Buying a home is a life goal for many people and homeownership comes with great rewards. Here are some important things homeowners should know that will help them save money, solve problems, and improve the value of their home over time.

Things Homeowners Should Know About HVAC Filters

Whether you heat your home with oil, gas, or forced air, your furnace will eventually need replacement filters. Depending on your system’s requirements, you’ll likely need to replace the air filter every 30 to 90 days. Refer to your HVAC manual for what types of filters you can use and when they should be replaced.

To help you remember when to change the filter, write the installation date on the filter each time you use one. Next, set a reminder in your smartphone that alerts you when it’s time to change filters.

Shut Off the Water to Your Home

Do you have plans to be away for an extended period of time, leaving your home empty? If so, turn off the water supply to your home before you leave.

An under-sink leak or a busted pipe in the wall can cause expensive damage to your home in just a few hours. And, it only takes a minute to turn the water off. When you buy a home, learn where the main water shut-off valve is located and remember to use it when you go out-of-town.

Label Your Breaker Box

Whether buying a new home or a previously owned, older home, double-check the labels in the home’s breaker box. The labels are a guide to which breaker corresponds with which electrical outlets in your home.

Enlist a friend to help you with checking the breaker box labels. First, turn off all the breakers before flipping them back on one at a time. Have your friend or family member make note of what lights, outlets, and appliances are on each breaker.

Measure Before Replacing Toilets

Toilets with elongated bowls have become more popular in home remodeling projects. The longer bowl extends about 2″ further than traditional toilets with a round bowl.

However, all bathrooms are different and many homeowners have realized too late that these larger versions don’t fit well in the space. Measure the area before replacing your toilet with an new, elongated model so that you don’t overcrowd your bathroom.

Things Homeowners Should Know: When to Choose Neutral Colors

You might be tempted to install burgundy countertops or a gold-colored bathtub when you’re remodeling, but how will you feel about that choice in a year or in five years?

Instead of making bold color choices for permanent fixtures in your home, opt for neutral colors. Neutral shades for your tub, tile, toilets, and countertops work well with more vibrant hues, so you can choose bold paint colors, towels, and other accessories to accent the space.

Whether you’ve owned a dozen homes or are buying your first, making good choices will help you save money on repairs and remodels, reduce costly mistakes, and increase the value of your home.

Jamie Schaefer Professional Home Inspector provides home inspections in the New York Metropolitan area. If you’re buying a home, contact us to request our services.