If you’re like most of us, heading into a new year means you’re supposed to make a resolution you can stick with — like hitting the gym, going on a diet and being nice to babies, dogs and the elderly, etc.
But what about your house? If you bought your home in the last year or two, perhaps it could do with a resolution or two…or thirteen.
Here’s our list of steps to take for a happier, healthier home in 2022!
- LOSE SOME WEIGHT.
Lots of clutter from too many possessions just makes moving around the house — or finding things you misplaced — more than frustrating. Maybe you’re a collector. Perhaps you have trouble tossing stuff out. Or maybe you still haven’t unpacked boxes after moving in years ago. Mess causes stress, so lose the weight of all that unused stuff and kick the clutter to the curb! Need a nudge? Read this book by Marie Kondo.
- GET IT TOGETHER.
After decluttering your abode, make a resolution to put some order to all the stuff you have leftover. Visit a home storage retailer (we like The Container Store and Target) for ideas on getting organized. Pinterest boards can also give you the inspiration you need!
- SWEAT IT OUT — IN PRIVATE.
Unless you consider your gym membership a social routine, nip that in the bud too. You can do most of your workouts at home if you have some equipment and a little extra space. If you have a guest bedroom that hasn’t already been turned into a home office, consider turning it into a workout space. You’ll save on membership fees, enjoy your home more and have ample reason to tell the inlaws that they’ll need to get a hotel room when they visit next time. And if you’re looking to move, look for neighborhoods with nearby hiking and biking trails, if that’s your thing. Working out at home is great, but it’s even better outdoors!
- SEE THE LIGHT.
Think LED bulbs are cost-efficient but just too darned bright? You’re not alone. For a more homey feel, LED lighting now comes in much warmer tones and dimmable options! Want to see how much energy and money you can save? Check out the lighting calculator at Bulbs.com.
- GET ’ER DONE.
Everyone has a little list somewhere with chores that need to get done but keep getting put off, like replacing a broken switch plate, patching a torn window screen, painting a peeling window sill or fixing a leaky faucet. Thanks to YouTube, there’s a video for just about everything! Make a list and chip away at that to-do list.
- SCHEDULE MAINTENANCE.
Is that to-do list getting unwieldy? Create a maintenance calendar to remember recurring maintenance tasks that you need to handle season after season. Chart out things like replacing furnace air filters, storing the garden hose in winter, changing smoke detector batteries and cleaning the grill. Planning out scheduled maintenance to get an alert notification on your mobile device will make you look smart and act accordingly!
- BE FREE – DEBT-FREE!
There is a significant correlation between being in debt and being depressed and it shouldn’t be overlooked or brushed aside. People who struggle to pay off their debt are 2X as likely to develop mental health problems. A great tip to remember – after getting your debt in check – is to pay your bills on time. The longer the “good payment” patterns appear on a credit report, the faster past credit problems will fade. Our recent blog has more tips on managing debt to improve your credit score.
- DON’T GET INTO HOT WATER.
When it comes time to replace your water heater – they say to do so every ten years or so – consider a “tankless” solution. Tankless water heaters provide hot water only when needed, not continuously heating and storing hot water like older tank technology. And tankless heaters are up to 34 % more energy-efficient than standard water heaters. Check out this infographic to learn more.
- GET A MORTGAGE CHECKUP.
Not long ago, a study by one of those online home listing sites hinted that Americans spend more time researching buying a new car than investigating the pros and cons of a home loan. When the Feds made it clear that they were going to raise rates, we knew it was a good time to ask yourself if a refi is right for you! Have you considered refinancing? There is no better time than the New Year to reach out to your local Movement Mortgage loan officer for a checkup.
- DIG IN.
Go out to your driveway. Look both ways to make sure traffic isn’t coming and then walk out into the street. Turn around and take in the vision of your home. This is what your neighbors see day in and day out. Does it look inviting? In 2022, plan to keep up with your landscaping. It’s essential to curb appeal! Or, if getting your hands dirty is the last thing on your agenda, find a more easy-breezy style that still looks good.
- PLAN YOUR ESCAPE.
Establish an emergency escape plan for your family in case you need to quickly evacuate your home (think: hurricane season!). Write your plan out and be sure your family – children included – know the escape route. It’s also beneficial to write out and display emergency numbers in your home. Include the local police station, poison control and your personal “in case of emergency” contacts. Also, be sure your house number is clearly visible from the road. This way, emergency vehicles can quickly find your home if needed. Visit ready.gov for ideas on emergency preparedness.
- PAY UP.
Every year, making one extra mortgage payment will save you four years of principal and interest payments, reducing a 30-year loan to 25 years and 11 months. Just divide your monthly mortgage by 12 and add that amount to each month’s payment. So, if you pay $1200 each month, add $100 (1200 divided by 12) for a total of $1300. Either that or make an extra $1200 mortgage payment once a year to have the same effect on amortization.
- EAT AT HOME.
Remember how, during the pandemic, how restaurants were closed and you ate at home a lot more? For many, the money they saved by cooking for themselves contributed to the fact that they were able to make a more significant down payment on a home. That thinking is still smart! According to the USDA’s 2022 Food Price Outlook, food prices are going up. But while grocery prices are expected to increase by 1.5% – 2.5%, restaurant food prices are expected to jump as much as 4%! So enjoy your kitchen and eat at home! It’s healthier and promotes family togetherness all year long!
That’s it! We hope that just some of these New Year resolutions take hold with you. Here’s to a healthy, happy and successful 2022 from all of us here at Movement Mortgage!