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17 New Home Ownership Tips for Millennials

03 Jan 2018

You’ve bought your first home! Congratulations! That’s no small feat! 

At Bradley Homes, we know what the current buyers market is like, and if you’re a millennial investing in a new home, we’re incredibly proud of your accomplishment, and we want to give you a warm welcome to the homeowners club!

A millennial couple taking a selfie with house keys

We also want to make sure that in addition to purchasing your new home, you’re set up to become a homeowner that is aware and prepared for what’s to come in your first year. That’s why we’ve outlined seventeen of the most important tips every first-time millennial homeowner should know: 

1. Buy Your Appliances Ahead of Time

Most new homes do not come with appliances. It is therefore up to you to do your research to find and purchase the oven, fridge, microwave, dishwasher, and laundry machines that fit your budget and needs. Look out for sales and ask the company your buying from about their ability to hold and deliver your product. 

2. Set Up Your Utilities 

When taking possession of a new home, you’ll need to put some time aside to activate and set up all of your utilities. That means your electric, water, phone, cable, and any other service you require. You should also do some research to determine when your home is scheduled for garbage and recycling pick-up. 

Close up of a utility meter

3. Buy The Necessities First 

When it comes to your first few nights and weeks in your new home, you’ll need to be prepared to buy the necessities - that means shampoo, conditioner, soap, dishwasher detergency, laundry detergent, a plunger, a broom, and any other ‘daily use’ products you may require. It’s also important that you remember to purchase shower curtains and blinds, as most new homes do not come fitted for privacy! 

4. Forward Your Mail 

If you’re moving from your parents home or a home you shared with friends, be sure to forward your mail to your new home address. You’ll also need to change your driver’s license, health care, and any other forms of ID or bills that need to be directed to your new address. 

5. Make Spare Keys 

Just in case; make some spare keys so that you and your roommate or partner has multiple ways to get into your home. It’s also a good idea to give an extra key to someone you trust – like a parent. If you’re a person that frequently loses keys, consider installing a keypad instead. 

millenial new home keys

6. Ask For Practical Gifts 

Leading up to your move, and in the first year, ask that your friends and family consider giving you practical gift for a home warming present, or for your birthday, or for Christmas. Holidays and occasions are perfect for asking for the things you need for your home, such as a kettle, vacuum, ironing board, or even a nice rug for your living room. 

7. Replace Your Air & Furnace Filter 

Homeowners should change the air filter in their home every six to twelve months. However, if you have a pet, you should clean your air filter every two months. While your new home will come with a new air filter, your house will become dusty as it settles – so be sure to not neglect your filter for too long. 

Be sure to also check your furnace filter to determine how often it should be replaced – this information will be labeled on the filter for your convince. 

8. Conserve Water & Energy 

While living with your parents, you may not have considered how leaving the lights on all night and having a long and hot shower effects the water, gas, and electricity bills. However, now that you’re a homeowner, you’ll begin to notice the cost of not being cautious about conservation. 

Did you know that water cost is based on demand? Check out Power Stream and Alectra Time-of-Use Pricing Schedules to determine the cheapest time to shower, run your dishwasher, and to do laundry. 

It is often most cost-effective to use water after 7 pm and before 7 am during weekdays, or anytime during the weekend.  

9. Consider Drafting Your Will

You may be thinking, “I’m too young to draft a will”. However, now that you’re a homeowner, with a large investment under your name, it’s time to make a plan that will ease the stress on your family should anything ever happen to you. Consult a lawyer to discuss whom your home and assets should go to and specify if there are any other items you wish to be disseminated in any specific way.

A close up of a will with a silver pen on top of it

10. Don’t Buy Everything All At Once 

We know that it’s very exciting to move into a new home, especially when it’s your first home, but be sure to use your head and don’t rush to buy all new furniture and décor items all at once. Instead, save the bulk of your money to ensure that you can cover any unexpected costs that might arise. Ask family and friends if they have any furniture you can purchase or use until you can invest in your own. Also, keep an eye out for sales and on apps like ‘Varage Sale’ or Facebook. 

11. Get To Know The Neighbours 

As a new homeowner, it’s always a smart move to get out and meet the neighbours. The friendlier you are with the people you live next to the more enjoyable your home and neighbourhood can be. You may meet some new friends and have someone to help you out if your car ever needs a boost or you run out of sugar. 

For tips on how to break-the-ice with your neighbours, check out our article, ‘ Getting To Know The Neighbours’

12. Store Your Important Documents

Find a safe place in your home to store your important documents. This could include copies of your birth certificate, passport, homeowner’s insurance papers, your will, etc. You’ll want to keep these items hidden yet accessible should you ever need them. You may want to invest in a fireproof home safe to ensure that your documents will be protected should an unfortunate situation occur.

Outside your safe, you’ll also want to keep track of appliance manuals, bills, and any other day-to-day documents that often get lost.  

13. Consider Your Security 

In addition to a home safe, where you can lock up important documents and jewelry, you may also want to consider improving your security with an in-home detection system or exterior lights that come on when someone passes your home. While your home is built to keep you safe, extra safety precautions can never hurt. 

A millennial woman setting her home security alarm

14. Know Where Your Main Water Shutoff Is 

In case of a plumbing emergency; know where your main water shutoff is and how to turn it off. Be sure to also shut off your exterior water valves in the winter – or else they may freeze and burst. This plumbing issue can be very costly and a huge inconvenience. 

For more maintenance tips for your home, check out our article, ’10 Ways to Maintain Your New Home In The Winter’

15. Budget For Seasonal Changes 

Your electricity, gas, and water bill can rise in the winter and summer months as the season demands more of your systems to heat and cool quickly. Save and be aware of these costs to prevent a shock, or find out if you can access billing options - so that you can budget all year round without the stress of price increases. 

16. Keep Track of Your Home Warranty 

Be sure to review and keep in mind the conditions of your home’s warranty. For example, if painting your wall within the first year voids your warranty to repair nail pops in your drywall, consider waiting a year to paint. The more you are aware, the more coverage and protection you have if anything goes wrong with your new home. Ask your builder or visit www.tarion.com for more details.  

17. Invest In A Tool Kit 

Whether you know how to use a drill or not, odds are you’re going to need one. When it comes to a new home, you’ll need to hang photos, mirrors, curtains, and lights – all which need some reinforcement help from handy tools. So, get yourself a toolkit and be prepared. You’ll thank us later!

Happy Housewarming!