Essential Tips to Know Before Moving Into Your New Home

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Home Improvement:

Common Home Improvements New Homeowners do Prior to Moving in

Buying a new home is exciting, and many new homeowners quickly start making changes to personalize their space and make it feel more like home. Here are three of the most common home improvements people make when they move into their new home, along with some suggestions for each.

1. Painting

Fresh Paint: Painting the interior walls is one of the easiest and most effective improvements. A new coat of paint can completely change the look and feel of a home.


  • Choose neutral colors for common areas to create a welcoming atmosphere.

  • Use accent walls or bold colors in smaller spaces like bathrooms or bedrooms for a pop of personality.

  • Use high-quality, low-VOC paints for a durable finish and a healthier indoor environment.

2. Flooring

Upgrading Flooring: Many new homeowners decide to replace or refinish the existing flooring. Hardwood, laminate, and luxury vinyl planks are popular choices.


  • Hardwood floors look great and can be refinished multiple times.

  • Laminate and vinyl planks are budget-friendly and look like wood or stone.

  • Consider installing carpet in bedrooms for added warmth and comfort.

3. Lighting

Improving Lighting: Good lighting can make a space more inviting and functional.


  • Replace old light fixtures with modern, energy-efficient options.

  • Add under-cabinet lighting in the kitchen for better task lighting.

  • Install dimmer switches to control the mood in living areas and bedrooms.

Making these improvements not only makes a new home look and feel homier but can also increase its value. Whether doing a full renovation or making small updates, these common home improvements can help you create a space that truly feels like your own.

DIY Projects:

DIY Vinyl Plank Flooring: A Beginner's Guide

Vinyl plank flooring has become a popular choice for homeowners looking to update their floors. It's durable, stylish, and, best of all, relatively easy to install on your own. Here’s a beginner's guide to DIY vinyl plank flooring.

Why Choose Vinyl Plank Flooring?

Vinyl plank flooring offers several advantages:

  • Cost-Effective: Vinyl planks are often more affordable than hardwood or tile.

  • Durability: They are resistant to scratches, stains, and water, making them ideal for high-traffic areas and even bathrooms or kitchens.

  • Variety: Available in a wide range of styles and colors, vinyl planks can mimic the look of wood, stone, or tile.

  • Easy Maintenance: Vinyl floors are easy to clean with just regular sweeping and occasional mopping.

Tools and Materials You’ll Need

Before you start, gather these tools and materials:

  • Vinyl plank flooring

  • Tape measure

  • Utility knife or vinyl cutter

  • Straightedge or T-square

  • Spacers

  • Rubber mallet

  • Pry bar

  • Underlayment (if required by the manufacturer)

  • Adhesive (if required by the manufacturer)

Step-by-Step Installation Guide

  1. Prepare the Subfloor:

    • Ensure the subfloor is clean, dry, and level. Remove any old flooring and debris.

    • If necessary, install an underlayment to provide a smooth surface and additional cushioning.

  2. Plan Your Layout:

    • Measure the room to determine how many planks you’ll need.

    • Plan the layout to ensure you don’t end up with narrow strips of vinyl on one side. Stagger the planks for a more natural look.

  3. Install the First Row:

    • Place spacers along the walls to leave a small gap for expansion.

    • Start in one corner of the room and lay the first plank with the tongue side facing the wall.

    • Continue laying planks end to end until you reach the other side of the room. Cut the last plank to fit using a utility knife and straightedge.

  4. Continue with Subsequent Rows:

    • Begin the second row with a plank cut to a different length to stagger the joints.

    • Click or glue the planks together, depending on the type of vinyl flooring you have. Use a rubber mallet to ensure a tight fit.

    • Repeat this process, maintaining the staggered pattern, until the floor is complete.

  5. Finish the Edges:

    • Once all planks are installed, remove the spacers.

    • Install baseboards or molding to cover the expansion gap around the perimeter of the room.

Tips for Success

  • Acclimate the Planks: Let the vinyl planks sit in the room for at least 48 hours before installation to acclimate to the room’s temperature and humidity.

  • Check for Level: Ensure the subfloor is level to prevent the planks from shifting or creating an uneven surface.

  • Mind the Gaps: Maintain the expansion gap around the edges to allow for natural movement of the floor.


Installing vinyl plank flooring is a manageable DIY project that can dramatically improve the look and feel of your home. With the right tools and careful planning, you can achieve professional-looking results without the high cost of professional installation. Whether you’re updating a single room or your entire house, vinyl plank flooring offers a versatile and durable solution that you can enjoy for years to come.

Here are some YouTube links that I think will be helpful

Home Maintenance and Repairs:

What to Expect for Home Maintenance and Repairs When Moving into a New Home

Moving into a new home is an exciting time filled with the promise of new beginnings. However, homeownership also comes with responsibilities, particularly in the realm of maintenance and repairs. Understanding what to expect can help you manage these tasks effectively and ensure your home remains safe, comfortable, and in good condition. Here’s a quick overview of what new homeowners should anticipate regarding home maintenance and repairs.

Initial Inspections and Immediate Fixes

Home Inspection Follow-Up:

  • Before closing, a home inspection should have identified any existing issues. Make sure to address any immediate concerns, such as leaky faucets, broken appliances, or faulty wiring.

Safety Checks:

  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are functioning correctly.

  • Check for any visible signs of mold, pests, or structural damage that need immediate attention.

Seasonal Maintenance


  • Clean gutters and downspouts to ensure proper drainage.

  • Inspect the roof for winter damage and replace any missing or damaged shingles.

  • Service the air conditioning system to prepare for warmer weather.


  • Inspect and maintain outdoor spaces, such as decks, patios, and landscaping.

  • Check windows and doors for gaps and reseal to keep cool air inside.

  • Clean and maintain lawn equipment.


  • Clean gutters and downspouts again to prepare for falling leaves.

  • Check heating systems and replace filters to ensure they are ready for winter.

  • Inspect and weatherproof windows and doors.


  • Drain exterior taps to prevent freezing and bursting.

  • Clear snow and ice from walkways and driveways to prevent slips and falls.

  • Test and maintain smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Routine Maintenance Tasks


  • Check and replace HVAC filters to maintain air quality and system efficiency.

  • Inspect faucets, showers, and toilets for leaks and fix them promptly.

  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.


  • Inspect the exterior of your home for signs of damage or wear, such as cracked siding or peeling paint.

  • Check the water heater for leaks and ensure it is set at the right temperature.


  • Schedule professional inspections for your HVAC system to ensure it operates efficiently.

  • Inspect the roof and attic for any signs of damage or leaks.

  • Flush out the water heater to remove sediment buildup and improve efficiency.

Common Repairs to Expect

Plumbing Issues:

  • Leaky faucets, running toilets, and minor clogs are common issues that may arise. Keep basic plumbing tools and supplies on hand to address these quickly.

Electrical Repairs:

  • Light fixtures, outlets, and switches may occasionally need repairs or replacements. If you’re not comfortable handling electrical work, hire a licensed electrician.

Appliance Maintenance:

  • Regularly check and maintain appliances like refrigerators, ovens, and washing machines to ensure they function correctly. Follow the manufacturer’s maintenance guidelines.

Roof and Gutters:

  • Over time, your roof may develop leaks, or gutters may become clogged. Regular inspections and cleaning can prevent significant damage.

When to Call a Professional

While many maintenance tasks can be handled on your own, some repairs require professional expertise:

  • Electrical Work: For safety, hire a licensed electrician for any electrical repairs or upgrades.

  • Major Plumbing Issues: Complex plumbing problems, such as burst pipes or sewer line issues, should be handled by a professional plumber.

  • Roof Repairs: Significant roof damage is best repaired by a roofing contractor to ensure the job is done correctly and safely.


Home maintenance and repairs are integral parts of homeownership. By staying on top of routine tasks and being prepared for common repairs, you can keep your new home in excellent condition and avoid costly issues down the line. Embrace these responsibilities to enjoy a safe, comfortable, and well-maintained home for years to come. Welcome to homeownership!

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Home Technology & Gadgets:

Keyless Entry Systems for the Home: Convenience and Security

Keyless entry systems are becoming increasingly popular among homeowners looking to enhance the security and convenience of their properties. These systems allow you to unlock your doors without using a traditional key, offering a range of features that make managing home access simpler and safer. Here’s a brief overview of keyless entry systems and their benefits.

What Are Keyless Entry Systems?

Keyless entry systems use electronic locks that can be opened with a code, smartphone app, fingerprint, or other methods instead of a traditional key. These systems often include:

  • Keypad Locks: Require a PIN code to unlock.

  • Smart Locks: Connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, allowing remote access.

  • Biometric Locks: Use fingerprints or other biometric data for entry.

Benefits of Keyless Entry Systems

Enhanced Security:

  • No Lost Keys: With keyless entry, you eliminate the risk of losing keys or having them stolen.

  • Customizable Access: You can easily change codes or revoke access, making it simple to manage who can enter your home.

  • Alerts and Monitoring: Many smart locks provide alerts and logs of who enters and exits your home, enhancing security and giving you peace of mind.


  • Remote Access: Smart locks allow you to lock or unlock your door from anywhere using your smartphone. This is particularly useful for letting in guests or service providers when you’re not home.

  • Keyless Entry: No need to carry keys or worry about forgetting them. Enter your home with a simple code, fingerprint, or smartphone tap.

  • Integration with Smart Home Systems: Many keyless entry systems can be integrated with other smart home devices, such as security cameras, lights, and thermostats, providing a cohesive and automated home experience.

Choosing the Right System

When selecting a keyless entry system, consider the following:

  • Compatibility: Ensure the system is compatible with your door and any existing smart home devices.

  • Features: Decide which features are most important to you, such as remote access, biometric entry, or integration with other smart devices.

  • Security: Look for systems with robust security features, such as encryption and two-factor authentication, to protect against hacking.

Installation and Maintenance

  • Professional vs. DIY Installation: Some keyless entry systems are easy to install on your own, while others may require professional installation to ensure they work correctly and securely.

  • Regular Updates: Keep your system updated with the latest firmware to maintain security and functionality.

  • Battery Life: Most electronic locks run on batteries, so be sure to check and replace them as needed to avoid being locked out.


Keyless entry systems offer a blend of convenience and enhanced security that traditional locks can’t match. By choosing the right system for your home, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing your home is secure while also benefiting from the ease of keyless access. As technology continues to advance, keyless entry systems are becoming a smart investment for modern homeowners.

That’s it for this week.

If you have questions, suggestions, or feedback, please don't hesitate to reach out. We're here to help you navigate the path to becoming a knowledgeable and confident homeowner.

Thank you,

Ron Henderson, CMI
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