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Must-have Tools & Tips For New Home Owners

Tools

ToolsWhether you’re building a house or are getting prepared for the moving and storage of your belongings to a new home, there is a list of must-have tools you should consider having. Things become quite difficult when you’re having issues with household items and don’t seem to have a solution for them.

I’ve compiled a list of tools I’d suggest as personal must-have’s:


Screw Drivers

Screw drivers are a must-have for everyday chores at home and moving and storage. If you do not own a set of screw drivers presently, I’ll suggest you get one right away because you’re probably going to need one soon – especially if you’re getting ready to move to a new home. Go for a set that includes screw drivers of all sizes, i.e. large, small and medium flat or screw drivers (star).

Levels
Levels are quite expensive tools. So, I’d suggest you go for these if you’re going to be having a lot of maintenance jobs or heavy moving and storage activities. A level of 30 cm will be ideal if you’re planning on putting up cornices, hanging mirrors, paintings or adjusting washing machines or fridges. Like the screw drivers, you might also need to use these tools quite often.

Spanners
These tools are not as crucial as levels or screwdrivers, but equally come in handy for a lot of chores like assembling garden tables. Spanners come in various sizes, so I’ll recommend that you get a complete set instead of buying them separately one by one.

Tape Measures
When you get yourself a tape measure, you’ll forget living without one. I’ll suggest that you buy at least two – one to keep in your car and the second for your home. Tape measures especially come in handy during moving and storage, or while you’re shopping around for things like furniture or appliances that need to be fit into specific spaces in your home. Go for the spring tapes that retract after use. Those will save you the trouble of locking your tapes in place when you’re done with them.

Ladder
I don’t think I even need to elaborate on this one? The only time you won’t need a step ladder is if you’re 8 feet tall – which is very unlikely! Ladders make it possible for us reach up to high levels to do things like cleaning top shelves or changing light bulbs. So, consider getting yourself a safe ladder if you don’t have one already.

Hammers
As a new home owner, hammers are tools you’re surely going to use quite often. Not only will you need them during the moving and storage, but also after you’ve fully settled in. You’re definitely going to need a hammer to nail up your photo frames or to hang paintings on the wall.


Tips – What no Estate Agent Will Tell You

Tips for Home Buyers

When you put an offer in for a house you’re interested in, check the following items carefully, because if you don’t, it will bite you in the behind as soon as you’re in your new home, especially after you’ve moved in and don’t have the funds or the energy to fix any of it.  Take a tape measure, notebook and pen. 

Jot down these tips and make notes as you go through your prospective new home.

  1. Walk through and check that all the taps are working fine, including shower heads, etc. Pay special attention to the washers.  Taps should close without drips by gently closing them.  If you have to hurt your hand to stop the drip, the washers are probably ready for replacement.  Although not a big expense, it still should tell you how the current owner is maintaining the house you’re interested in buying.

  2. Take the time and make the effort to check on the geyser , piping and general electricity.  Check that the geyser is not so old that it is running on extra time ready to conk.  If old, insist that it be replaced before you proceed with the buy. ( this might not be possible so rather discuss it with the current owners )

  3. Even if it costs more, get your own independent electrician to check all the plugs and switches in the house, including the areas not visible to a buyer.  Many times electricians approve of a house and issue a certificate, where it is actually unsafe. ( Discuss this beforehand with the current owners)

  4. Check for water marks on ceilings and walls.  These are signs that there are leaks, either in the roof or in the pipes.

  5. Test all the toilets in the house that they work properly without leaking constantly.  Also check that the seats are secure and safe and there are no cracks in the bases.  If there’s a leak, there will be a definite messy part at the base on the floor.  So pull away any carpeting to check the floor.  A lot of silicone at the back is probably masking a major issue.

  6. If the windows have a wood frame, check for rot.  Also check for cracks in the walls around frames and doorways.  This might point to a bad foundation flaw in the home.

  7. Check all built-in cupboards and shelving for rot, damp and un-functioning hinges.  These things are not seen while the owner is still living in the house, so make an effort to check thoroughly.

  8. Thoroughly check the flooring/tiles/carpeting in the home.  Loose carpets can hide a lot of flaws.  Insist the current home owner accommodates your request to check.

  9. Take a tape measure with you and check that your current appliances will fit into the new spaces.

  10. Make sure your house plan is within your boundaries as per the municipality plans of the area.  Previous cases show that your home might be on your neighbour’s land, which would leave you without a home, if discovered.  A very costly mistake, but still your responsibility.  This does not happen often, but it does happen.

  11. When moving home, contact your telephone/internet/TV company more than 6 weeks in advance and decide on a date of line/service transfer.  Make sure you get this in writing, also get the name of the person in charge of transfers.  That will eliminate being put on hold if the service does not happen as per schedule.

  12. Contact your electricity company, best done in person, and discuss where you’re moving to and get a switch-on date in writing.  Check that the account of your new home is paid up to date.  (This is especially important for a home rental as well, as you could be stuck with having to pay the previous renter’s bill before your electricity is switched on.)  Take the name of the person you’re speaking to, also in which department this person works.

  13. Get all the relevant documents, cards and numbers from the current owner when transfer takes place.  You will need your correct electricity pre-paid number, etc. before you move into your new home.

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