5 Smart Homeownership Tips

Turning a key into your lock that no other even landlord has access to, choosing that bright exhilarating color to paint your kitchen or even getting lost in a book in the hammock you fashioned last weekend is fist-time homeowner bliss. Getting swept up in all the excitement is great, but can also distract from responsible home ownership. Following are five tips every savvy homeowner should know.

canstockphoto2312678Address important maintenance items

One of the major expenses new home owners tend to overlook that accompanies home ownership is making repairs. You no longer have a landlord or property manager to call when your roof is leaking or plumbing is backed up. Avoid neglecting any problems that put you in danger or could get worse and costlier over time.

Differentiate between repairs and improvements

Unfortunately, not all home expenses are treated equally when it comes to determining your home’s value. For example, the IRS considers repairs to be a part of home ownership which doesn’t necessarily increase the home’s value like an improvement would. Improvements such as replacing the roof or adding a central air unit increase your home’s value and decrease your future tax bill when you sell said home.

Seek help with your taxes

Even if you’re broke from buying your new home and loathe the idea of spending more money on hiring an accountant when you can normally do your taxes on your own, you won’t regret enlisting a professional that will ensure you’re your return is completed correctly maximizing your refund. Also, getting your axes done for the first year gives you a template to use in future years if you wish to continue finishing your return on your own.

Keep home improvement receipts

In line with distinguishing repairs from improvements and seeking help with your taxes, you should be vigil at racking all costs for your home improvement efforts. You can then use these costs to increase your homes worth which helps you maximize tax-free earnings when selling the home.

Avoid overspending

Whether you are a first-time or seasoned home buyer, money is often tight after you’ve just forked over a portion of your life savings for a down payment, closing costs and moving expenses. Avoid adding to the agony by limiting spending on furniture and remodeling. Both of which can usually wait a bit after initial purchase. Instead of trying to improve and upgrade everything at once, space out your spending and projects to help you stick to an affordable budget.

Home Maintenance for the Spring

Spring is here and you know what that means, it is time to start doing some maintenance on your home. Some things might be obvious, like giving your AC a look over, but what about some of these other things like:

Review your roof. Now is the perfect time to check your shingles to ensure none are loose or broken after the cold, icy winter.

Clean out your gutters. After the winter storms, leaves and twigs could easily get clogged in your gutters and downspouts. Make sure things are running smoothly to protect your home from any water damage from these spring rains.

Declutter your home. This is a great time to get rid of all those items you no longer want. Plus, take a moment to open your windows, shake out your rugs, and wash your electric blankets.

Share your tips with me. What are some things you inspect in the spring?

How to Deal with Bad Neighbors

Image at The Daily Touch

If you are lucky, dealing with difficult neighbors are only stories you hear about. Unfortunately there are times when we get a neighbor who is a nightmare. How do you deal with the annoying and obnoxious neighbor? Communication is important when trying to work with someone with different views ~ with the exception of those who are doing something illegal, then it is best to involve the police. Some tips when dealing with a bad neighbor is:

Get to know them better. It is easier to work out your problems with someone when you are on friendly terms with them instead of strangers.
Deal with problems before they are problems. Are you planning a party? Why not invite the neighbors to join the fun or give them a card with your phone number. That way if the party gets too loud they can give you a call instead of the cops.
Document the problem ~ keep notes with the dates, times and photos, if necessary. This will allow you to look at the whole picture (it is really that big of a deal?), give you back up when you address your neighbor about it and, if push comes to shove, you have something to give to the authorities.

Remember it is not always easy to deal with people, but it is important to take the high ground.

Have you ever lived next door to a difficult neighbor? What are some of the things you did to work it out?