You just closed on your first-ever home purchase and some nerves are alleviated. As a renter you were not responsible for the cost of repairs that were due to wear and tear nor paid much attention to the utility bills if that was included in the rent.
In any event, your home is now yours and it’s considered an asset, basically an investment. For those who want to save some money after shelling out a down payment and paying for closing costs, the following is a list of things you can do right away. Having extra funds is always a good thing, especially if it can be invested or put to use elsewhere.
Automate your thermostat
A programmable thermostat allows you to schedule automatic increases and decreases in your home’s temperature when your home and out and about. By programming the thermostat in your house, it will automatically set the temperature at a specific time to your preference.
Replace that filter
The previous owner may say they changed it regularly but that may not be entirely true. Verify and change your filter on a regular basis, especially throughout the winter and summer when your air conditioner and heater are used more.
Dirty filters waste energy and also bring in more dust and dirt that may trigger an even costlier monthly bill. Not to mention, allergies and having to buy OTC or prescription medicines from bacteria floating in the air.
Be aware of electric peaks
Try to use electricity during off-peak hours is the advice of our government found at energy.gov website. Begin the washing machine when you are ready to sleep at night. This will help reduce your electric bill.
Another way to lower electric bills
If your home doesn’t have ceiling fans in most or all rooms, you should strongly consider installing them for circulation because it helps to lower your cooling and heating bills.
Did you know that a ceiling fan will let you increase the temperature about 4°F on your thermostat with the same comfort level. Ceiling fans could allow you to refrain from using your air conditioner a lot since residents in Orange County enjoy a mostly mild climate., except for when the Santa Ana winds are present.
Plant shade trees near your house.
When seasons change, nature can help you save quite a bit on cooling and heating expenses.
The type of trees you want to plant should be deciduous. You can tell because these are the type that shed their leaves in the fall on the western and eastern sides of your home. Your home will be cooled naturally by these leafy shade trees during the dry and arid times of year by limiting the amount of sunlight that your home gets hit with.
Conversely, they’ll lose their leaves in the winter time, which will let in more sunlight to heat up the home a bit more. As an added benefit, mature trees can increase your property value. Just make sure to plant them away from your home 10-20 feet and power lines. Certain trees grow 10-20 in width so ask a tree expert the best distance.
These are all great ways to save some money as you move-in. Another way to save is to ask the seller to pay for a home warranty plan. This may be in the form of a seller credit for $500-$1000 in closing costs.