6 Important Upgrades to Make as Soon as You Buy a Home

Nicolas Huk/flickrIf you've just bought a home, now is the perfect time to take care of upgrades. Personalize your new abode by making it more beautiful, safer, and more functional before you actually start living there. You'll save your family the hassle and inconvenience of camping out in the midst of a construction site, plus when you do move in, you will be welcomed by a house that is just the way you want it. Here are 6 upgrades you should consider making right away.

  1. Electricity

It's a simple equation: a resale home tends to come with an inadequate electrical system. Chances are good that you'll want to upgrade your electrical panel to accommodate today's electronics-heavy lifestyle. What's more, if your older home is equipped with obsolete aluminum or knob-and-tube wiring, you will probably need to have a professional electrician rewire the whole house, a complex, messy job that you don't want be around for.

  1. Plumbing

Outdated plumbing fixtures such as toilets or showers are not just ugly, they are also inefficient. Consider substituting attractive new WaterSense low-flow models; your savings on water bills and fuel for the water heater will more than cover the purchase and installation costs over time. On a larger scale, worn-out or damaged piping should be replaced to protect your property and quite possibly your health. Leaky plumbing pipes can foster the growth of mold and mildew, which are hazardous to family members who suffer from asthma, allergies, or other breathing problems.

  1. Kitchen

Unless you make a regular habit of skipping breakfast and eating out every night, you can expect to spend a lot of your home time in the kitchen. Even if a complete kitchen overhaul is not in the cards, a minor kitchen remodel can make this important room more appealing and comfortable. Suggestions: Paint the walls -- and cabinets too (an inexpensive fix if they're basically in good shape but just looking a little tired), add task lighting, upgrade the appliances, and/or change out the existing flooring.

  1. Flooring

Fresh-looking, high quality flooring like luxurious hardwood will definitely add to the eye appeal of your new house. But beyond its undeniable good looks (and resale value, though you probably aren't going to be going down that road for a while yet), it makes your floors more comfortable for walking, running, sitting, and just generally living on. Don't want the bother or expense of replacing flooring throughout your new residence? Upgrade in the public areas and leave the bedrooms as is.

  1. Appliances

Invest in energy saving appliances for increased efficiency in so many ways. Not only do they save you money on electricity bills, they perform their specific job better as well -- for example,  a modern refrigerator will keep your food fresher and a new on-demand tankless heater will provide a bountiful supply of hot water. That's not to mention the fact that they will make a great-looking finishing touch for your new digs.

  1. Organization and Storage

Here's hoping that you were lucky enough to find a home which offers tons of closet space. However, that is just the first step in getting your stuff together. Install closet organizers and your new motto will be "a place for everything and everything in its place." Built-in shelving, whether for corralling your bathroom essentials or displaying books, ornaments, and artwork in your living room or den, is another practical yet decorative storage solution. Now you know where to put the contents of all your moving boxes once you're finally ready to unpack!

Laura Firszt writes for networx.com.

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