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Home Improvement Roadmap for First-Time Homebuyers

Originally published on Redfin

September 16, 2020 
by  with contribution by HardHat Diplomat

House renovation

Many first-time homebuyers don’t anticipate one of the most rewarding aspects of owning a home. Making improvements, customizing, and tweaking every little detail until it perfectly reflects the vision in your head is an extremely gratifying and engaging process, albeit a slightly overwhelming one. The ideas will start flooding in instantly, and choosing which to prioritize can be stressful. That’s why Redfin reached out to a select group of home improvement experts from New York to Portland. Read on and learn how to create your home improvement roadmap today.

Install energy-saving features ASAP

Install LED bulbs, window shades, and other energy-saving features. Now that you own a home, you have to pay the utilities. On day 1, I recommend you do whatever you can to reduce those costs. Especially during the move-in period, you will be using more energy as people are constantly going in and out of your home helping you get moved in. – Settle Rite Handyman Services



Understand your home’s major systems

Get to know your house and its major systems right away. Identify all safety mechanisms and “shutoffs.” 

Do you know where the main water shut off valve is located? Could you access it in an emergency? What do you do if there is a gas leak? Are the circuit breakers in the panel box labeled? Do you have the appropriate placement of smoke detectors? 

While not the sexiest aspect of home improvement, proper systems maintenance keeps you and your investment safe. – HardHat Diplomat

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Tune-up your A/C

New home buyers will often have a false sense of security when stepping into their new home, especially after a great inspection.  When it comes to HVAC, however, many unaddressed maintenance needs can be masked.  Put one of the most put-off maintenance tasks first when you occupy the home.  Request an A/C tune-up and vent cleaning. – HOMEE

Kitchen remodeling coaching service

Take advantage of epoxy’s multiple uses

Epoxy resin may be used for a wide variety of household repairs, maintenance and restoration to bond, fill and coat many surfaces including hardware, ceramics and porcelain, plastics, fiberglass, metal and wood. Use epoxy resin to coat and seal surfaces from moisture for plumbing; repair damaged wood – filling and sealing posts and door and window frames; repair furniture – to fix loose and broken joints; and bond, anchor, repair/reinforce and seal myriad household fasteners, structures and surfaces. –  Pro Marine Supplies

Regularly inspect your home

My best advice I give customers is that problems with a house are very much like cancer: undetected, they wreak havoc, cost more, and in some cases, become dangerous if left unfixed. Just like going to your doctor for regular check-ups, you should inspect your home at least twice a year for anything that looks out of place or in need of repair. I suggest checking when daylight savings time begins and ends, as it’s a built-in reminder of when to do it! Plus, the time in between isn’t generally long enough for a problem that develops to become major. – Handy by Calloway

Fill in the cracks

Often times, homes may experience deterioration due to weather. When buying a home, check all of the exterior windows and doors to ensure no air or water is seeping in through a crack. If you find an issue, caulking may be a simple solution. In the long run, this will save you money on energy bills and prevent future issues. – Southern Crescent Habitat for Humanity

Make it your own

When moving into your new home, we suggest taking steps to make it your own. This could include a fresh coat of paint to brighten up the interior, updating the flooring to match your lifestyle, or a new deck to revive the exterior of your new home. – Surably



Home additions

Address issues in order of long-term impact

First and foremost will be the overall energy efficiency of the home. This is a must inspection as it will increase the cost of living every day you are living in the home. Start with the appliances, attic insulation, and based on the budget, heating and cooling systems. The kitchen will be next due to the complexity and duration of work. Any kitchen renovations could be lengthy and could create a major inconvenience for anyone with a big family. Windows are important and a lot of times omitted. They are a huge potential for energy loss in the home. Exterior maintenance is an important factor that can prevent costly repairs. Gutters and roofing require periodical inspection and repairs. Trim vegetation and remove any trees that are too close to the home where the root system could potentially damage the foundation, or are a hazard to fall. Last but not least, you have to throw a big party and invite all your neighbors to identify the problem makers! – Dannex Construction 


Mike is part of the Content Marketing team and enjoys applying market insights to provide valuable content on all things real estate. Mike’s dream home would be mid-century modern style near the water.