There are a lot of small financial fears I have about the whole moving process – future costs, lifestyle changes, and such. This is my first go-round as a homeowner, so lots of questions float through my head. Here are three of the most prevalent ones – and my attempt to answer them.
Increased energy bills Although our apartment may be the most energy-inefficient place on earth (a box air conditioner, terrible air flow, and baseboard electric heating), we’re moving to a space with more than triple the square footage of where we currently live. The energy bills are going to go up – I’ve looked at some estimates of their bills, but I don’t know how they lived in comparison to us.
My plan Take all of the energy efficient bulbs we have at our current apartment and move them with us. Install a programmable thermostat shortly after moving (the house may already have one). Lower the water heater down to 125 degrees or so and put a blanket on it. These are the first steps I’ll take, and I plan on many tweaks after that.
Lawn maintenance An ongoing debate between my wife and myself has been how to handle this chore. Should we buy our own lawnmower and maintain it and invest the time, or merely pay the person who has been mowing and trimming the grass for $20 a week? We keep oscillating on this issue, but I believe we’re leaning towards the service at first.
My plan Hire someone to deal with the lawn the first week or two, then evaluate where we’re at when we’re settled in. I have no objection to doing the lawn care myself, but the startup expenses the time investment is something I’m going to have to calculate carefully.
Neighbors As I’ve mentioned before, interacting with people sometimes can cause me trepidation. However, we will have to meet our neighbors shortly after moving, one in particular because there are some property boundary line issues that need to be discussed (both ways, there are items that each home apparently owns that reside on or very close to the property line).
My plan My wife and I are planning to go meet all the neighbors shortly after the move one evening, then have a barbecue with them sometime after that. Better put on the social hat, I suppose.
For those homeowners out there, what aspects of moving filled you with trepidation?