Congratulations! You are the proud possessor of your very own house, but the work is far from over. Think of it as a marathon, with many steps to be completed and papers to be signed before you can finally call it your own. Nothing can match the sense of gratitude you feel once you get your keys in your hands; however, there are a few essential things that you must do right after you buy the house of your dreams.
So, what to do after buying a house?
We have put together a list of all the necessary new homeowner tips and steps to take once you buy your home. Without further ado, let us get into the details of ‘moving into a new house checklist’:
The first step and one of the crucial things to do before moving is to ensure that your property is safe and secure. Before moving in, make sure that all the security codes, door locks and garage codes are changed. You would not want the former owners or their acquaintances to have easy access into your home just because you did not remember this crucial step.
It is one of the most important things to do when buying a house, so make sure to:
- Change all the locks. Anyone can have a spare key with them.
- Ensure you reset the key codes of the gate, garage door, etc. The previous owners may have trusted their friends or neighbors with the key codes.
- Keep a spare key somewhere safe like a lockbox. Everyone knows to look for one under a flower pot.
Home Warranties Are Important
Now comes another important question, will you be buying a home warranty and do you really need one? The truth is, home warranties can be a real lifesaver and cover several things ranging from plumbing to air conditioner to merely rekeying your home.
Some lucky home buyers get the home warranty that their seller purchased to cater to major appliances and systems in the home. The last thing you would want is to have a broken HVAC unit or a washing machine right after you move in. Here is how you can go about this:
- If you have received one, you should thoroughly review it to understand what aspects are covered and how you should file a claim.
- If you didn’t receive a home warranty from your seller, it’s a good idea to get one.
- You should look for the best deal that suits your needs the most. Remember to get coverage for larger things like water heaters, kitchen appliances and air conditioning.
Get Your Utilities in Order
Getting the utilities right is the next step in our ‘buying a house checklist’. It is always a good idea to get your essential utilities like gas, electricity and water connected before moving into a new house. This will ensure a swift moving-in process and allow you to have access to necessities while you are settling in.
So, how to set up utilities when buying a house? Remember that according to the local service providers and the neighborhood you are in, different formalities need to be completed before your utilities can be connected. Ask your local service providers to explain the steps, the type of residence verification and ownership required, and how much in advance you need to schedule the turning on of these utilities.
New Address Needs Setting Up
You are finally in your new habitat, but your old friends and family need to know about your new address. You want your Christmas cards, don’t you? Once you have them sorted, the next step is to inform your employer.
Remember to drop this important news off at the HR department in your office, so your records can get updated. Also, remember to update your address with your creditors; you don’t want bad credit just because one of your bills went to your former address.
Other places you need to set up your new address are:
- The doctor’s office
- Voter registration
- Credit cards
- Insurance companies
- Loan Servicers
- Your Business and Personal Banking
Painting and Cleaning
No new house checklist is complete without this step. Don’t be under the impression that your former homeowners had a deep cleaning done after they left. You should invest the first few days before moving in to deep clean every nook and cranny of your house. Hiring professional cleaners will always be a good idea if you can afford them. Make sure you give extra attention to the bathrooms, kitchen, backyard, gutters, vents and chimney.
Not everyone is organized enough to have the house painted before making their grand entrance, but make sure you aren’t one of them. It is always a good idea to get your home thoroughly deep cleaned and painted before you plan on moving in. It is always easier to paint a room that doesn’t have any carpets or furniture.
Know What Is Where
It might be the most important point in our ‘new homeowners list’. As soon as you move in, another important step is to get acquainted with your new home. Make sure you know about the following:
- Circuit box: Locate where the circuit box is and ensure that all the switches and fuses have thorough labeling. This will save you time in case you blow a fuse. Get complete knowledge about all the fuses and their connections.
- Main water valve: Find out where the main water valve for shutting it off is located; mostly, it’s in the garage, whereas at other times, it’s in the crawl space or basement. Make sure you understand how to shut your water off in case of any leakage.
- Gas valve: It is always a good idea to know where the gas shutting valve is in case of emergencies. If there is a situation where you feel gas is leaking in your house, you would rather know where the valve is to shut it off immediately.
- Sump pumps: If sump pumps are correctly used, they are a blessing for your house. If you happen to have one in your home, it’s always best to inspect it. If not used properly, it can cause damage worth thousands of dollars.
- Smoke detectors: Checking your smoke detectors is always a wise decision on your part. See if their batteries need to be replaced or if they are working correctly. Many smoke detectors work best for ten years; check how old yours are. If there isn’t a built-in carbon monoxide detector in your smoke detector, buy those and put them all over your house.
Your house should always have a ready to use an emergency kit for unforeseen circumstances, especially when you just bought a house. Set one up and place it somewhere you will be able to remember. Your go-to emergency kit should have the following:
- A first aid kit.
- Water- preferably a gallon for every person in your house.
- A supply of food that is non-perishable, including pet food.
- Essential medications, including painkillers.
- Can opener
- Extra clothing for every member of the house
- Matches or a lighter
Keep checking for expired items every few months.
Get To Know Your Neighbors
Wouldn’t you love to meet the people you will see every day once you have moved into your new home?
Reach out to your neighbors and get to know the people who live around your area. It’s always good to be friendly, as they can help you out on several occasions. Throwing a small introductory party for them can be the perfect ice-breaker.
Invest in a Fireproof Safe
Your documents are critical and need to be stored in a safe place. This is the right time to invest in a fireproof safe where you can store all your essential documents like birth certificates, house-related paperwork, car titles, etc.
You should also keep copies of your insurance and mortgage documents in it since you have a massive asset to your name. Now that you have bought a house, it is best also to have a will prepared. In simple words, a safe is one of the important things to buy for a new house.
Read the Inspection Report
It ranks among the first things to do after buying a house. Once you have settled in, thoroughly go through the inspection report of your new home. If there are certain repairs that the former owner wasn’t legally required to fix, jot them down.
Next, start with getting the most important ones done and make your way to the least essential repairs. Give yourself a manageable timeframe for getting the work done.
Throw a Party
After achieving such a huge milestone, anyone would be up for a housewarming party. Invite all your family members and friends to your new home and let them witness what a good job you’ve done. What better way to celebrate your success than with the ones you love the most.
Things To Do After Buying A House
Who said all the work is done when you buy your new home? There are still various things that need to be taken into consideration before you embark on the journey of living in your new humble abode. Just keep the essential ‘things to do when moving house’ that we have listed, in your mind, and you will be oh so ready to live in your new place.