After the Closing, 25 Things You Need to Do

Buying a house can be very stressful. You have to collect lots of paperwork and review/sign lots of documents before and during the closing. So once you’re handed the keys, you’re ready to relax.

But there are quite a few things you still need to take care of.

This article outlines what homeowners need to do after buying a new home. Even if you’ve been in your house for several years, you may find things you missed. Some tasks only need to be done once, while others should be reviewed every year.

Things You’ll Want to Do Before/While Settling In

File a change of address... 

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Sunlight & Solar Energy, A Smart Decision

Are you seeing more solar panels in your neighborhood? That’s because the federal solar tax credit has been extended. Through 2019, the credit is a whopping 30% of the cost of solar systems and through 2021, homeowners of new houses can deduct a slightly lower percent of installed solar. That’s a huge gift with Uncle Sam paying almost one-third of the cost of solar panels that will save you money for years to come (more details at EnergySage.com).

For many homeowners, the decision to install solar panels or wait is primarily about their cost. Some people though, don’t like the look of these... 

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Ready to Spring Into Action

With longer days, it feels like there’s more time to get outdoors. You might play ball with your kids, take long walks around the neighborhood and/or fire up the grill a few nights each week. With any of these activities you might also notice a few things around the house that look worn, drab and dated.

So we thought it would be fun to look at some ideas for sprucing up your home this spring. There are lots of reasons to do this from a graduation party in June to summer gatherings with friends or maybe you’re getting your home ready to... 

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Home Design Trends in 2017

There are lots of exciting things happening in home design. The combined International Home Builder Show (IBS), Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS), and New American Home were held in Orlando recently. We wanted to share some of the home design themes seen there, to help you create your dream home.

We often think we can tell what a house is like by it’s appearance from the street. This year’s New American Home broke that rule. From the street it appears to be a contemporary home in Florida but it turned out to be so much more.

Houses with More Glass Walls... 

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Strategy for Investing in Home Technology

There are lots of new buzzwords talking about smart homes, home automation and the Internet of Things. There’s also a lot of confusion about what they mean, so let’s start with some definitions.

Terminology for Today’s Smart Homes

Internet of Things (IoT) – refers to the interconnection of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, like light bulbs. The computer devices allow “things” to send and receive data, and thus transform the way we live and work. Home automation – involves the control and automation of lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), security, home appliances and home electronics for work and entertainment. Smart homes... 

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Creating Memories of the Holidays to Enjoy All Year

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It’s fun decorating our homes for the year end holidays. Now think about the your favorite holiday memories and those you want to capture with photographs to enjoy throughout the year. You’ll quickly realize that your favorite memoires involve the people you love. Our homes are simply the backdrop for our holiday traditions, providing us with the space and gadgets to enjoy time together.

So we invite you to join us as we explore ideas for creating special spaces where you can encourage more face-to-face interactions while creating great photo opportunities. We know you already have lots of decorating ideas so we’ll look... 

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What’s On Your Home Management Calendar?

We get annual checkups at the doctor and take our cars in for oil changes periodically. If you have a family budget, you might review your insurance costs once a year but what about your house? Do you know how much you’re spending on utilities, maintenance and repairs? Are you trying to save for a deck in the backyard or want to remodel the master bathroom?

Now that the kids are back in school, it’s the perfect time to take a look at what your home needed this past year, and priorities for next year. Unless you’re a realtor or work in construction, managing... 

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Homeowners Insurance – How Many Kinds are There?

When buying a house, it makes sense to purchase homeowners insurance to protect your investment. And if you’re financing your home, the lender will require that you have coverage to protect their loan.

Buying a house involves a lot of paperwork. That’s why most of us never take enough time to review all the different types of homeowners insurance that exist, and how they work to protect our homes.

Homeowners Insurance Associated with Buying a House

Did you understand the different types of insurance you might pay for when closing on a new house? They might have gotten lost in a sea of numbers on the closing... 

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Totaling Up the True Cost of Home Ownership

Buying a house is pretty exciting. It often requires a degree of creativity to pull together the money for a down payment, and qualify for financing to get the house you want. The bank focuses on your ability to pay the mortgage, property taxes and homeowners insurance in addition to other debt obligations you have.

Few home buyers take the time to calculate the true cost of home ownership before committing to their monthly mortgage payment. You’re not alone as everyone helping you buy a house wants you to buy your dream house in the best neighborhood, with lots of extra options.

For those thinking ahead,... 

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How to Measure Your Homes’ Energy Efficiency

It wasn’t too long ago that homeowners wondered what green home building meant, and was it worth the added costs. No one is questioning these ideas now. We’ve embraced energy conservation to lessen US dependency on oil imports and reduce our impact on the environment. It’s an integral part of the 2015 International Residential Building Code, chapter 11 Energy Efficiency.

So where do homeowners learn more about building green homes? It would be nice to have one link to everything you need to know about energy efficiency but it’s more complicated. For those who want to learn more, here’s a good starting place... 

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