Buying your first home is exciting! You have dreamed about owning your own place for years and the time has finally come. There are lots of things to consider and many things to organize so we’ve put together some tips and tricks to help. This is a guide to decorating, furnishing and maintaining your first home.
Furnishing your home is one of the most exciting elements of the process. Everyone has differing tastes so having a space you can put your stamp on can be lots of fun. Before you move in, it is a wise idea to draw a plan of each room on graph paper alongside its dimensions. This will make it easier to establish which furniture will fit into which rooms. Make sure to account for window and door locations. Plan as much as you can in advance and then you can go shopping!
When buying larger items like beds and lounge furniture, try and buy the best quality you can afford. An American made sofa, for example, will give you the peace of mind that you are buying a quality product which will stand the test of time. You will be sleeping in your bed every night so you want to buy something which will not only be comfortable but will last.
If your budget doesn’t allow you to buy everything at once then there are lots of alternative options. Ask family and friends if they have any items that they no longer need. There are several online platforms used for selling or giving away furniture that’s no longer wanted or needed. If you don’t particularly like how an item looks, upcycling is very popular and pretty easy these days. With some chalk paint, varnish and a bit of time, you can transform an old dresser or a scratched coffee table into a unique statement piece that you will love. Using preloved goods also allows you time to save for the items you desperately want to buy.
Decorating is another way to make a property feel like yours very quickly. Freshly painted walls or some new wallpaper can transform a room. Consider color palettes carefully based on the mood and look you are going for. Changing the flooring makes a difference also. Carpeting can make a room feel warmer whilst wooden floors can make a room look far bigger.
Accessories are a great way to add a personal touch. Adding colorful cushions to a sofa or putting some bright wall art in a neutral-colored bedroom can make a real impact.
You may not be used to paying bills regularly so it is very important to have a means to track your income versus your outgoings. Create a household budget and try to stick to it as much as possible. As well as your usual expenses, you will now need to account for things like mortgage, insurance and utility bills. It’s also a good idea to transfer a set amount of money each month into a separate account for incidentals. If your sink starts leaking or your television set breaks, it is good to know you have funds available if needed.
All homeowners need insurance and most mortgage providers will ask for evidence of this before lending. Shop around for the best deals. You want to make sure that your building, as well as your contents, are protected should anything happen to them. Most insurers will also offer accidental damage cover for a small increased premium.
Keeping utility bills to a minimum is something we should all try and do more of. Reducing your energy consumption not only helps the environment but can help our pockets too. Switch off lights if rooms aren’t occupied. Unplug electrical appliances that aren’t being used. Don’t have your heating on constantly if it isn’t cold. Small changes can make a big difference.
Being a homeowner comes with responsibilities. You have invested a lot of money in your home, so you must take care of that investment. It’s a good idea to have certain things checked regularly. Once a year, have your boiler serviced. They can be expense to replace so a regular service should lengthen its life span and will ensure you don’t end up without heating or hot water. Similarly, it’s a good idea to have your roof checked once or twice a year. You don’t want any water penetration to the structure of your home. In terms of things you can do yourself, check things like sealants around baths and shower areas. If left unattended they can, over time, cause leaks and lead to rotting floorboards. Try and maintain your property as much as possible. It should help maintain its value.
Maintaining your garden is something else that will need to be done from time to time. Mowing the lawn or weeding can be quite therapeutic. If it is not something you are particularly eager to do yourself however then you can always look into employing a gardener.
Another element of maintaining your property is cleaning it. Whilst it is not something that most people particularly enjoy, having a clean and tidy home can be very rewarding. It can, however, prove difficult juggling work and a social life as well as ensuring your home is up to scratch. There are lots of printable cleaning routines available online which can help. These usually break tasks up into smaller sections making them more manageable. Doing a few things every day is far easier than doing 20 in one day.
Once you have moved in and are somewhat settled, it’s a great idea to invite family and friends over to see your new place. Maybe you could have your parents around for dinner cooked by you, or invite friends for drinks, snacks and to watch the game.
Buying your first home can be daunting but it is also pretty amazing and has lots of added benefits!