A First-Time Buyer's Guide to Home Maintenance

A First-Time Buyer's Guide to Home Maintenance
June 24, 2023


Like any good property owner, you’ve probably read a lot of home maintenance guides—and I’m sure they all tell you the same thing. But what they don’t tell you is what to expect and how to prepare for repairs and renovations as a first-time homebuyer. The path on how to become a homeowner is perhaps better documented than how to best maintain your property as a homeowner. In this article, we'll give you an overview of what good property management is and what it takes to manage your home repairs and renovations as a first-time homeowner. That way, when the time comes for these projects you know what steps need to be taken before any work is done on the house.

Make a list of needed repairs.

Make a list of all the repairs you need to do. Don't forget small jobs like fixing leaky faucets and changing light bulbs, as well as larger projects like replacing old plumbing or electrical fixtures. Consider safety issues that need immediate attention, such as broken stair railings or cracked windowpanes.

Get quotes for your repair bills.

  • Get quotes for your repair bills.
  • Ask for quotes from at least three contractors, and get a written quote from each one.
  • Get several quotes for the same job, so you can compare prices and find the best deal.
  • Ask for references from previous customers--you want to know if they were satisfied with the quality of work done by this contractor before hiring them yourself!

Ask the right questions during contractor interviews.

To ensure that you get the best service, it's important to ask the right questions during contractor interviews.

  • Ask about their experience, certifications, and references.
  • Ensure that they have all necessary licenses and insurance policies in place that protect you as well as them in case something goes wrong with your home repair project.
  • Ask for a warranty or guarantee on their work so that if there are any issues with it later on down the road, they will fix them for free or at least give some kind of compensation for your troubles. This will also help prevent future problems from happening because now there is no need for additional repairs due to faulty materials being used during construction projects such as paint jobs or drywall installation jobs which could cost thousands of dollars depending upon what needs to be done!

Find contractors and get them on the job.

Once you have a list of needed repairs, it's time to get quotes for your repair bills. You can do this by asking friends or family members who have done similar work in the past, or by searching online for contractors in your area. The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) offers vetted contractors who follow a strict code of ethics, carry proper insurance, and follow all local, state, and federal regulations. When interviewing potential contractors, be sure to ask about their experience with similar projects and whether they have references from past customers.

Once you've found a few good ones, start getting quotes from each one so that when it comes time to hire someone on your home maintenance team, there will be no surprises! Once hired and paid for their services (including any materials required), make sure those contractors show up on time every day; if they don't show up at all without giving notice first then that's something else entirely--and definitely not worth hiring again!

Be present when contractors do the work.

If you're not present for any of the work, it's likely that something will be missed. It may be as simple as a piece of trim that's supposed to be painted but isn't, or it could be more serious--and expensive--damage that goes undetected until after your contractor leaves.

  • Make sure everyone understands what needs to happen and when it needs to happen by setting up a meeting before any major projects begin. The last thing anyone wants is for workers to start working on something without knowing if they should or how much time they'll have left in the budget once everything is finished!
  • Ask questions: What exactly does this include? What other options do I have? How much does each option cost? Does this cost include materials/labor/taxes (and if so what kind)? By asking these questions now instead of later when we might already have issues going on with our home maintenance project (i.e., water leaks), we can avoid further complications down the road. 
  • Don’t be afraid to review the quality of a contractor’s work by doing some inspection.


The most important thing you can do is make sure that you're prepared before you start managing your home repairs. It's easy to get overwhelmed by all the work that needs to be done on your house and feel like it's too much for just one person. But if you prepare well and keep track of everything in advance, then managing your own home maintenance will become much less stressful. Moatkeeper can help you organize your repair and maintenance and make your first home ownership experience more enjoyable.

Written by
Brian Borchert

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