You Bought a House ... Now What?!
So you closed on your new house, have the keys in hand, now what? Here’s where I’ll give you a transition plan for the first few days in your new house.
You’ve just completed the biggest financial transaction of your life and can now call yourself a homeowner. Congratulations! You’ve signed all the necessary paperwork, you’re about to walk up to your front door, with keys in hand, and as you walk through your brand new house, you are probably thinking, now what? This is a common question new homeowners ask themselves when the time comes to settle into a new home.
With all the excitement and work involved in finding a first home, first-time buyers may not have a transition plan or a checklist for the first few days in their new house. Some checklist items are as simple as steam cleaning the carpets while others involve getting familiar with your home’s circuit breakers and water valves. Having a game plan for your new home will give you peace of mind and allow you to settle in quickly and stress free.
Here are some important items to focus on during the transition into your new home.
1. Change the locks. You never know who else has keys to your home, so it is a good idea to change the locks on all doors. Also, you’ll want to reset the codes for garage doors.
2. Carbon Monoxide Detector and Smoke Detectors. You should install a carbon monoxide detector and smoke alarms. If they already exist, test them out to make sure they work. The general rule of thumb is to install smoke alarms on every level of your home and inside each bedroom. You’ll want to replace batteries annually, and change the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector at the same time
3. Set-up service. It’s important to contact service providers, like trash pick-up to set-up a new account and avoid disruption.
4. Know the circuit breaker. It is a good idea to figure out which fuses control what parts of your house and label them accordingly.
5. Emergency Preparedness. Put a fire extinguisher in your kitchen. You will want to locate the main water shut off valve, know where the gas shut off valve is if you have gas, and if have a sump pump test it to make sure it works.
6. Buy the right tools. It’s likely you own the basic tools, such as a drill, screwdriver, hammer, level and tape measure. But homeownership will require a few new ones such as a pry bar for removing nails, trim or tiles and a ratchet set for adjusting nuts and bolts in hard to reach places.
7. Maintenance. On an annual basis you will clean out the dryer hose and vent.
8. Perform Preventive Maintenance and Inspect Your HVAC System Annually. While you are at it, air filters should be changed regularly, like once a season, to keep your HVAC system running smoothly and to maintain good air quality.
9. If you have an old refrigerator, clean the coils at least once a year so it will last longer.
10. Drain your water heater at least once a year.
11. Inspect your roof for missing shingles after a major storm and clean your gutters at least annually.
When you are a new to homeownership, the list of responsibilities can feel overwhelming at first, but with the help of your Realtor, you can be sure to transition into your new home in a smooth fashion. If you found this helpful, please like it and share it and comment below with any questions.