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  1. #1
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    Tips for a new homeowner

    I'll start off by thanking ISU for my degree which has gotten me a good job, combine that with the tax credit and I was able to purchase a new construction house.

    That being said... I am a new homeowner and am looking for tips of any and all sorts. What do I need to know?

    I was lucky enough to speak with the contractors in time to choose my own flooring, cabinets and countertops and a few other things.

    But now I have a few things yet to do (and maybe more that I don't know of... hence the reason for this thread): I need a mailbox, I'll be putting a custom patio in back this fall, and I still have to landscape and seed (or sod if that's the best way to go). Need window treatments. Need to change my address for various accounts that like to know your current address.

    I've purchased my appliances, but need to install the dishwasher. Is this doable by myself... or should I just get somebody to do it... Lowes (Brookings, SD) quoted 160 bucks for labor and 25 for parts... but that seems a bit high.

    I close on Wed (July 1). Please post any thing you think I should check out on the final inspection, or tips/good ideas, experiences with your own house that you think is good information for a rookie.

    Thanks to everyone in advance for your wisdom!



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    Re: Tips for a new homeowner

    My only advice is don't buy a house two months before the new homeowner tax credit takes effect, but sounds like you've already got that one covered. Not that I did that or anything.



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    Re: Tips for a new homeowner

    Quote Originally Posted by dbronco7sc View Post
    I've purchased my appliances, but need to install the dishwasher. Is this doable by myself... or should I just get somebody to do it... Lowes (Brookings, SD) quoted 160 bucks for labor and 25 for parts... but that seems a bit high.
    It depends on your skill level, I can easily change (install) a dishwasher, but I know others that wouldn't know where to start. If you have done any plumbing/ household repairs, you should be able to.



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    Re: Tips for a new homeowner

    Do the sod and lay it yourself, itll save you about half the price. I know youll be plenty busy, but its quite easy to lay it yourself. Seeding will most likely look like crap with a lot of weeds. if you can I'd wait as late as possible to to lay it down, for the simple fact the sun in July in August is very harsh. I think we paid about $17 for 100 sq feet of sod.


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    Re: Tips for a new homeowner

    Congrats, owning a home is awesome, and a pain at the same time. You will like having the new construction. If you aren't good working with your hands I recommend having lowe's install, if you are confident you can install it, it shouldn't be too bad, I have done it 3 times, just make sure to watch closely after you hook it up for leaks. Sod is always easier to get the grass to take. Good Luck and enjoy!



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    Re: Tips for a new homeowner

    Quote Originally Posted by dbronco7sc View Post
    I'll start off by thanking ISU for my degree which has gotten me a good job, combine that with the tax credit and I was able to purchase a new construction house.

    That being said... I am a new homeowner and am looking for tips of any and all sorts. What do I need to know?

    I was lucky enough to speak with the contractors in time to choose my own flooring, cabinets and countertops and a few other things.

    But now I have a few things yet to do (and maybe more that I don't know of... hence the reason for this thread): I need a mailbox, I'll be putting a custom patio in back this fall, and I still have to landscape and seed (or sod if that's the best way to go). Need window treatments. Need to change my address for various accounts that like to know your current address.

    I've purchased my appliances, but need to install the dishwasher. Is this doable by myself... or should I just get somebody to do it... Lowes (Brookings, SD) quoted 160 bucks for labor and 25 for parts... but that seems a bit high.

    I close on Wed (July 1). Please post any thing you think I should check out on the final inspection, or tips/good ideas, experiences with your own house that you think is good information for a rookie.

    Thanks to everyone in advance for your wisdom!
    Wait to install the sod if you go sod until roughly sept. 1st. Will most likely be hot and dry between now and then, and keeping it watered if you install now will be tough. that time will pass soon enough for you.

    installing a DW is pretty easy. connect water line and connect electricity. a new construction home didn't come with a pre-installed DW?

    it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to get a home inspection, depending on the builder, especially since you seem pretty new homeownership and probably not all that experienced with plumbing, electricity, construction, etc.



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    Re: Tips for a new homeowner

    When you fill out the change of address form, you get a 10% off coupon for Home Depot (or maybe Lowes, I think it's Home Depot). I think it's good for up to $200 in savings. Make a list of everything you need from a hardware store and buy it in one big trip.



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    Re: Tips for a new homeowner

    Quote Originally Posted by AIT View Post
    When you fill out the change of address form, you get a 10% off coupon for Home Depot (or maybe Lowes, I think it's Home Depot). I think it's good for up to $200 in savings. Make a list of everything you need from a hardware store and buy it in one big trip.
    or you can buy it on ebay for about 50 cents a piece



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    Re: Tips for a new homeowner

    Do grass seed instead of sod - sod may be easier now, but grass seed will look a lot better next year.


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    Re: Tips for a new homeowner

    Quote Originally Posted by AIT View Post
    When you fill out the change of address form, you get a 10% off coupon for Home Depot (or maybe Lowes, I think it's Home Depot). I think it's good for up to $200 in savings. Make a list of everything you need from a hardware store and buy it in one big trip.
    Everyone knows it takes 3 trips to Menards (or HD or Lowes) to finish any single home project... there's no way you accomplish it in "one big trip".

    Do the dishwasher yourself, its a good way to slowly build up your tool / shop supplies by getting what you need as you try to do it yourself. You can always pay a plumber after you screw it up - but never before!



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    Re: Tips for a new homeowner

    Pay someone else to do your dishwasher since you got that 8K coming your way. It's one less worry and you know if something goes wrong you can hit them up to come fix it no charge to you.

    Make sure to get a step ladder. We got one and it did wonders as we've painted our master bedroom already. (Which you'll see in a couple weeks). Meet your neighbors as mine has already offered his tools anytime I need it!

    The rest I'l tell you in person when you come visit.


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    Re: Tips for a new homeowner

    Quote Originally Posted by mjones34 View Post
    Pay someone else to do your dishwasher since you got that 8K coming your way. It's one less worry and you know if something goes wrong you can hit them up to come fix it no charge to you.

    Make sure to get a step ladder. We got one and it did wonders as we've painted our master bedroom already. (Which you'll see in a couple weeks). Meet your neighbors as mine has already offered his tools anytime I need it!

    The rest I'l tell you in person when you come visit.
    But what about all of us that aren't visiting your house?!?!?!?!


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    Re: Tips for a new homeowner

    home inspection: check drywall very carefully in various light conditions, night and day to catch all of the defects for them to repair.

    Check that everything is in working order, functional, no parts missing - doors, latching mechanism, sliding door locks, windows, lights, etc....much of this depends on the builder and after sale support/warranty which can vary widely

    Open and close all doors to make to check for squareness, hinges adjusted properly.

    grass seed vs. sod: Either way wait a couple of months until fall, otherwise you fight the hot weather and constant moving of sprinklers. Grass seed wouldn't work right now anyway. Sod seems to be better for instant gratification, but takes a few years to establish itself. I had to baby it with sprinklers the next 2 years. Grass seed may be better at establishing itself when planted in the fall. Maybe this is easier in Brookings, compared to Des Moines area weather.



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    Re: Tips for a new homeowner

    Quote Originally Posted by CyGal View Post
    Do grass seed instead of sod - sod may be easier now, but grass seed will look a lot better next year.
    How so? If you keep your sod watered every day for the first 2-3 weeks until it roots down good and fertilize it in september it will be fine.



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    Re: Tips for a new homeowner

    Quote Originally Posted by tyrelrobert View Post
    How so? If you keep your sod watered every day for the first 2-3 weeks until it roots down good and fertilize it in september it will be fine.
    It depends on your soil and location. We put down sod in June and it looked great for a few weeks, but between heat and the clay we had for soil, it just didn't take like it should have and believe me, we watered it. In general, I agree that seed looks allot better after all is said and done.



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