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Bought a new house? Expect maintenance

Key tips on how to preserve your investment

New versus used -- also known as "pre-owned" or "existing." There are a variety of reasons why consumers dream about a new home, and one of them is the comfort of knowing appointments, furnishings and appliances will actually work for a specific period of time or be replaced by a competent builder. If you just received a dynamite deal from a builder eager to reduce his January inventory, don't allow expert craftsmanship to tempt you into thinking your new palace is going to be maintenance-free for years to come. Every house requires upkeep, even a brand-new one. You won't have to replace big-ticket items like a furnace or a roof anytime soon, but to keep your new house looking new, you'll still have the routine chores that will help preserve and protect the biggest investment most people ever make. For example, it's best to catch spills on your gorgeous new counters right away. Some counters can stain easily, and depending upon the substance, sometimes p...

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