Whether you are buying your first home or you are second or third if you are in the market for a new house in 2016, congratulations! It’s a big deal to make the decision to move to a new piece of property that you can call your own.
The journey to finding your perfect new home will have its ups and its downs, but either way, it’s sure to be exciting. In order to ensure that you have the biggest success in your new home and in your year as a whole, here are a few resolutions you can take and make for the months ahead.
Green’ your house- Whether you purchase a newer, eco-friendly home or an older one, plan to ‘green’ your home this year. Make sure you have the most energy-efficient appliances, or budget to acquire them if you haven’t. This will save precious resources, and it will also save you money.
Also ensure that your insulation is efficient, that your windows, doors, and vents are sealed properly, and that your electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems are all in good working condition. If your house is in tip-top shape, it won’t cost as much to heat and cool, and it won’t cause your appliances to work as hard. That means nothing but benefits for you, and for the environment as well.
Fully use your yard- Many Arizonans don’t use their yards to the fullest potential. Blame the heat, the sun, or the monsoon rains, if you want. But those yards aren’t there just to look at from your windows!
Take advantage of all the land that you own. Plant a garden and grow flowers or fruits and vegetables, swim in your pool regularly, or sit in your hot tub more often.
If you have children, have them play outside more frequently—games, drawing, or sports. Heck, why not set up that volleyball net you’ve been holding onto?
And while you’re at it, put your patio furniture to good use for breakfast or dinner, grill more often, and enjoy a glass of wine on nice spring, summer, and fall evenings. Our weather here in Arizona is too good for most of the year for us to be ignoring our yards!
Live more frugally- It doesn’t matter if money is tight or if you’re well-off. There’s no reason not to be frugal when you can. Saving money not only helps you and your family in the future, but it also means that you can make improvements to your home whenever you need to, or that you can cover the expenses of damage after a storm or other disaster.
As your home ages, you’ll need and want to make repairs and renovations; starting to sock money aside for those early in your home-ownership will help make maintenance easier and more on-time.
Living frugally doesn’t have to mean counting every penny; it can mean saving the excesses you gain from greening your home, growing some of your food rather than buying it all, fixing and reusing items around your home that aren’t totally broken or dead, or cutting your daily Starbucks habit down to an every-other-day habit.
Get to know your neighborhood- Getting to know your neighborhood can be as simple as getting to know your neighbors. You can join your neighborhood watch or resident governing board, enroll your children in community activities, or just say hi to the people on your block while you are out for an evening stroll with the dog.
But getting to know your neighborhood can also mean patronizing the businesses on your street: stopping into that little boutique around the corner, or ordering a pizza at the restaurant across from your community’s gate. Not only will you find things and meet people you wouldn’t have otherwise, but you’ll also feel more at home in your community.
Spend more time at home- Of course, if you are buying a new home, you should want to spend time there! While we all get busy with work, extracurricular activities, family obligations, and socializing, we should still make time to just be at home.
That can mean watching more movies on the couch, hosting dinner parties for your circle of friends, or creating more home-cooked meals for your family. Let your home be an environment where you feel comfortable, and where you want to be.
A home is a big investment on a monetary level. Let it also be a big investment for your time and your heart.
Wishing you the best of luck in this new year, and all the warmth, happiness, and goodness to come in your newly purchased home.