth it when your moving bill comes in way under $1,200.

3. Replace Your Locks

The people who lived in the home that you just bought may have been lovely people. You might not ever imagine them trying to break back into their old home using a key that they never turned in.

But who knows who else may have had a key to the house? Neighbors, coworkers, house-keepers and long-lost relatives of your home’s former owners may have been given keys to it at some point in time.

Rather than risk having someone attempt to use an old key to access your house, you should replace your locks as soon as you move in. There will obviously be an expense that comes along with the new locks, but they could save you from enduring a huge headache later if someone ever decides to break into your home.

4. Clean Carpets Rather Than Replacing Them

On average, homeowners spend about $1,600 replacing the carpeting in their homes when they move in. But depending on what kind of carpeting you choose, it could cost more than that. Some people pay $2,500 or more for new carpets.

If the home you’re moving into already has carpets that are in decent shape, try cleaning them rather than replacing them. You can rent a steam cleaner from your local hardware store for about $25 per day and take care of carpet cleaning on your own.

The carpets in your new home could look new once you’re done with them. You’ll be able to get plenty of life out of them and save yourself some money at the same time.

5. Avoid Buying New Furniture at First

One of the most exciting parts of moving into a new house is picking out a bunch of new furniture for it. From a new couch to new beds to a new dining room table, you can outfit your new home in new everything when it comes to furniture.

The problem, of course, is that—unless you have cash, you’re going to rack up thousands and thousands of dollars worth of debt when you do this. And since you haven’t even spent any time in your new home yet, there’s a decent chance the furniture might not even function the way you want it to when you buy it.

Instead of buying all new furniture from the start, move into your home with your old furniture or invest in some cheap used furniture to see what you really need for your new home. Then, start buying new furniture slowly rather than racking up a bunch of debt all at once.

6. Invest in a Smart Thermostat

Does your new home still rely on an old thermostat to control your HVAC system? Change that immediately by putting a smart thermostat in its place.

Much like the new locks we mentioned earlier, a new thermostat is going to set you back a little bit of money. But it’ll be a great investment because it’ll keep your energy costs as low as they can be by learning your daily habits and adjusting the temperature accordingly, and by allowing you to control your home’s temperature from anywhere.

7. Inspect the Insulation in Your Attic

The insulation in your new home’s attic is going to be one of the last things on your mind when you move in. Unless you plan to use the attic for storage, it might be months before you even think to climb up in it.

You’ll be making a huge mistake if you don’t pay any mind to your attic space, though. It could be the key to experiencing big savings during your first year in your new home.

If your attic doesn’t have the proper amount of insulation in it, you’re going to end up paying more than you should have to in order to heat and cool your home. By simply adding a little insulation to the mix, you can stop this from happening.

Pro Tip: If you have the home inspected prior to purchasing, ask the inspector for input on the quality of the insulation in the attic – she/he will be taking a peek up there anyway!

8. Perform HVAC Maintenance

If you haven’t figured this out by now, heating and cooling your home is going to be one of the biggest expenses associated with it. You’re going to pay thousands of dollars every year to run your furnace and air conditioner.

Therefore, you should make sure your HVAC system is properly maintained at all times. You can maintain it by:

  • Changing your air filters about once every three months
  • Cleaning the coils in your furnace and AC
  • Clearing debris away from your AC
  • Cleaning the blower in your furnace
  • Making sure you don’t have any visible gaps in your ductwork

By maintaining your new home’s HVAC system, you can do more than just save on your energy bills. You can also ensure that you’ll get as much life as possible out of your furnace and air conditioner.

9. Install LED Light Bulbs

Does the home that you moved into have incandescent, fluorescent, or halogen light bulbs throughout it? Don’t allow them to linger around for long.

LED light bulbs are slightly more expensive than these other options. But they’re also way better and will provide you with so many benefits. Some of those benefits include:

  • They use roughly 50 percent less electricity than their counterparts
  • They can last 30 to 50 times longer than other bulbs
  • They don’t get hot when they turn on
  • They’re more durable than other light bulbs
  • They can be used with intelligent controls to cut down on how long they’re on

LED light bulbs will also make your new home look better than it does now. You’ll appreciate the bright light that they give off when they’re on.

10. Schedule Home Improvement Projects

When you’re first moving into a new home, it’s easy to get carried away and start a bunch of home improvement projects at once.

First, you want to remodel the ugly guest bathroom. Then, you want to tear down the wall between the kitchen and the dining room. Next, you want to put in brand-new hardwood floors. And then…

Well, you get the point! Within just a few months, you will have easily exceeded the $10,000 threshold.

Instead of rushing right into a bunch of projects, slow down and take your time. Enjoy your new home for what it is at first and schedule home improvement projects to take place over the course of the next few years.

By doing this, you’ll give yourself a chance to create budgets for your home improvement projects. It’ll save you money and help you avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Moving Into a New Home Shouldn’t Cost a Fortune

As you can see, moving into a new home can be costly. But you can also find ways to cut your costs if you’re willing to be strategic when making your move.

You can also cut them by getting a great mortgage rate from the beginning. We can serve as your mortgage broker and help you find a home loan that fits well within your budget.

Contact the Lindley Team today to start the process of applying for and obtaining a mortgage for a new home.