While few of us have electrical or mechanical engineering expertise, all of us have from time to time been confronted with issues involving the systems that provide safety, convenience, and services in our home. Having a working knowledge of these systems can help us keep our homes safe and operating effectively. The picture below (adapted from the summer 2014 issue of USAA Pace Magazine) shows those systems which we typiclly have in our homes. When purchasing a new home, the buyer should not overlook the importance of learning the location and functioning of each of the systems shown in the diagram. Usually, the seller is ths best source of information. A wise home-owner will keep a file of user manuals and documents that describe how the systems work, what maintenance is required, and who to call if service or repair is reauired.Ideally, the buyer should have a conversation with the seller to learn how the systems operate and the location of shut-off valves, fuze boxes, and filters so that simple repairs and maintenance can be performed, or that appropriate service companies can be called when something goes wrong.
It is also a very good idea to have all the locks re-keyed immediately after taking occupancy. You never know how many keys to the old locks may be out there, or who has them. it's best to take the simple precaution of calling a local locksmith to have the locks re-keyed.
A real estate investment is an exciting and important event. To make the most of that investment, be sure take the time to learn your new home's basic systems. A little up-front effort can pay big dividends in the safety and comfort of your home.