Whether you’ve just closed on a home for the first time or consider yourself a seasoned mortgage-paying pro, you might be surprised by these ten common mistakes homeowners make. It seems we all live in the fast lane this day and time and I think we are all guilty of taking some short cuts that ended up costing either time and money to correct. Here’s a list of what we think are some of the most common blunders to avoid:
1. Forget to change your locks
This applies to new homeowners who, in the excitement of moving in, forget about swapping old locks for better security (who knows who has a copy of that old key?). Hire a locksmith to swing by and rekey while you work on other things.
2. Let your ceiling fans run in every room
Ceiling fans are effective only when you’re in the room, since the breeze cools your skin and makes you feel comfortable enough to change the thermostat. Turn them off and save the motor when you’re not there.
3. Confuse classic with trendy.
If you’re thinking, “bye bye, brick” and “hello, outlandish exterior color,” you might want to think again. Your resale value could rely on those original character traits, like a brick fireplace or mid century modern fixture.
4. Let problems pile up
A simple rule of thumb is: When something goes wrong, fix it immediately. Because little things become big things if left unattended, like a small leak that becomes a big burst.
5. Throw potato peels in your garbage disposal
Spoiler alert: This always ends in disaster. The starchy peels thicken into a paste that clogs up the disposal.
6. Dig holes without calling 811
Do you know where your gas and electrical lines are? Call 811 and someone will come for free to mark the underground lines for you before you dig.
7. Plant trees too close to the house
And while we’re on the subject of digging, be mindful of where you’re planting your trees. Even though they provide shade, closer isn’t better when there is a danger of branches falling on the house. Large trees should be at least 20 feet away.
8. Cutting corners on plumbing and electricity
There’s a Youtube video for it, and you did fix that garbage disposal earlier, so you should be able to do it yourself – right? If it comes to ambitious plumbing and electrical work, the answer is no, unless you’re down with water damage and, you know, electrocution. Hire a pro.
9. Water the grass at night
In Arizona especially, it’s tempting to think that the less sun, the more water gets to your grass. While this is partly true (water can evaporate before it hits the ground in the heat of midday), the best time is actually in the early morning when the air is cooler but there is some sun to evaporate water clinging to blades.