So You're A Home Owner! Now What?

Home Improvement

Becoming a home owner can be a daunting challenge if you’ve never done it before. Owning a home’s like being a farmer: there’s always something to do.

Part of the challenge is recognizing what needs to be done and then figuring out how to do it. No matter the available resources, you get pretty sick of paying people to do things that don’t take a lot of skill or complicated tools, so we all tend to become Do It Yourselfers!

I remember changing a light fixture many years ago down in Virginia. My four year old was watching me do it, so while I was working, I was giving a lecture on the dangers of electricity when suddenly there was a loud POW, sparks flew and I jumped. The four year old looked at me and me and said, “Daddy, are you alive?”

That was the last time I worked on electricity.

Live wiring aside, though, I’ve shoveled and scrapped and painted and plumbed, helped out with the gardening, hammered and nailed and so on and so forth.

A lot of times I’ve used my go-to handyman, but I feel good about myself when I can do it myself.

There are a couple of good web sites to help you figure out how to do some of these tasks. There’s For a start. Then there’s which I’ve used myself over the years.

As a Realtor®, I have to warn folks of two things: First, before you do anything drastic, whether DIY or with hired professionals, consult your Realtor® about whether you’re adding value to your home, or (Arrgh) detracting from the value. You’re living there, and your home should serve your needs and likes, but at the same time, you may want to pause before you devalue your biggest single asset. Second, If it’s a big job and you don’t think you can do it well, get a professional. I’ve seen homes with DIY wallpaper jobs, for instance, that just screamed “Amateur.”

On the other hand, you don’t have to look very far to see a home with an addition that just kills the architecture and look of the original. Your home is your home. “Good enough” just ain’t good enough.

But all you first time home owners: Don’t let it scare you. America spread from coast to coast basically by do it yourselfers working on their own and working with their neighbors. Barn raisings were an early community activity. So don’t be afraid to ask your pals for a little helping hand.

Until next time. –  DeVallon