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Taking Care of your Home

When you are a renter and there’s a problem with the plumbing, you call the landlord. However, once you become a homeowner, you are responsible for these types of major repairs. (Even if you are buying a condominium or townhouse, you will still likely be responsible for some things.) Taking good care of your home usually involves several components.


One of the first things to review when you move into your new home is safety. Consider changing the locks since you may not have all of the keys to the house. Also ensure that the home has enough smoke detectors (there should be at least one on every floor and in each bedroom) and that they work (most have a test button). The batteries should be changed at least once a year – you may want to do it when you move in since you don’t know the last time the seller changed batteries.

Other products that are important to safety are carbon monoxide detectors (same guidelines as for smoke detectors apply) and fire extinguishers. Working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are likely required by local or state law. Work with your real estate agent or home inspector to make sure everything in the home is up to code before completing the purchase. Create a fire escape plan– determine how you can exit each room and if you live with others, set up a meeting place outside of the home.

Next Topic: Homeowner Warranties