You’ve finally settled on your new home! The only thing you probably want to do at this point is celebrate and rest but not just yet. Before you celebrate or curl up somewhere cozy in your new home, there are some tasks that should be taken care of first.
As most homeowners know the work is just beginning after you purchase a new home. The length of your To Do list may not be long but even if there are no major renovations that need to be done the following five things are still important. The sooner you take care of these basic steps the sooner you will be able to truly celebrate your new home and get some rest.
Change the locks & update any keypads
Changing the locks on a new home is highly recommended for security purposes. Even though sellers are required to hand over all keys to the buyer at closing, there is no way to know for sure if every key is accounted for. By changing the locks on all outside doors you ensure that you and your family are the only people who have access to these keys.
Additionally, remember to update any keypad code that locks and unlock any doors to the property. If you have a garage this would be the first place to start as many garages provide access to a home. It’s also a good idea to check windows to make sure they close and lock appropriately.
Assemble all important documents
During the home buying process there are a lot of documents that will need to be signed and filed away for possible future reference. After closing, make sure that you receive copies of all necessary documents from the transaction to store in a safe place. Preferably, these should be digital documents that you can store in a cloud database such as Google Drive or Dropbox. It’s still a good idea to have hardcopies safely filed away as well.
Take inventory of home maintenance tasks & top renovations to be made
Being a homeowner often comes with a list of maintenance tasks. Walk through your new home and take inventory of what repairs need to be made. Even if some of the repairs are seasonal, like landscaping, and can’t be made until a later date. At least you will be able to plan for the repair which will hopefully make your life a little easier. When thinking about home repairs in general, staying on top of them so they do not become a larger issue can save time, money, and unnecessary headaches.
Check utilities and connect major appliances
Even before closing, it’s a good idea to complete a final walkthrough to check items like the water heater and HVAC systems. As a buyer, you can request to have the seller have the HVAC serviced prior to closing. If not, one of the first tasks to complete after closing is to have the HVAC serviced by a professional. Similarly, the condition and water pressure of the water heater should be immediately checked.
Your name should also be on all accounts for major utilities like electricity, gas and water before you move in, ideally. Connect everything and make sure they are working properly. Also consider getting things like cable, phone and/or internet set up as soon as possible.
Paint, deep clean, & unpack essentials
Now comes the fun part, it's time to part! Assuming you are like most buyers, you probably want to freshen up your new home with new paint. Even if fresh paint is not necessary - you may want to put your own touch on a certain area of the home with a fun color. Whether you choose to do it yourself or hire a professional it’s a good idea to complete any painting of the walls and ceilings prior to moving in personal belongings, if possible.
A good deep cleaning is also suggested. The seller may have graciously tried to do a quick clean up but probably nothing along the lines of scrubbing tile grout or steam cleaning carpet, for example. Depending on your budget and the size of your home you may want to consider hiring a cleaning professional. After you’ve painted and cleaned it’s finally time to unpack the essentials. Start with bedding and toiletries then move on to basic kitchen tools you can use to assist in making a quick bite to eat. Lastly, now that you’re in your new home try to finally relax and enjoy it.
Your realtor can also help with providing a list of reputable contractors and area guides if you’re relocating to another area.
Thinking about buying a new home in Maryland or Delaware? Reach out to Stacy for more information: email@example.com or 443.465.0954.