Owning your own home is a dream come true for many people, but homeownership comes with responsibilities. If you’ve just purchased your first home, here are a few things every homeowner should know. The information below will help you save money and solve some potential problems.

1. Your Water Heater Can Cause Flooding

Even though it looks like a sturdy appliance, your water heater can develop a leak. Sometimes the leak is minor, commonly occurring at loose connections. However, over time, the glass that lines the tank may begin to crack. This could flood the area where the water heater is located.

Be prepared by learning where your main water shut-off is located. In case of a plumbing emergency, you can turn off the water to the house.

2. Furnace Maintenance is Necessary

Basic maintenance keeps the furnace running efficiently. Before cold weather arrives, change the furnace filter and clean all air vents, vacuuming just inside them to remove dust and debris. Hire a professional to perform an inspection of the system every year and make repairs as necessary.

3. Every Homeowner Should Know Burglaries Can Happen Any Time

It is commonly believed that burglaries only happen at night, but even in the daytime, your home might be a target. Install a timer for your lamps. This way, you make it appear that someone is home even if you’re away. Installing a security system will help make your home safer and may even reduce your homeowners insurance premium. Take steps to improve your home’s security to avoid break-ins while you’re away.

4. Ant Infestations are Common

Every homeowner should know how to get rid of ants. These pests are especially annoying in the warmer months as they come inside looking for food. Ant traps with bait are effective because ants carry the bait back to their colonies. They will help you eliminate ants in the home.

5. Every Homeowner Should Know Where the Property Lines Are

This may seem obvious, but make sure you understand where your property begins and ends. In many areas, property lines are marked by metal or wooden stakes in the ground. If you’re unable to find yours, you can refer to the property deed to determine where they are.

6. For Major Fixtures and Upgrades, Choose Neutral Colors

Trends change over time. When making home improvements, keep major installations neutral. You may want countertops that make a statement, but styles change and countertops are pricey to replace. Expensive appliances and cabinetry should be purchased in colors that complement any style of decor. Choose neutral colors when painting walls, too. You can add your own favorite accent colors with rugs, furniture, throw pillows, and artwork.

7. Breaker Panel Labels May Not be Correct

If you’ve just moved into your home, be aware that the labels in the breaker box aren’t necessarily correct, especially if your home is older or has been remodeled. Enlist the help of a friend or electrician to determine which breakers control your outlets and appliances. Flip all of the breakers off and turn them on, one at a time. Create new labels for each circuit.

8. Every Homeowner Should Know to Choose Fencing Wisely

If you’re installing a new fence, it’s important to understand that different types of fencing serve different purposes. Determine the reason for a new fence. You might be marking a property boundary, surrounding a garden, installing a fence for privacy, or trying to keep children or pets safely in the yard. Choose fencing materials based on the purpose of the structure.

Dave Holt Home Inspections offers home inspections to New Orleans and the surrounding areas. Contact us to request our services.