Transitioning from a renter to a homeowner can come with many unexpected expenses. While you may have done a good job of budgeting the cost of owning your own home, there are many ways to reduce the cost of upkeep for a new home, especially when it comes to utilities and insurance. Here are some of the best ways to save money after buying a home for sale in Irvine, CA.
1. Get Your HVAC System Tuned Up
Don’t count on the previous owner taking good care of the air conditioner and furnace. Effective maintenance of an HVAC system can save anywhere from 5 percent to 40 percent of your energy bill every month and reduce the long-term costs of repair by identifying issues before they get serious. Keeping your HVAC system in good working order can also extend its life and prevent premature replacement of this costly system. Along with having your system tuned up by an HVAC specialist, make sure you replace the air handling filter every 20 to 90 days.
2. Install a Programmable Thermostat
Heat and air conditioning account for half of your energy bill. A programmable or smart thermostat can help you adjust your home’s temperature automatically to save up to 15 percent on cooling costs alone. Smart thermostats like the popular Nest can be costly at more than $250, but you can get a rebate of up to $125 when you buy one through Southern California Edison.
3. Switch to LED Lights
While the upfront cost may be a bit high, it pays to switch out the light bulbs in your home with newer LED lighting. LED lights run cooler than incandescent and don’t put out heat. They also last an average of 25,000 hours (22 years) compared to 1,000 hours with incandescent and 10,000 hours with CFL lights. The average home can save about $1,000 a year ($8.33 per month) by switching to LED lighting.
4. Shop Around for Insurance
When you bought your home, you may not have spent much time comparing rates for homeowners insurance. After all, you had a lot going on with getting a mortgage and planning a move. Once you settle in, shop around and look for the best rate without reducing coverage. You can also look for discounts you might qualify for, such as installing deadbolt locks, smoke detectors, or a burglar alarm, belonging to an HOA, being a nonsmoker, or making recent home upgrades.
5. Delay Furniture Shopping
Your new home may be much larger than what you had before. Many new homeowners are quick to fill the empty space with new furnishings, and they often buy more than they can afford. If you’re thinking about buying new furniture, give it some thought first. You may want to buy lower-end items and gradually replace them as time goes by.
6. Install Ceiling Fans
If your home doesn’t already have them, add ceiling fans to most rooms to keep air moving. Fans can help you lower your thermostat by a few degrees to enjoy significant savings during the summer.
7. Don’t Overlook Maintenance
Once you own your own home, there’s no landlord to call when something goes wrong. It’s important to budget and take care of maintenance issues as they come up, such as small leaks or roof damage. Addressing these issues quickly can help you avoid major costly repairs that will be necessary if the problem gets worse.
These same tips apply if you’re interested in buying Irvine condos for sale. If you’re beginning your search for the perfect home in Irvine, get in touch with a trusted agent from Irvine Residential Living. Call 714-454-6304 today.