Buying your first home is a big step. You may have worked years or even decades to get to that point. Buying a home involves taking on a big responsibility. It goes beyond just making mortgage payments. There are many other things you must consider. If you ignore these factors or remain ignorant of them, it could end up hurting you and your family in the end. You need to become better educated on the entire process. Below are some of the things you may not know as a first-time homeowner.
1. The Location of Water and Gas Shut-Off Valves
Some of the things you have to learn regarding the technical aspects of your home’s different systems. While a home is thought of as a shelter, many of its systems can be dangerous if you don’t maintain them or know how to use them properly. For one, you should know exactly where the water and gas shut-off valves are located inside your home so you can use them during an emergency.
If you smell gas, you either need to shut off the gas immediately or evacuate the home entirely. Accidents involving natural gas caused 17 deaths in the US in 2016. A pipe could also burst at some point. You need to be able to activate the water shut-off valve to stop your home from being flooded.
2. You Should Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
You should also educate yourself on the home buying process well before you ever seriously look at a home to buy. One thing you may be unaware of is the fact you can actually get pre-approved for a mortgage before you decide on which home you want.
Doing so can remove a lot of the mystery and frustration from the process by letting you know exactly how much home you can afford beforehand. You don’t want to get denied for a loan after you have already decided on a home. If you live in the Rayleigh area, work with a mortgage broker Rayleigh company to find the right mortgage for you. And if you find yourself somewhere in California, you can check lbcmortgage.com/fha-
3. You Should Have a Home Inspected by a Third Party Before You Buy
One important part of the home buying process that many novices are ignorant of is the fact you should have the home inspected by a third party before you agree to buy. There can be very important information in that inspection report you need to be aware of. As a layperson, you won’t be able to spot every serious issue with the home even if you think you looked over everything thoroughly.
For example, you may be unaware that the electrical system was installed poorly. That could prove to be dangerous for your family. Knowing such information beforehand will allow you to negotiate with the seller to have any serious issues fixed before you agree to a contract.
4. You Should Change the Locks
Another thing you should do as a new homebuyer is to change your new house’s locks. This is, of course, a security issue. It’s probably impossible to know exactly who has the keys to your new home. The previous owners, for example, may have given keys to friends or other parties.
Even if your house is new and had no previous residents, you may still not know who has an extra key. This could put you at risk of suffering a burglary or home invasion. Changing the locks or switching to a smart home security system should be one of the first things you do as a new homeowner.
5. You Should Inspect the Home’s Carbon Monoxide Detectors and Fire Alarms
Another safety precaution you must take is to inspect the carbon monoxide detectors and fire alarms installed throughout your new home. Doing so is vitally important for protecting your family. The batteries to fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors must be switched out on a routine basis. These devices can also cease functioning altogether after a specified period of years. If they are not installed in the proper locations, buy new ones, and install them yourself.
Carbon monoxide detectors, for example, must be installed outside each bedroom. Deadly carbon monoxide gas cannot be smelled or seen. A carbon monoxide detector is one of the only ways to detect a leak.
Deciding you want to buy a house is a huge step to take. You should be aware of the fact that owning a home is a huge responsibility. Before you embark on this journey, you should educate yourself on the home buying process and the responsibilities of being a homeowner. Doing so will help you avoid many of the unintended consequences of being ignorant of the different aspects of both. If you do not, your family could be harmed both financially and physically.
Salman Zafar is an ecopreneur, consultant, advisor, speaker and journalist with expertise in waste management, waste-to-energy, renewable energy, environment protection, conservation and sustainable development. His geographical areas of focus include Asia, Middle East, Africa and Europe. Salman is the Founder of EcoMENA, a popular voluntary organization based in Qatar. He is also the Founder and CEO of BioEnergy Consult, a reputed consulting firm active in biomass, waste-to-energy and waste management segments.
Salman is a professional environmental writer with more than 350 popular articles to his credit. He is proactively engaged in creating mass environmental awareness in different parts of the world.
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