Read up on DIY projects for new homeowners, like buying life insurance, that will help protect and prepare you and your new home.
If you've recently taken the leap and bought your own home, you likely have a long list of to-dos. And you aren't alone. An Experian study1 estimates that new homeowners will buy "more products and services in the first six months after moving than an established resident spends in two years." With all of the responsibility that comes with homeownership, it's no wonder that many families turn to DIY projects as a way to lighten the financial load.
Among the urges to paint every room and retile the floors, you may have also asked yourself, if it's a good time to buy life insurance. Homeownership can certainly be one of many reasons to buy life insurance, but we know it isn't the only project or new responsibility you're facing. Even though your plate is already likely full, here are a few DIY projects you may not have considered that will help protect and prepare you and your new home.
Change the locks.
Unless you are the first occupants in your new house, it's a good idea to change the locks when you move in since there could be a number of past residents who still have keys to your house. This is an easy project even for a DIY newbie. A trip to the hardware store, a little elbow grease, a couple screws, and you'll have new locks on your doors.
Average Cost of Locksmith: $151*
Average DIY Cost: $15 to $50 per lock**
Check the temperature on your water heater.
Budgeting can be tricky in your first years as a new homeowner, and small financial cuts can certainly make the difference. Turning down the temperature on your water heater can help save on energy costs in your new home and bring down your bills. Just make sure you don't turn it down too low unless you're keen on cold showers. Average
Cost of an Energy Auditor:$371*
Average DIY Cost: $0
Label your electrical breaker box.
Having labels on your breaker box may seem like an unnecessary pursuit until your power goes out. With each breaker well-labeled, you'll be able to tackle any power outage without breaking a sweat. If you get really ambitious, label incoming and outgoing pipes for your water and sewage as well as their shut off valves.
Average Cost of a Professional Organizer: $489*
Average DIY Cost: Less than $5 for materials
Install ceiling fans in any room you can.
Ceiling fans circulate air in your house without driving up your utility bills. Of course, some days will demand sitting underneath the air conditioning, but for the other days, a good ceiling fan can keep you cool and those energy costs down. You can buy your new fans at the hardware store, and with the right electrical setup, installation shouldn't be too difficult to do on your own.
Average Cost of Ceiling Fan Installation: $242*
Average DIY Cost: $20 to $90 per fan**
Consider purchasing a life insurance policy.
Helping your loved ones cover expenses like funeral costs and mortgage payments should something happen to you is one of the many common uses of life insurance. If you bought your home with a spouse or partner, they could end up underwater and ultimately displaced from your shared home if they were left to pay the mortgage by themselves. In fact, according to a LIMRA study,2 29% of people would be in financial trouble with a month of losing their spouse.
Helping to protect their interests and financial livelihood with a life insurance policy is truly affordable too. If you're young and healthy, you could secure a preferred plus rate as low as $14 per month for $250,000 of coverage. Best of all, life insurance can be a DIY project for you with AIG Direct's online application system. DIY Life Insurance allows you to apply online without talking to an agent. Of course, you can always reach out our licensed agents if you need help along the way.
DIY projects for new homeowners come in all shapes and sizes. Some you may feel the urge to put off, while others feel like a breeze. Luckily, if you're new to homeownership, another great reason to buy life insurance (other than what we've already mentioned) is that we've worked to make it as painless as possible for you.
* Based on price estimates through Home Advisor
** Based on price estimates through Cost Helper