Updated: Nov 17
In this article, I'll be sharing resources for new & existing homeowners that will be helpful whether you just closed or have been in your home for years.
Ongoing Property Maintenance
There are some items that are best for property owners to maintain themselves, while other items may not be worth the time for owners to learn about (if they're not already familiar) & do themselves, especially if paying someone else to do the job would be a low amount per hour, there are certain valuable guarantees provided by that company in the event of issues, and the primary income of the owner is a high amount per hour. Even if you hire out many service contracts, it's still a good idea to a check yourself throughout your home's interior & exterior once every Fall & once every Spring for issues. As time goes by, carefully inspect the interior and exterior of your home periodically, looking out for moisture issues that start small and grow. Do careful inspections on items soon before warranty expiration, whether for home warranty, warranty on any new appliances, etc.
For more details on home maintenance, go to my article on the subject here.
Get a Library Card & Free Streaming via Kanopy
To gain access to Kanopy, which offers some TV shows & movies free, first check to see if it's offered with any library cards that you already own that renew automatically. If you don't have any options with library cards you already have, check to see if the city/county you moved in offers Kanopy.
Image courtesy Kanopy
Even if you didn't move to a city/county with it, there are some cities/counties like Newport News where you don't need to be a resident of Newport News to get access to a library card if you can verify that you are a resident of the state of VA.
Connect with Others in Your Community
You might want to consider joining an online community for your neighborhood, such as on Nextdoor, local Facebook groups that do activities together, clubs, churches (Google Maps are a great place to look & I have some recommendations if you'd like), & via Meetup groups, especially if you're new in town.
Finding Things To Do
I created an article here on how to find things to do no matter your location in the US as well as listing some of the top things to do according to TripAdvisor in SE VA divided by SE VA region & city/county.
See my SE VA Map, with 9 different categories of free options as well as a paid options category, though keep in mind that I have covered some areas significantly more than others and it's not an exhaustive list of options.
Cost Effective Improvements
The kinds of repairs, updates, and other changes that are ideal for a forever home are different than those for a renovation to sell, and those are different than a renovation to rent out. If you'd like any advice on any ideas that you have for things that you'd like to do to the home, just let me know. There are also a number of articles on the subject like this one.
Seasonally Sensitive Pictures If Thinking About Selling or Renting Out Your Property in the Future
Long before you are ready to rent out your property or sell, if thinking about selling or renting, it's best to time your photos (including on property & if applicable, area photos) according to the season, with some seasons being better than others for certain images. These include still photography from the ground, air, and your virtual tour since virtual tours (ideally Matterport, which I always use in my listings) best include exterior, not just interior like typical virtual tours.
Capitalize on Your Commute
Prepare to Say No to Those Who Send You Mail, Call You, & Come to Your Home Looking for Money or Looking for You To Sign Away on Something
It's very important to be able to say "no" to people, whether they show up at your doorstep, relentlessly send you mail, pound your phone with calls, or otherwise. There are people who don't care if you have a disability, don't care if you care for others with a disability, and simply want to take advantage of people no matter their situation. Once you purchase a home, that purchase is public record. Be wary that information like your name, your home address, other mailing address, your relatives, your number, etc. may be found online. People could call you posing as a police officer, government entity trying to "help" you with your mortgage but actually seeking to swindle you (article from FTC), & otherwise. Sometimes it may appear as though it is someone you trust, like your lender, but in the fine print they may state that they have no affiliation to your lender. They may use language like "warning" with a deadline or may use an envelope type that may make it seem official when it's really not. If you're ever in doubt, and you're my current or former client, please reach out to me before making a potentially disastrous decision.
Below are a few examples:
Should You Get Solar Panels for Your Home? For most, the answer is "no" in SE VA, due to factors like how long you'll be in your home (with those there the shortest losing the most), governmental subsidy/tax breaks, the low cost of electricity here, our climate including cloud coverage & rainy days. Also, you typically don't get a dollar-for-dollar increase in sales price from an addition like solar panels, and they can even be a liability if you have a solar lease or solar loan going. Solar panels are best in SE VA when purchasing a home that you plan to live in for 25+ years where you have a brand new roof, no trees causing shade over the house now or any time in the next 25+ years, and high electric utilities costs even after making energy efficient improvements to your home via things like insulation additions & identifying & rectifying areas of exterior air intrusion.
For instance, a heading of my article on cash off-market offers below is, "Just How Much Less Will Sellers Sell For According to Drexel University Research Lab? "less than half the value they would by using traditional methods.""
For more of the scams & bad ideas that target homeowners, there are a number of articles on the subject, such as this one from GetCarefull.com
Keeping in Touch with Your Buyer's Agent
I like to keep in touch with my former clients, and there are a few ways that I like to do that. 1. I like to connect with others on social media, as I have enjoyed for over 15 years.
Here are my personal profiles where I'd love to connect if you are a member of them:
A. Facebook (I am the most active here & I also use Facebook for event invitations for events that I host at times)
If Thinking About Selling Your Property in the Future
I have many articles dedicated to sellers, and can personally help if you are looking to sell in the future. Here are some of those articles:
If Thinking About Renting Out Your Property in the Future
I have a number of related articles for owners looking to rent out their home:
While free for Adam's sellers listing with him, for Adam's real estate clients who have closed on a property with Adam & who wish to acquire virtual tours & aerials for property management (not for sale), Adam offers Matterport virtual tours for half of his typical competitive costs (Matterport, Aerials) for up to 3 properties per closing at that pricing (typical pricing if desiring more than 3 properties to be scanned per closing).
Keep Track of Interest Rates if You Have a Mortgage
If you don't own your home with no associated loans, & especially if you have a mortgage that's in excess of 4%, be sure to keep track of mortgage interest rates & mortgage interest rate projections so that if you'll be in your home much longer, you're able to refinance to a lower rate. It also can help you time another purchase if using a mortgage.
Keep Track of the Market
Keep track of the market, especially if you are considering another purchase or sale, but even if you're not, it's a good idea to still be aware of how things are going with your home, which is often the most significant asset that people have if not 1 of the most significant.
See the "Post Closing" section at the bottom of my Buyer's Guide