Suggestions for Investments in My Home

Updated on April 13, 2009
B.A. asks from Saint Louis, MO
10 answers

Okay ladies! I am getting the first-time homebuyers loan that they offered this year and I want to be wise with my money. I need windows and insulation that are first and foremost, but will have money left over. I am interested in anything that anyone thinks they can not live without and just really pays for itself. I need to get some things like a lawn mower and yard tools, but any other suggestions for investments as opposed to splurges or "nice things" would be great.

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So What Happened?

Ok everyone! I got a few "downer" remarks about asking for advice on how to spend money in this economy, but I just want to clear up that I bought the house over the summer and I was looking for advise on things that I might not have thought of being a first time home owner. Just to clarify, this loan is interest-free, paid over 15 years. Thanks to everyone for their positive suggestions

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answers from St. Louis on

A tool box with tools. Hammer, both kinds of screwdrivers (different sizes), scraper, nails, screws, electric screw gun, masking tape, duct tape, black permanent marker. Ask some male friends what tools you should have. Do you have a vaccumn? Other than that you know you don't necessarily need to spend the money. Put it in savings and pay extra on the loan or just save for a rainy day.

Also check the weatherstripping around all your doors. Including the garage door if you have one. Buy extra furnace filters and change regularly for cleaner air and efficiency of the unit.

Congratulations on your house!!! That is Awesome for you and your kids.

God Bless,
L. (H now)

Replying to another post: cheap windows are NO bargain. The seals will break most likely and then at some point you'll pay for them again.

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answers from Kansas City on

My advice is don't borrow any more than is absolutely necessary. If you have to ask other people for suggestions on how to spend "your" money, then they are things that can wait. It is this mindset that caused this credit crisis to begin with. Do the "musts" now, and then slowly do other projects as you can afford them.

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answers from Kansas City on

Congrats on the house!!

I actually second everything Lisa said. Some good basic tools, extra furnace filters, etc. I would "splurge" maybe on an electrostatic furnace filter. I'm not sure how much they cost, $50? but you rinse it out and re-use it. Cheaper in the long run. But I would still have regular ones on hand, just in case.
I also agree with sticking money in a savings account. Things will break at the most inconvenient and unexpected times so to have a little cushion, especially in this day and age, would be a good thing.

In good health,

Lori K

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Wichita on

Good Morning B., You have some Great advice and things to check on and get. So I just wanted to say
Congratulations on your new home. It's so wonderful to be able to have a place that is all yours. And the other two Mama's are right things to break down at the least opportune time. If it has a basement with a sump pump make sure it is in good running order. (no flooding etc.) If your area's is prone to power outages, you might think about a back up generator. We were with out power for 3-4 days few years back, the Fireplace just didn't keep it that warm, except in living room. 4 of us were camping out on the couch and floors. One being our preggers daughter in law. Our sump stopped of course so we took turns emptying it out with a big coffee can 24/7. Hubby and son took off to see if they could find a generator and when they got back, hooked it up the power come on 15 minutes Ours has several plug ins on it, so we can hook up the Frig, Sump pump, lights and TV if we need to.

Congratulations again. I am so excited for you and your
Have a Very Blessed Easter SONday
K. Nana of 5



answers from St. Louis on

a whole house humidifier which mounts to the furnace! It's been indispensable for fact, we've used one at both of the homes we've owned.

In the opposite direction, a dehumidifier used during summer months greatly helps the air conditioner.

Ceiling fans & exhaust fans (bathroom/kitchen) are also very helpful. As are scald protection in your bathtub/shower units, faucet-mounted water filters, & a carpet shampooer (ours is part of our heavy-duty vacuum & has been used regularly for the past 15 years!). Good Luck.



answers from Kansas City on

Good for you for wanting to improve what you already have! If you bought an older house, some things that you might want to look into are your plumbing, air conditioning system, and water heater. These are all things that when they are old and run down, they can be costing you a lot more money then you might think and when there is a problem, it is usually a BIG problem that has to be fixed whether you have the money or not. So since you have a little extra right now, it would be good to have them looked at to make sure they are going to last. As an example, we are in the process of replacing all the old plumbing pipes and as we have taken the old out, we realized that it wouldn't have been very long before something would have busted and caused major problems. Look at your main pipes and if they are PVC or copper, then they should be fine. If it is cast iron or galvanized (metal that's not copper), then you might think about having it all replaced. This will add value to your home as well as saving you potential headaches. With the AC and water heater, just make sure that they aren't really old units and maybe call a professional to come and look it all over. This is a good time of year to do that anyway with your AC to get it ready for summer. There are lots of new options with water heaters that can save you money if you have an old one. Most people have the, if it's not broke, don't fix it attitude about these kinds of things but if you have the ability to upgrade these things before they are broken then you could save yourself a bunch of money in the long run.


answers from St. Louis on

My advice, and your not going to like, but I work in real estate and have owned several homes but if your buying a house and will have no money left over for improvements, or emergencies, then I would save some more money before you get a house. There are some many unexpected things you will have to pay for with a house. I have seen a lot of people get their house forclosed on because they could not afford to keep up with it. I strongly suggest you ask your agent about the cost of utilities on that house, which should be disclosed, and see if thats something you could afford along with your payment, if it needs new windows and insulation, the heating bills may be over the top, or you could request the home owner give you a credit for those things. These days you really have a lot of room for negoiation. You need a nest egg. My husband always keeps a certain amount (a decent amount) of money in our savings for unexpected things. He got laid off for 5 months and if it werent for our savings, we would have easily lost our house. This is how so many people got in this situation and why the market is the way it is. Im not trying to be a downer, but its all very expensive.



answers from Kansas City on

We're getting new windows and I was referred (by a window contractor) to Window World (seller of the $199 window). If you purchase the windows that are their upgrade (about $250), then you can deduct like 30% or something on your taxes this year (2009). That makes the windows pretty inexpensive and they appear to be really good windows with a life time warranty.

Other than that, spend money in your bathrooms and kitchen to upgrade. Also, do the things that will make your house more livable for you. You can try to only do things that will make it worth more, but you have to live in it. When I got ready to sell my last house, we did all of this stuff (not really expensive but time consuming) and we looked back and wished we had done it years before so we could have enjoyed those improvements.

Good luck & congratulations on your new house!



answers from St. Louis on

I sell insulation and would be happy to give you a free quote and also look over your house to let you know inexpensive ways to also make it more energy efficient. Most people are surprised that insulation does not cost as much as they were expecting. You do need to watch for those companies that sub out the work (such as a home depot or sears) because they are just paying others to do the work and therefore you are paying more. Contact me and I can let you know what you need.



answers from St. Louis on

Congrats!!! Getting a home is very exciting. I wouldn't rush to buy too much - wait till you move in. You'll be surprised how much you "want" or need to spend just putting a house together. Get some basic tools - look on craigslist if you can, because you don't need the nicest set in the world, just the basics that work and save the rest for things that pop up after you move in. Good luck! And enjoy your new home!

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