New Homeowner Guide

The keys are in hand, and you’ve added your finishing touch. As you begin to settle in your new home, we’ll be there along the way to provide a helping hand.

Still in your corner, even after you close.

You take pride in your home. We take pride in advising how to care for it. Even after you move in, we’re here to be a partner in making your house a home, so you can enjoy all of the special moments and ordinary days in between. Your home already has a strong foundation, but it’s important to follow a preventive maintenance schedule to protect your investment. Once you’re a homeowner, you’ll be provided with a Homeowner's Manual, some of which is sampled below.

Taking care of your new home.

The timeline below outlines recommended maintenance for your new home

  • Every MonthEvery Month

    Check these items off your list once a month.

    Take a look at some of the small but important monthly maintenance checks below. These checks will help keep your home safe, happy and healthy for years to come.

    Check GFCI receptacles

    GFCI receptacles are the tiny buttons on your outlets. Prevent electrical shocks by pushing the “test” button on the GFCI outlet; this should cause the outlet to lose power. Press the “reset” button to restore power.

    Inspect caulking

    Check and maintain caulk between countertops, tub and flooring seals. Keeping caulk in good order will eliminate costly future repairs.

    Every Month or as Recommended by Manufacturer

    Clean or replace air filters

    Change or clean filters and vents in heating and AC systems, dryers and fans to keep fresh air circulating.

    Person replacing air filters in a home

    Check and maintain ceramic tile and marble

    Check and maintain the grout joints in all wet areas, as well as the perimeter seals and joints that surround your shower or tub. After six months, you can reduce these inspections to once every two months.

    Check smoke detectors

    Test, clean and replace batteries as needed to keep you and your family safe. The US Fire Administration recommends testing smoke detectors monthly, and changing batteries at least once a year.

  • Every 3 MonthsEvery 3 Months

    Check these items off your list every 3 months.

    Add the maintenance checks below to your to-do list every 3 months to help avoid repairs, maintain your home’s value and keep it beautiful from the outside in.

    Adjust exterior doors

    Check your exterior doors for any gaps at the threshold. A sliver of light in the corners of the door is normal. However, if you feel a draft coming through, raise the threshold as needed by adjusting the threshold’s screws to lift or lower the base. This will keep air from escaping, keep unwanted air from coming in, and will help keep pests at bay.

    Check and replace oven range hood charcoal filter

    Look under the range hood for grease and smoke damage, which may display in the form of caked-on grease and blackened soot marks. Make sure to wash the range hood charcoal filter or replace as needed (about once a year) to keep your home properly ventilated while you cook. You can find new charcoal filters at a nearby home goods store.

    Every 3 months

    Inspect the garage door

    Check the cables, rollers and hinges for signs of wear and tighten up any loose hinges or screws. This preventative maintenance will help prolong the life of your door and keep it working properly.

    Garage door in the up position

    Every 3 Months

    Maintain seals in showers & sinks

    Maintain the seal in your tub and shower pan and sinks, and hand-tighten pipes at traps under sinks every three months to prevent moisture damage to your home.

    Person tightening a sink with a wrench
  • Every 6 MonthsEvery 6 Months

    Check these items off your list every 6 months.

    Add the maintenance checks below to your to-do list every 6 months to help avoid repairs, maintain your home’s value and keep it beautiful from the outside in.

    Clean the gutters

    Check your downspouts and roof at the start of spring and during the fall. Make sure to remove all debris to keep water away from your home.

    Service your air conditioning & heating

    Every fall and spring, get your air conditioning and heating system inspected and serviced by a professional to make sure everything’s working properly.

    Every 6 Months

    Inspect exterior paint and caulk

    Take note of your paint and caulk outside. Check for separated and deteriorating caulk, especially around the windows. If there is cracking or discoloration around your home’s exterior, repaint and re-caulk as needed to help discourage water damage and mold, to help prevent moisture damage and keep pests out.

    People inspecting exterior paint caulk

    Check your water cutoff valve

    Verify that your main water cutoff valve is accessible and functioning properly. If applicable, the valve may be located in your basement or on the outside of your home. Taking time to familiarize yourself with the valves can help save you money, and prepare you to quickly respond should a leak occur.

    Maintain yard drainage

    Help prevent flooding by inspecting and maintaining the flow of all swales (hollow areas or dips), culverts (tunnels) and drainage inlets and outlets around your home. Keep drainage ditches and swales free of leaves, debris, plants and anything else that can interfere with water flow. During the fall and winter, you should check your drainage often in case of erosion from rain, snow, bubblers or sprinkler systems.

    Check washing machine hoses

    Inspect your washing machine hoses and connections for any cracks, dry rot, bulging or softening. Replace as needed to prevent leaks.

    Deep clean windows

    Every spring and fall, vacuum and clean window and sliding door tracks, then lubricate with a silicone spray to make sure they open and close with ease.

  • Every YearEvery Year

    Check these off your list every year.

    Every year, it’s important to perform some of the more comprehensive tasks shown below. The time you invest here will go far in maintaining your home’s value and keeping internal and external systems functioning just as they should.

    Drain your water heater

    Every year, you should consider draining your water heater to remove sediments from the tank that hinder the tank’s efficiency, as well as lead to higher cost of use.

    Inspect your furnace flue

    Call in a qualified expert to inspect your furnace flue at least once a year before the colder winter months to ensure there’s no blockage.

    Every Year

    Check the dryer exhaust vent system

    Check for any blockage in the dryer exhaust vent system. Remove any lint buildup in the exhaust duct running between the back of your dryer and the dryer vent once a year. This critical task will help to keep your dryer working efficiently and safely.


The MyMeritage buyer portal.

Check on the progress of your home or access your homeowner manual.

Go to the MyMeritage buyer portal
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