Each year, nationwide, millions of U.S. renters transition into first-time home buyers, then first-time homeowners.
It's a major life event; one which comes with new financial responsibility, and one which requires new life skills.
Different from apartment living, there's no landlord to call when something breaks in your home. Or, when you need to make repairs.
Help can be found on the internet and a handyman is never farther than a phone call away. However, if you can take the time to learn a few key skills, you can be self-reliant when fixtures in your home "break".
You'll save money when you can make small fixes yourself, and you'll give yourself a true sense of accomplishment.
There are four basic tasks every homeowner should be able to perform.Click to see today's rates (Sep 26th, 2016)
Sometimes, items get flushed down a toilet which don't belong. Maybe a child's toy, or paper products, or something more dense that prevents the commode from performing its job.
Don't reach for the Drano. Instead, find your toilet plunger. You can discern your toilet plunger from your sink plunger by the flange on the end.
Toilet plungers are "cupped" at the end. Sink plungers are not.
Place the plunger over the hole in your toilet and give a half-dozen vigorous pushes. Make sure that there's enough water to cover the end of the plunger. If there's not, add water from a nearby sink.
Repeat as necessary until the toilet has been cleared of its obstruction.
Occasionally, toilets develop leaks. Except, you won't really know it until your next water bill arrives, which will be hundreds of dollars more than you expect.
Leaky toilets drip water into the toilet bowl continuously, which then finds it way out through your pipes.
As soon as you notice a water leak, shut your toilet's water value off. The valve is located just behind the toilet, and is oval-shaped.
Once the water flow is stopped, lift the lid of the toilet to inspect its float, chain, and flapper. If you find discolorations, cracks, or tears, it may be time for replacement parts.
Next, check the length of the chain. The chain should be sufficient long to allow the flapper to "close" in the tank. If the chain's too short, lengthen it the minimum amount to allow the flapper to close.
Turn the water back on, and listen to make sure the drips have stopped.Click to see today's rates (Sep 26th, 2016)
Keeping your HVAC unit in top working order is one of your easiest tasks as a homeowner. All you need to know is where the filters are located on your unit, and the measurements of your filter.
The general rule is to replace your filters quarterly. However, if you've recently made home repairs which created dust, or if you have dogs or cats that shed, you may want to change your filters as often as once every six weeks.
As a homeowner, you'll likely want to hang pictures, portraits, and other artwork on your walls. However, you don't want to drill just anywhere -- you could inadvertently cause the drywall to flake and fall apart.
To minimize potential damage, you'll want to know how to find the wooden studs behind your walls. Studs are what frame your home and support your walls.
There are a number of ways to finding a wall stud.
Most electrical outlets are mounted to studs, so drilling on the vertical plane above an outlet will put you in "the safe zone". Or, you could knock on your walls, listening for the areas which are more dense than the others.
The dense areas indicate your studs.
However, the easiest way to find a wall stud is with the help of a stud finder, an electronic device which measures relative density along a wall. When the stud finder locates a stud, it "beeps" to notify you where it's safe to drill.
Homeowners can't call the landlord when something needs fixing; and learning to make the basic fixes can help you be a better homeowner.
Get today's live mortgage rates now. Your social security number is not required to get started, and all quotes come with access to your live mortgage credit scores.Click to see today's rates (Sep 26th, 2016)
The information contained on The Mortgage Reports website is for informational purposes only and is not an advertisement for products offered by Full Beaker. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not reflect the policy or position of Full Beaker, its officers, parent, or affiliates.
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2016 Conforming, FHA, & VA Loan Limits
Mortgage loan limits for every U.S. county, as published by Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)