Have you recently purchased a home or you’re considering purchasing? You’re probably doing a little bit of research on how to find the best home loan, the best rates and of course, the best house for your needs and budget. There are several things you can do while looking for homes but once you already purchased a home there are 10 things you should immediately do once you move in.
#1. Change the locks. Unless you are buying a brand-new home, it’s best to change the locks and get new keys. You don’t know how many keys to your existing log are floating around out there and you certainly wouldn’t want anyone breaking in simply because they have a key and you didn’t change the locks.
#2. Check all of the outlets and reset buttons on GFCI’s. Your home inspector should probably have done this as well but it’s a good idea to reset all of the buttons and double check that the electrical box is working properly and that everything is working. Plug in a hairdryer or small light or lamp to see if all the electrical outlets are working properly.
#3. Call the local utility company and get approximations on how much your bill will be. If the average electrical bill is about $100 per month and you notice that your first bill is over $200 a month, there’s something seriously wrong. Either people to live in the home prior to purchase or you’re losing energy somewhere. Consider checking the insulation in your attic and adding more if needed. Check for gaps or air leakage around windows and door frames and lower the temperature on your hot water heater to about 120°F.
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#4. Don’t go out and buy a whole lot of new furniture. This is something not to do but important nevertheless. Don’t go out and blow all of your money on new furnishings if you don’t know you actually need them yet. Move all of your furniture in, sit down, walk around and get a feel for the new place. You may find that adding new furnishings right away will not actually fit six months down the line. Simply enjoy your new space until you’re ready to add the proper furnishings.
#5. Get a good cleaning. Before moving in a lot of furnishings consider having it professionally cleaned. If this was not done prior, get a professional carpet cleaning and a professional cleaner for the entire house. Remember, you’re now living in someone else’s space and you wanted to be yours completely.
#6. Organize as you unpack. We talked about packing up and how it’s important to have some of the first things you want unpacked as some of the last things packed into the truck or moving van. This could mean your coffee maker, basic dishes and utensils, clothes and other immediately necessary items. But take your time and organize as you unpack putting things exactly where you want them to go and remember, things may change. After a month, your drinking glasses may not work in the first cabinet you put them in.
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#7. Meet the neighbors. This might seem awkward at first but you don’t have to go around knocking on one door after another just to meet your neighbors. If people are out mowing the lawns, walking their dogs, or doing yard work, it can be an excellent time to do the same and strike up a conversation. You can ask them about the neighborhood, how long they have lived there, any tips or tricks to living in the neighborhood and some of the closest markets are restaurants they like to frequent.
#8. Make sure documents are set up correctly. Make sure that all of your credit cards, loans, bills and subscriptions are sent to the correct address. Closeout any old accounts that you won’t be needing perhaps in an old town and reissue them in your new place. Double-check that you have all the information for your homeowner’s insurance and local information on police departments and fire departments.
#9. Get familiar with your heating and cooling systems. If possible, talk to the previous owner about who service a furnace, heat pump or air conditioner. See if it needs to be serviced again or filters need to be replaced. Understand your energy source and about how much you be paying.
#10. Make notes on any additional items that you’ll need. For instance, if you lived in an apartment and you now own a house with a yard, you might consider getting a lawnmower or find someone in the area with a lawn more than you can pay on a monthly basis. You might need hedge trimmers, clippers, landscaping gloves or other items but write them down when you come across a need for them so that you can make your home improvement store trip a successful one.
For more information on new homeowners, buyers and finding the right home throughout the Tri-Valley area or Alameda or Contra Costa County, contact our office today.