I’ve teamed up with Consumer Reports and am proud to be one of their paid brand ambassadors; my personal opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Consumer Reports.

homebuying-tips

Superman (soon to be super-husband 🙂 ) and I are currently home-shopping together.

Woot, woot!

Although the process is a long one, we’re enjoying it.

But… I’m also in preparation mode.

Why?

I haven’t owned a home in maaaaaaaany years.

So, I’m brushing up on my homeownership skills with the help of Consumer Reports’ “happy homeowner playbook.” 

The “happy homeowner playbook” has tips that can help us save money while maintaining a happy and healthy home.

Consumer Reports also has other great information on topics related to homeownership like home safety and homeowners insurance.

Consumer Reports is a nonprofit organization that’s independent of corporate and advertising influence. The organization tests over 4,000 products every year in their labs, gathers feedback from millions of consumers, and then provides unbiased ratings and reviews  to help us make informed choices with our hard earned money.

Here are three top homeownership tips that I want to share with you from the playbook:

1. Don’t procrastinate on major repairs.

There are certain home repairs that you need to act on fast.

Leaky roofs, foundation cracks, and mildew are a few key problems that can happen to your home that you must nip in the bud right away.

Otherwise, these issues can snowball into health hazards and major property damage.

You also need to get a proper home inspection whenever you buy a house to avoid inheriting someone else’s property damage.

Here’s why:

Superman and I thought we recently found the perfect house.

It was a three-family, income producing property. The property would have allowed us to live rent free while still earning $450 per month in rental income!

Buuuut, we hired a home inspector who found huge issues in the house:

  • The foundation was cracked in multiple places and needed to be replaced. Repairing it would cost $60,000-$100,000.
  • The roof needed to be replaced.
  • There was extensive termite damage.

On paper, the house looked good, but maintenance would have been a major headache.

So, I can’t stress enough — always invest in a decent home inspector.

The home inspector we chose was $200 more than average, but it was worth it. His detailed report allowed us to cancel the contract and to get back our full deposit.

2. Choose homeowners insurance with care.

If you’re a homebuyer on the hunt for insurance coverage, you should know that basic policies do not come with coverage for events like floods or earthquakes. You need additional policies to cover them separately.

If you’re a current homeowner that hasn’t reviewed your insurance policy for a while, double check that your policy rate is still competitive and that you have sufficient coverage. Shopping for insurance every few years can save you money, and you don’t want to find out after disaster strikes that you don’t have ample coverage.

3. Stay on top of your energy costs.

conserve-energy

Don’t waste energy. It’s bad for your wallet and bad for the environment. Click To Tweet

There are a few simple moves that I plan to get my family on board with like rinsing off dishes before putting them in the dishwasher so the machine has to do less work.

We plan to be mindful of water use as well. No hour long showers at the Super house!

You should also go through your home and plug leaks around doors and electrical outlets. These leaks cause drafts that put your heating or cooling system into overdrive. Overuse = high utility bills.

Besides making changes to your energy consumption, double check that your appliances are efficient and not producing hazardous waste if you have an older home.

That’s another problem our almost perfect income property had.

The home used to have an oil tank for heating. Although it has been removed, there was leakage from the tank that contaminated the ground.

This issue can be harmful to your family, and it can make it difficult to resell your home, so be vigilant!

How Consumer Reports Supports Homeowners

Consumer Reports is one of the very first places I turn to and refer others to when I have questions about consumer issues including homeownership.

Consumer Reports is there for homeowners every step of the way. Their mission is to create a fairer, safer, and healthier marketplace, and they put research, facts, and data at the center of everything they do.

In the year ahead, Consumer Reports plans to test more than 4,000 products, employing the expertise of hundreds of specially trained analysts, engineers, editors, researchers, and product testers.

Consumer Reports also plans to continue to publish numerous reports on major consumer topics such as keeping your money safe, choosing smart healthcare options, and making sense of new gadgets and technologies. In addition, the organization will continue advocating for the protection of consumer rights.

Subscribe to Consumer Reports today to get digital access to Consumer Reports’ independent unbiased ratings and reviews for the products and services you use everyday.

I’ve teamed up with Consumer Reports and am proud to be one of their paid brand ambassadors; my personal opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Consumer Reports.

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