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8 Things You Should Know Before Moving into Your First Home

Updated on October 2, 2019

Moving into your own place for the first time is a big deal, whether you’re leaving for college or you’re moving to your own apartment. There are lots of things to be taken care of, from finding a place to live, to furnishing it, cleaning it and moving your belongings in. It’s a huge step, with a lot of new responsibilities, like paying bills and keeping the place clean.

Things that you aren’t taught at school. And, some people aren’t even taught them at home. The first time I left home, for example, I could have done with some help. I’d lived with my parents up till then and nobody had taught me how to do the laundry, let alone how to pay my bills.

All the things that had be done for me up until then seemed so easy. In fact, I didn’t give very much thought to how the house was always clean or what went into getting food on the table every day. Suddenly, I found out that these things didn’t ‘just happen’ and that if I wanted to keep a clean home, eat healthy food and have my bills paid on time, while sticking to a budget, I’d need to put some effort and planning into it.

There are so many things I wish I had known before moving into my first home. Things that if I had known would have saved me a whole lot of money and time. So, here are a few things that might help you prepare if you’re planning on moving out on your own soon.

1. Nothing cleans itself and if you can’t afford a cleaner you’ll be doing it yourself

Cleaning is not rocket science, and it can even be fun (the best part is seeing your clean home at the end). But, it is repetitive and it takes up a big chunk of your free time. Once you are used to cleaning your home you will know what materials you like to use and what equipment you need, you’ll be able to plan your cleaning time, for example, which days you’ll do laundry, how often you’ll dust, when you’ll clean the toilets, etc. Remember that the more often you clean the easier and quicker it will be. Also, the quicker you clean up a stain or mess the easier it will be. Once you’re used to your new home and your cleaning schedule you’ll notice that doing chores like dusting, cleaning bathrooms, laundry, and so on, won't seem as overwhelming.

Clean your home often
Clean your home often

2. Do preventative maintenance in your home

Besides doing housecleaning, cooking and laundry there are a few other preventative maintenance tasks you should do in your home. Make a checklist and be sure that you do them at scheduled times over the year. You should have a list of different tasks for different months. Some examples of these things are – make sure your gutters are clear, clean your bathroom grout, clean out your air-conditioner and heaters before using them, make sure to clean large appliances, etc. this is preventive maintenance, something everyone should do in their homes occasionally, it might seem annoying and like a time sucker, but believe me, it's better to keep your home clean and make sure that everything is working well (just like you do with your car), than to find out that your heater is dead once the winter has started, or that your gutters are blocked once your roof starts leaking. Save yourself a lot of money and aggravation by taking your home preventative maintenance checklist seriously.

3. Do your due diligence before you move into a new home

Whether you’re buying or renting it’s important to do a thorough check of the home. You might love the place but there are some things you need to consider before taking the plunge and signing on the dotted line. Take the time to check out traffic in the area, will it make you late for work or school, is it noisy? Public transport – can you easily get where you need to go? Other things to consider are noise levels, and costs such as taxes, housing association fees, etc. Know what you are getting into. Even if it means that you don't take the house you thought was your dream house.

4. Speak to the neighbors

One good way to quickly learn about the house you're interested in is to speak to the neighbors before making a decision – ask if it’s a noisy neighborhood or if there are any other problems. They will be sure to tell you!

5. Check that there are no hidden flaws

Don’t forget to check the entire house before signing that contract - that means looking in cupboards and flushing the toilets. If there are people living there you should look under their clutter to check if there are any cracks or flaws that they are hiding. If you are renting you will be expected to pay for repairs to any damage, so make sure you don’t have to pay for someone else’s damage.

6. Plan your time

This may sound like strange advice, but there are some things you can do to streamline your chores, saving you time to do the things you enjoy. For example, always make a shopping list, this will help you save money because you'll only buy things you need that are on the list. Plan your list according to the different areas of the market, that way you'll get your shopping done faster.

7. Bills, bills, bills

Moving into your fist home is exciting, but then the bills start coming. Be prepared. Know more or less how much you’ll be paying for utilizes, fees, etc. and when all payments are due. It’s also good to find out how to pay each bill. Today most bills can be paid easily online with a credit card.


8. Budget

Every home needs a budget, whether you are a family or you live alone. You may have not learned much about budgeting from your parents, but today learning how to budget and tracking your budget is easier than ever. You can learn about it in books, online, on professional sites, on blogs and even videos. You can also use an app to keep you on track or buy yourself some budgeting software.

So many young adults are super excited to leave home and live in their own places for the first time but soon they find adult life really overwhelming. It doesn't have to be. With a little bit of groundwork you’ll know exactly what you're doing.

Do you have any other tips for someone who is moving into their first home?

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Carol Morris


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