Julia Asks… After renting for 10 years, I finally decided to purchase my first home — Any tips to survive homeownership?

Congratulations on purchasing your first home, Julia! I’m sure you are feeling a bit overwhelmed wit all the responsibilities that homeownership brings.  Unfortunately, a home does not come with an owner’s manual or an informative seminar during which you will learn everything about your home and how you can maintain it. The only way in which you can discover all of this is with time and a little bit of learning from your own mistakes. But until then follow these few pieces of advice that are sure to help you save time, money, and frustration:

  • Fix Leaky Faucets. It is likely that a leaky faucet is due to an old or faulty washer inside the faucets’ handle. The replacement of a washer requires several quick and easy steps. First of all, turn off the water supply valveunder your sink and stuff a rag in the drain so you don’t lose any parts while you take apart the handle. To disassemble the handle, remove the screw on top and pull off the handle. Then, take apart the stem with a simple wrench and note how it goes together so you can reassemble it later. Take the faulty rubber washer to your local hardware store and get an exact replacement.Once you’ve done this, reassemble your faucet and you’ll be good to go.
  • Locate a Stud. It is important to first locate a stud when you plan on hanging any shelf or wall art. To ensure accuracy consider buying an electronic stud finder, it will make this process much easier. Now to properly find a stud, start at a corner, where you’ll always find a stud. Fromthere, measure out a point at 16, 32, and 48 inches, all of which should locate a stud.
  • Unclog a Sink. Nowadays you can find all sorts of chemicals that are made to unclog sinks and drains, but in order to fully unclog a blockage you must do it manually. First, plunge it with a flat-faced plunger. If this doesn’t do it,get under the sink and remove the trap so you can locate the blockage. If it happens to be deeper than you can see you may need to rent some equipment.
  • Remove a Stripped Screw. With the appropriate screwdriver in hand, lightly hammer it into the head of the stripped screw you are trying toremove. Put downward force on the screw as you move it back out.
  • Know Which Breaker to Turn Off. One of the most frustrating things for a homeowner can be a poorly labeled breaker box. Take the time to label or directly write on the metal of your breaker box so you know which switch will cut the power to what.

Home Ownership Survival is attainable – just keep in mind to always maintain your home then there won’t be so many things to actually “fix!”

Meet Cheryl!

About Cheryl

As a successful business owner and community leader, Cheryl Braunschweiger is known and respected for getting things done with a degree of skill and enthusiasm that bring out the best in those around her - colleagues, clients and friends. The name of her business, ALMC Mortgage, reflects Cheryl's philosophy and personality. She says it stands for All Loans Must Close –a reflection of her determination to do whatever it takes to serve her clients. Cheryl has been in the mortgage lending business for 20 years. Read More About Cheryl
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