Article provided by Rodel Ambas /

A new home and the New Year both signify new beginnings, and what better way to start than with resolutions for improved living and home ownership.

For many, the start of a new year is also the time to make resolutions aimed at self-improvement, like eating healthier, exercising more often, or seeing and learning more about different places. Similarly, a new home opens residents to new possibilities, and whether this new ownership coincides with the New Year or not, it is just as good a time to make resolutions aimed at the improvement of the property and quality of living in general.

Continue to practice budgeting

While budgeting plays a significant role when you were saving for the down-payment of a new home, it is just as much a facet of your owning the property. Sticking to a budget, and being disciplined enough to cut back on unnecessary expenses like gourmet latte from a fancy coffee shop, will help ensure that you always have the finances to cover your monthly mortgage payments.

Creating a yearly budget for home improvement and maintenance also helps prevent overspending, and encourages you to put aside money for major replacements that tend to become necessary every few years, such new wallpaper or a replacement or an upgrade of kitchen appliance.

Learn more about homeowner’s insurance

Part of the budgeting you should continue to practice is for home insurance, as you’ll periodically be paying the premium to cover losses that possibly happen to, within, or involving, your new property. While having homeowners insurance in itself is start, it is to your benefit to know more about it to make sure that you are getting the most out of the premium you pay.

You may assume that your homeowners insurance only covers basic perils such as fire, storms, or vandalism, but not realize that it may also cover accidental water damage and burglary. How extensive the terms are depends on the policy you choose, and knowing about as much as you can will allow you to get great value out of even a modest premium.

Similarly, knowing about homeowner’s insurance means being informed about some discounts that may not have been available when you initially applied, which you can then ask about when renewing your policy, or help you decide on getting a new one from a different provider altogether.

Go green more often

When people talk about being more environmental, most think of installing solar panels or converting to a hybrid car for transportation as the best way to make a difference. While those would indeed be helpful in preserving the environment, going green can also be by way of making adjustments at home, those of which would also help in reducing your utility expenses.

Try to opt for LED variants that use less electricity yet last longer. Also equip your new home with low-flow water outlets. If using an air conditioner or thermostat, make sure the vents are kept clean and properly insulated so that the machine does not consume too much electricity as it operates. Practicing such adjustments at the onset of homeownership additionally enables you to safe on utilities from the get go, saving which could be allocated to other portions of your budget.

Use your kitchen

Arguably one of the best parts to being a new homeowner is having a kitchen to yourself that you can do just about anything. So don’t be afraid to use it, gradually improving and equipping it the best you can. Even if you end up putting your home up for sale in the future, kitchens are often a significant selling point, and all improvements you make will account for increasing your property’s value.

Your new kitchen also affords you the opportunity to cook more meals at home, so best make the most of this and minimize the instances that you eat out or purchase takeaway meals. Not only does this lead you to a healthier diet, you’ll also be saving significantly on food expenses, savings of which you can divert to your home improvements or mortgage payments.

Expand your DIY skills

Being a new homeowner means a slew of new responsibilities, the most significant of which is being the primary person to care for the new property. There are no parents or landlords to rely on for minor repairs and maintenance, so it is paramount to have the right knowledge and resources when having to address some issues in the house.

While your do-it-yourself skills need not be too extensive immediately, it would be beneficial to have a basic tool kit handy and the necessary know-how to address typical concerns like a leaky faucet or a loose cabinet door. By becoming as handy as possible, you save yourself the time and expense of using paid services, and you are also able to immediately address home concerns and minimize inconvenience.

Recognize when to rely on professionals

Similarly, it is important for you to know in what instances it is necessary to hire a professional. The excitement of being a new homeowner may have you wanting to do many DIY projects in your new space, some of which your skills and equipment may not be up to task. It is important to take stock in what you know, but also recognize what to leave to professionals.

While you can learn, and successfully complete, projects like painting the living room or even building a table, leave the electrical repairs and extensive plumbing work to the professionals who are trained and equipped to do work safely and effectively. By choosing guaranteed workmanship, you are able to make sure the improvements to your new home are done right and will last for an extended period of time.

Also published on Medium.

Andreea swears by her love for urban places, architecture, and Singapore, which is why she crafts content for Greyloft. When not immersed in adventures around the world, she loves living a bohemian life, where a good book has to always be paired with a pretty view.