The new year is a great time to start fresh and get ahead on what you want to accomplish during the new year! No matter where you are in your homeownership journey – whether you just bought your first home or you’re on your fourth house, setting goals for your household will help you prepare for whatever the new year may surprise you with!
Here are five new year’s resolutions for homeowners:
1. Shop around for better insurance rates
Homeowners can’t avoid property insurance, but they can avoid paying more than they need to! To get the most bang for your buck, consider shopping around for the best insurance policy for you and your budget. Being underinsured can be just as costly — or more — as paying too much for insurance. If it’s been a few years since you’ve shopped around for coverage, contact one of our insurance experts to get a quote for your needs within your budget. It’s also a great idea to review your current policy and make sure your coverage is up to date with your needs. For example, if you live in a flood-prone area in Florida, it might be time to consider flood insurance.
2. Get homeowners insurance discounts by making small repairs
Minor household problems such as leaves in the gutter and overgrown tree stumps should be taken care of immediately to avoid large expenses down the road. This will not only prevent you from having to spend fortunes later, but it’s also a great way to keep your home in tip-top shape.
Did you know that certain home improvements can qualify you for a discount on your homeowner’s insurance? That’s right! Here are a few examples:
- Monitored burglar system
- New electrical wiring
- Being a non-smoker
- Replacing broken pipes
If you’ve made improvements to your home within the last year or are planning to, you’ll want to check with your insurance agent to see if you’re eligible for discounts!
3. Safety-proofing your home
While your insurance policy may cover your home in the event of a fire, you can avoid the situation entirely by testing and maintaining your smoke alarms annually. Don’t forget about keeping fire extinguishers throughout the home as well! Fire is not the only potential danger to your home, here are some other things homeowners can do to ensure that they’re not living with a potential health hazard:
- Consider checking your home for radon, an odorless gas that causes many lung cancer deaths each year from the radioactive particles it traps in your lungs as you breathe. You can check your home for radon by purchasing a test kit for as little as $20 at your local hardware store.
- Another dangerous gas, carbon monoxide, can be detected by installing a detector in every bedroom floor in addition to fire detectors. If a chimney flue or furnace vent gets blocked or leaks, carbon monoxide could back up in your house and potentially kill you.
- Lastly, watch out for dryer lint. Even though you clean the little filter inside the door, most people neglect to clean the vents and ducts behind the dryer. Lint is highly combustible and causes countless house fires a year in the U.S. For more ways to prevent house fires, check out these tips.
4. Cut down your bills and carbon footprint
Cutting your energy usage in your home is easier than you think and it can save you some serious money too! Here are a few tips:
- Remember to turn off the light switch when you leave a room.
- Turn off your air conditioner when you leave the house and dial your heater down at night.
- Install LED bulbs and low-flow showerheads.
- Air dry your clothes instead of using the dryer.
- Wait for the dishwasher to be completely full before you run it.
- Turn off your power strips when not in use.
- Water your yard less frequently or put in drought-tolerant landscaping if you really want to conserve water.
- Give composting a try, it’s great for a backyard garden!
5. Minimize Unnecessary Clutter
When was the last time you went through your closet, junk drawers/cabinets, and garage to get rid of items you don’t use anymore? The new year is a great time for a fresh start, so consider doing an honest assessment of items in your home that you want to keep or donate! Plus, there are psychological benefits to reducing the number of things you have in your home. A cluttered home has the potential to cause stress, impact productivity, and even make household tasks, such as cleaning, more difficult!
We hope these tips will help you prepare for the year ahead and give you some peace of mind knowing that your home is taken care of. Contact us today to see how we can help you protect your home!