Bought a New Home? Here’s the 10 Things You Need to Know

a dachshund puppy in a moving box

At vipHomeLink, we’re all about celebrating our homes and the people within them. So in honor of New Homeowners Day (May 1st), we put together the top things new homeowners need to know when moving into their new abode.

#1 – Smoke alarms have expiration dates

If your “new” home is an older dwelling, you most likely have those smoke alarms with AA or 9-volt batteries. What you may not know is these alarms have a 10-year expiration date, which you can find on the back of the product. Of course, your batteries won’t last that long, so make sure you check your alarms every month. And don’t forget to make an evacuation plan and practice it with your family as well.

#2 – Your water main shut-off valve can save you a lot of money

A flooded basement is a terrible thing for your home to endure and can create thousands of dollars in damage. Coupled with mold and other water concerns – you’ll want to avoid water damage as much as possible. So find where your water main shut-off valve is, so if you have a leak or your hot water heater malfunctions, you can limit the damage as much as possible. Also, you might want to consider installing an automatic water shut-off valve, which can also help you save money on your homeowners insurance.

Prevent Water Damage with the Guardian

#3 – Tripping a breaker puts you in the dark

A power outage can happen at any time, especially if you’re the DIY type. Working with multiple power tools, a HVAC, and numerous lights can lead to tripping a circuit breaker, so one of the most things new homeowners need to know is where your breaker box. Not familiar with your breaker box? Check out how to tackle the 5 most common electrical hazards at home. If your breakers continue to trip on a regular basis, call a certified electrician to get to the root of the problem.

#4 – Roof maintenance is mandatory to keep your insurance

One of the most important things new homeowners need to know is that relationship between your roof and homeowners insurance is complicated. A hard and fast rule is – your insurance coverage does not cover aging, wear and tear, and lack of maintenance. Make sure to keep your roof healthy to keep your homeowners insurance up to date.

#5 – Mulch and firewood are the biggest culprits of bugs

Bugs – big, big bugs! – enter a home through a variety of means, but one of the most common is your firewood. That’s why if you have a wood-burning fireplace or stove, you should keep your firewood at least 20 feet away from your home, under a tarp, and in a cool, dry place. Also, lay mulch a few inches away from your foundation while you’re gardening. If it presses against your home, it becomes a welcome mat for your new creepy-crawly roommates. Learn more about gardening in the vipHome Podcast episode How to Landscape Like a Pro. Watch above!

#6 – Neighbors are good for more than just sugar

(Almost) no homeowners live on a deserted island, and being part of the community is imperative (and fun!), especially if you have pets. In case of an emergency, your neighbors should know where you keep your pets, so first responders can save them if need be. So go borrow a cup of sugar and perform other neighborly traditions.

#7 – Smart home tech registrations halt hackers

a round black Alexa device with a blue light around the top
Be smart about your smart tech.

As home hackers are now invading such innocuous items as your smart light bulbs, one of the most practical things new homeowners need to know is how to stay current with the smart tech programming. By registering your smart tech devices, you’ll receive security upgrades from the manufacturer to keep your home as safe as it can be. Complete these additional seven tips to stop digital invaders from taking over your home.

#8 – Ladders are more dangerous than you think

Whether cleaning out your gutters or hanging your new TV in your living room, you always need to be extra careful when working on a ladder. More than 164,000 visit the emergency room every year due to ladder incidents, and 300 death result from a ladder-related fall. So practice ladder-use safety, and of course, never walk underneath a ladder. You know why.

#9 – Anti-tip anchors save lives (really)

a flatscreen TV with a shattered screen on a hardwood floor
Secure your TVs.

Every 43 minutes, a child is injured from a tip-over incident involving a TV or piece of furniture. If you’re moving into a new home with child, install anti-tip brackets on all top-heavy furniture and TVs, which takes five minutes and can literally save your child’s life. Most furniture now comes with anti-tip brackets, but if you don’t see them, you can buy them here for less than $10 or at local hardware stores.

#10 – There’s no place like vipHomeLink

Two cell phones showing the vipHomeLink dashboard with the Home Fitness Index
Download the app!

Homeownership can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be. The vipHomeLink home management app can help. In less than four minutes, enjoy a new way to manage your home. Simply download the app, register your home, and enjoy a simplified homeownership experience.

Get it today!

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