DEBUNKING MYTHS TO HOME BUYINGFinally ready to make the transition into home ownership? That's awesome, and in this exciting time you can be turning to friends and family for an insight into the
Your Alaska New Home Must Have Checklist
Living here in Alaska, there are some must have items indigenous to our area that you should have on hand. Along with several featured items home buyers should think about when settling in to a new house.
1. Change locks. Don’t assume the keys you’re holding make up the only existing set. Play it safe and have all of your locks changed.
2. Reprogram the garage door opener. Again, it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to security. Most remotes have a reset button, but if you need more instructions, contact the manufacturer to walk you through the steps for your make and model.
3. Locate the water shutoffs. Find the main water shutoff as well as all outside water spigots. Ask the previous homeowner if you cannot find them.
4. Locate the main circuit breaker. Check it out and make sure you fully understand the labeling. If it’s a new home and unlabeled, identify the circuits and make your own labels.
5. Test the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. For smoke detectors, you need one in each bedroom and on every floor. Carbon monoxide detectors are needed on each floor. Also, place a fire extinguisher on every level and learn how to use it.
6. Figure out a strategy to use if you get locked out of your home. Hide a key? Leave a copy with a neighbor? (This is a great time to meet the neighbors and exchange phone numbers.) Share the key solution with family members.
7. Read up on your HVAC system to feel confident about using the furnace and air conditioner. No instructions? Go online to find them. Put in a new filter and keep the information on hand in your home files.
9. Make a list of all your lightbulbs, and buy energy efficient replacements. Don’t forget the halogen lights! Check all outdoor fixtures, too.
For all your essential electronics, such as your phone, laptop, and tablet.
11. Replace all toilet seats. Enough said.
12. Inspect Delivered Boxes
You do have the household inventory you prepared or received during the moving preparations, right? Check each moving box against the detailed list as it is carried inside your new home, and if a box or a household item happens to be missing, notify the moving crew right away and check together if it was left in the moving truck by mistake.
13. Inspect Your House Thoroughly
One of the first things to do after moving into a new house is to get to know your place inside out. Locate your favorite magnifying glass and inspect every nook and cranny of your new home as meticulously and passionately as if your birth name were Sherlock Holmes.
Inspect each and every room for visible signs of damage, especially from water or fire. Check for plumbing leaks, dripping faucets and running toilets. One clever trick to make sure there are no water leaks of any kind is to register the readings of your water meter at the start and end of a period of several hours when no water is used anywhere in the house. If the two readings differ, then it’s a sure sign that you have a leaking problem and you’ll need to localize and fix it (or have it fixed).
Moreover, scour the front yard, the back yard and the perimeter of your house for any troublesome problems and do what’s necessary to eliminate them.
Family and Home Security
Create fire escape plans and meeting places.
The plan should include two ways to exit the home and set two different meeting places for family members. One might be a meeting area right outside of the home in case of a fire, while another would be a meeting place outside the neighborhood, in case the area is blocked in an emergency.
Make an exit plan for emergencies. Be sure even small children know how to call 911.
Create a survival kit.
Have enough food and water for each person for three days. The embedded video offers more tips on building a survival kit.
Update your app alert locations.
Weather and safety apps may need to be notified of clients' new location details. For example, the Red Cross Emergency App offers alert preferences for all the locations and types of disasters users may want to monitor.
Decorate with earthquakes in mind.
Alaska is earthquake country, Avoid hanging heavy items above seating areas, beds, and cribs. Secure furniture that could fall in a quake, such as bookshelves and televisions.
Assess your fire risks.
As clients are unpacking, they should be placing all flammable items at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as space heaters. Make sure they know not to run wiring under rugs or overload outlets and extension cords. Also, don’t forget to check the smoke alarms and make sure they’re working.
Check the insulation in your attic – and install more if needed.
If you have an unfinished attic, pop your head up there and take a look around. You should see insulation up there between the beams, and there should be at least six inches of it everywhere (more if you live in the northern part of the United States).
Some efforts offer a better potential payoff than others. Some may be necessary for your family and lifestyle. How do you get the biggest bang for the buck? Here are the top factors to consider from consumer expert Jennifer Openshaw, author or The Millionaire Zone and a columnist for The Wall Street Journal.
The cost vs. value ratio is the expected resale return divided by cost of the project. Remodeling return on investment in the U.S. traditionally averages about 58 cents per dollar spent on the project.
The Best Choices
Kitchen and deck remodels have the highest payoff, but your choice may depend on your bank account.
Did you ever think that being different might pay off? If yours is the only home in the neighborhood with a full bathroom on the first floor—highly desirable with an aging population—you might command a higher resale price.
Victoria Roberts, Associate Broker
Real Estate Brokers of Alaska
#alaskarealestate #homeownership #homechecklist #familysafety #victoriaroberts
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