New Homeowners: Ready to Knock Down Walls? 3 Projects to Knock Out Instead

Posted on Nov 21 2016 - 2:17pm by Suzanne De Vita

new homeowners

You just became a homeowner—congratulations! In between the oh-my-gosh-I-have-a-mortgage feeling and the pile of empty pizza boxes (you have yet to unpack your cookware), new homeowners may be making a mental list of all the things you’re going to do to make your home your home—projects you plan to knock out the first few weeks as king (or queen!) of your castle.

But tackling too much, too soon is a recipe for regret for new homeowners. The fact is, even though all of those projects seem necessary (they seemed necessary when you walked the home, too!), many of them aren’t.

A full-blown kitchen remodel, for instance, is a wise investment—but only after you’ve determined your needs as a homeowner (and how long you plan to stay in the house, as well). Ditto for the bathrooms—both projects are disruptive, expensive and time-consuming.

So, what should be addressed right out of the gate?


You may be one of the select new homeowners who gets to inherit the former owner’s appliances—another congratulations is in order! Head to Home Depot sooner rather than later for new, ENERGY STAR®-rated appliances. Replacing even just one with an energy-efficient and/or smart alternative, according to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), can save you $50 and 100 hours each year.

Related: INFOGRAPHIC: How Long Will Your Appliances Last?


Make it a priority to check the insulation in the attic—installing more where needed can cut costs your first year as a homeowner (and every year after). It’s well worth the expense: according to Remodeling magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report, fiberglass attic insulation recoups over 100 percent of its cost at resale.


Money doesn’t grow on trees…but home value does. If your new landscape’s lacking, start planting trees as soon as possible—you’ll not only see lower energy costs over the long term, but also an average 18 percent boost in value, according to the Arbor Day Foundation.

That’s it—just three tasks. If you’re in your forever home, you’ll have more than enough time to finish these, and the rest on your list.

7 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Sheryl O'Donnell December 7, 2016 at 11:48 am - Reply

    I think the above article for new homeowners offers shallow superficial suggestions. Here in Michigan, the first three things to focus on for value, protection of home and wellness of family is:
    roof, heating and cooling, last windows. Insulation without a good roof is only wasted money, it is subject to water intrusion and mold. Get real with what is most important in maintaining or improving a home. I pointed out the basics that first protect the investment. Your suggestions are secondary superficial eye catchers, ultimately should be last on the list of improvements.

    • Jeffrey Barrett December 7, 2016 at 1:21 pm - Reply

      Sheryl. Your comments above are way off base. The buyers should have had an inspection and all the items you mentioned will already be ok or repaired.. The article is just some of the less expensive things to do..Not MAJOR renovation.
      To many New buyers watch HGTV and think they need to knock out a wall, or demo the Kitchen and think it will be finished in 30-60 minutes!!

  2. OK Cash Home Buyers June 1, 2017 at 11:27 pm - Reply

    I enjoyed reading this! Its a good article and I can say I agree on all all this.

  3. Owner Finance OKC June 2, 2017 at 3:37 am - Reply

    I agree.. totally make sense

  4. Sooner House Buyers June 2, 2017 at 3:37 am - Reply

    That’s a great idea, Thanks for sharing this article

  5. Jim Morrison June 21, 2017 at 12:09 am - Reply

    Absolutely agree!

  6. W Properties OK December 30, 2017 at 10:22 pm - Reply

    Can’t understate insulation enough!!!

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