Being a new homeowner can be exciting, stressful, and you may not know where to start. From cleaning to replacing locks, this is a list of the first five things you should do when moving into your new home.
First, start by doing it yourself or hiring someone to deep clean your new home. No matter how clean the old owner’s thought they left it, you still want to be sure that you are starting with the cleanest house possible. Move appliances and make sure you get places that no one thinks of. Another huge part of this is pest control. Call an exterminator and plan a day away from your house to ensure that you are keeping those creepy crawlers at bay. There are ways to “de-bug” your home on your own, but hiring a professional is the safest and fastest way to make sure you’re alone in your new home.
Second, change your address with everyone. The post office offers a simple form for change of address and that can assist in your mail being forwarded to your new home. Call companies that snail-mail your important items and update your address with the DMV as well. You want to be sure that all of your mail is redirected to your new home. Inform your employer, friends, and family so that you don’t miss a thing when it comes to your mailbox content.
Third, change the locks. Even though the old owners probably gave up their keys, that doesn’t mean there aren’t copies of those keys out there. They may have supplied neighbors or house-sitters with those keys, so you don’t want any uninvited guests. Change the locks, distribute the keys to who you see fit, and make sure any spares you keep are in a safe place.
Next, get home security. Whether you install and monitor it yourself or hire a professional, a home security system is a great way to keep tabs on your new investment. From flood protection to carbon monoxide sensors, there are numerous ways to protect and monitor your home. The most important part of a home security system is remembering to use it. Make it a point that everyone in the household turns it on when they leave and responds if you are alerted of a disturbance. Keep doors locked and windows shut when your house is left unattended.
Finally, inspect your appliances. Have a professional come inspect your major appliances. The maintenance and upkeep are up to you, so don’t get blindsided by an unreliable water heater. The person you hire to take a look usually knows things like where the shut-off valves are and you need to ask them for this information in case of an emergency. If your hired help informs you of needed maintenance, do it right away. It costs less over time to keep the maintenance up-to-date rather than slacking on it and having to replace the entire unit. Inspect or hire someone to look over seasonal items every year to stay on top of situation. You don’t want to wait until it is 90 degrees outside to realize that your A/C didn’t make it through the winter.
These tips are some of the top priority checklist items to do when you move in to your new house. They may seem obvious, but make your own checklist to ensure you don’t miss anything. Ask friends or family for advice if this is your first home. They may offer ideas that you didn’t think of. Long time home owners have run into things no one ever thought of and can be a wonderful resource when it comes to owning and buying your next home.