Congratulations! You found the home of your dreams; your offer was accepted; the home inspection didn’t reveal any serious problems; financing went smoothly and you closed on your loan. Welcome to the neighborhood!
Whether you purchased in a suburban area or rural country setting, you need to be cognizant of city and county zoning. If you purchased in a subdivision you should have received a copy of the covenants and restrictions. As a new property owner, you will make the house you purchased your ‘home’ as you create your style and complete small or major projects. You may be planning additional landscaping by adding trees, and shrubs. Be sure there are no restrictions as to the type of trees you plant and how close to the property line they may be placed. Does your vision include a picket or rail fence? Check with your HOA (Home Owner’s Association) to see if you need the approval of an architectural committee.
Not in a home owner’s association? Reach out to the county or municipality to see what the zoning requirements are and if you need a permit. In most areas, you are required to apply for a permit for any storage building, fencing, and swimming pools whether above or in ground. Permits are not limited to outside improvements. In some states, county zoning regulations require permits for installing a new hot water heater; heat pump; updates on wiring and plumbing. There are areas where a licensed contractor must do the home repairs even though the homeowner may have the knowledge and expertise to complete the upgrades or repairs. Always check before starting any renovations to avoid running into problems.
As you settle in to your new home take time to meet the neighbors! It’s good to know your neighbors and they can help your transition to the area be a smooth one. No man is an island! We need each other to make the community a warm and inviting place to live. As you explore your surroundings learn where the nearest fire department and emergency services are located. Get recommendations from the neighbors for doctors, dentists and other professionals. If you are just moving to a rural setting there are a few tips to help you transition to fine country living! If you are on well and septic, remember if you lose power, DO NOT continue to run water. You could destroy your hot water tank. Without power your pressure tank for the well will not function either. If your area loses power occasionally it is wise to be prepared with flashlights; oil lamps; and for winter months a good load of dry wood with kindling to start a fire if you have a fireplace or wood stove. Be sure to keep an extra gallon or two of water stored too. Don’t forget to stock some great snacks so you can invite the neighbors over to sit by the fire and tell tales until the power comes back on!
It is exciting to move into a new home, whether it is your first or moving to either a larger home or buying a second home. Remember home is where your story begins. May it be a beautiful day in the neighborhood!
AUTHOR: Joyce Garrison
Ellingwood Pro Home Inspections
WV License # HI5820368-0620 MD License # 34197 VA License # 3380001839
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We hope you choose Ellingwood Pro for your next home inspection! Our Certified Home Inspector completes home inspections in Allegany County, Maryland, Washington County, Maryland, Frederick County Maryland, Jefferson County, West Virginia, Berkeley County, Martinsburg, Bunker Hill, Hardy County, West Virginia, Hampshire County, West Virginia, Grant County, West Virginia, Morgan County, West Virginia, Frederick County, Virginia, Winchester City, Virginia, Shenandoah County, Virginia, Page County, Virginia, Rappahannock County, Virginia, Fauquier County, Virginia, Loudoun County, Virginia and Clarke County, Virginia.