Your first time purchasing a home will likely be a confusing and trying experience. Thankfully, you got through the most challenging part! You now own a house! Still, there is enough left to be done for it to be somewhat tricky. Knowing what to prioritize is essential. For this reason, we present our new homeowner's checklist: what to do first!
New Homeowner's Checklist for before moving in
Have the necessary repairs and renovations done
Now, this is particularly important if your pre-purchase house inspection has revealed more severe issues. You might think it is okay for you to move in before getting things fixed and touched up. You might even want to engage in some home repairs you can DIY. However, consider the fact that significant renovations will always cause upheaval in your home. There will be dust everywhere. Noise will be near-constant. Entire rooms might be inaccessible. There is even danger of your kids wandering into the renovation zone and getting hurt. Due to all of these reasons, it is as essential to have the work done before you move in as it is to do it.
Change the locks on all your doors
You may have just purchased the house, but you can't know who had the keys before you bought it. If it had been owned by someone before, you can't see if they had given away copies of their keys. This means that if you do not opt to change the locks, you run the risk of someone just walking into your house at any time. Now, they might not mean you any harm. It is even unlikely that such a thing would ever happen. However, why risk your and your family's safety when it is such a simple thing to have done?
Change your home address and update your mailing address
One of the main things first-time buyers should not do is forget to update their documents. This refers to your ID and driving license primarily. But it would be best if you did not forget about any legal document with your address on it. If you fail to properly have your home address updated, you can get into legal trouble down the line. Not quite as necessary, but still enough of concern is updating your mailing address. You should contact the post and inform them of your location change to redirect your mail. Otherwise, you run the risk of never getting it due to it either getting stuck in the system or getting delivered to your previous address.
Activate your utilities
There is nothing quite as annoying or inconvenient as moving in and realizing you have no power or water. And all because you had forgotten to have them activated before moving in! Now, they might have just been transferred to your name and never turned off in the first place. But some sellers like to have them turned off to save on bills and expenses while trying to sell the home. At the very least, you should check! If they are still on, great. If not, you will not want to be unable to shower after the exhausting task of moving in.
New Homeowner's Checklist for after moving in
Organize your home
Now, there are admittedly several aspects to this. However, they all relate to efforts to cozy up your new home so that you can feel comfortable spending time in it. First, of course, is unpacking your belongings. Never delay this since you will only end up putting it off again and again. All the while feeling annoyed by not being able to find half your things. Second of all, you should take the time to set up your furniture and organize the rooms the way you want them. It will bug you and add to the stress of moving otherwise. Finally, by setting up your things, decorating and filling shelves and cabinets, you will make the place feel like an actual home all the sooner.
Find all the power sockets, light and control switches
Know where your sockets are! There is nothing more annoying than going to plug in your laptop or phone to charge and being unable to figure out where to do it. And it will frequently happen while you are getting used to your new home unless you take the time to find them all. Light switches are just as crucial for obvious reasons. You will spare your shins a lot of suffering as you stumble around the dark at night. Finally, knowing where control switches are will be super helpful the first time you suffer a power outage, and you need to flip them on! It would help if you also took the time to figure out which fuses sync up with which part of your home while at it.
Locate all your shut-off valves
Knowing what a water pipe repair costs is essential. Knowing where your shut-off valves are is even more crucial. Especially if your home is flooding from a burst pipe or a toilet is backing up. Similarly, if we shudder at the thought of a gas leak or similar, we will want to know where the valve is. There are two types of valves you should locate. First, you have the valves inside your home. They will typically be near whatever is making use of them, such as behind a toilet or near your stove. Secondly, you need to find the main shut-off valves. They are most often in your basement, front of the house, or similarly located place. But not always! They might also be hard to get at sometimes, so check well before you need to use them.
Get to know your neighborhood
Finally, it is essential to get to know your neighborhood! You need to know where the nearest school is, where the best-stocked and most convenient stores are, restaurants where you can either get take-out or dine in a pinch. In other words, all the little things and amenities you never really thought about at your previous address. Simple because you knew the neighborhood so well.
With our new homeowner's checklist: what to do first drawing to an end, we hope you have a better idea of what's waiting for you! Just remember not to rush. It will hardly help with the stress you have already accumulated from your efforts to secure home if you do. Take things slowly! The items on our checklist are essential, but not as much as your well-being.