Buying a house is as challenging as running a marathon. Before you can actually walk through the front door, you have to complete so many steps and sign so many papers. Having your keys in hand might make you feel relieved after the procedure, but don’t relax just yet. After you buy your house, you still need to take a few important steps.
But don’t let your complacency set in. In order to be a successful homeowner now and in the future, you’ll need to take some immediate action when you move into your new home. Buying a new home requires you to do several things.
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The Ultimate Checklist to What to Do After You Buy a House
Following are some of the crucial things you need to perform after moving to your new home.
Perform a deep cleaning
Make sure your home is clean before you move in, even if the previous owners or construction company did it for you. Clean everything in your new home as soon as you move in. If it is within your budget, you may also hire a cleaning service.
Clean your bathrooms, kitchen, and gutters, as well as your flowerbeds (if applicable), dryer vents, chimney, and carpet. It might also be a good idea to schedule a professional carpet cleaner, preferably before you move in, to clean the carpet thoroughly.
It is also important to remember that not everything that needs cleaning is immediately visible. For instance, we recently had to disassemble our dryer to fix it, and we were shocked to see how much lint was trapped inside.
Make sure to update your addresses everywhere
People must be able to locate you now that you’ve moved into your new digs. Inform your loved ones. Don’t you wish to receive your holiday cards?
In addition, make sure you notify your employer about the change so they can update their records.
Avoid forgetting to notify creditors! If a bill goes to the wrong address, it can have an adverse effect on your credit score.
Make sure you don’t miss any important correspondence by setting up mail forwarding to your new place from your old one.
Protect yourself by setting Insurance
The process of completing your mortgage paperwork probably included setting up homeowners’ insurance. As a result, make sure to confirm that your car insurance is sufficient by checking with your insurance company.
Consider combining your insurance products with your big, new asset – many agencies offer a discount for bundling, so don’t miss out on money.
You should create an home inventory for your home’s contents in order to know what type of insurance to buy. Homeowners’ policies include a section on insuring the contents of your home. To get started, ask your real estate agent how to handle this – and make sure that the documents are stored safely.
Is there a home warranty? Get one now! Home warranties can cover anything from air conditioning to plumbing to simply rekeying your home.
Realtors will sometimes try to get the seller to pay for a home warranty. Real estate agents always ask sellers to pay for a home warranty when drafting offers. However, if you don’t get a home warranty, you might want to consider getting one yourself.
Homebuyers may receive a seller’s warranty covering a home’s major appliances or systems. There is nothing worse than a broken dishwasher or HVAC unit for a buyer. Review the specifics of your home warranty so you know what’s covered and how to file a claim.
Find out what your new home has to offer.
If you have an emergency in your new home, you need to know exactly what’s where!
The first thing to look for is the main water shutoff valve – sometimes found in the garage. It may also be located in the basement or crawl space. In case of a broken faucet or a leaking sink, make sure you know how to turn off the water.
Next, locate the circuit box and check the labels on the fuses or switches. I can’t imagine anything worse than blowing a fuse and having to check each one individually because there isn’t a label. Do your homework early and avoid the confusion during an outage – sometimes there are fuses from different parts of the house tied together on one switch.
Check for any gas shutoff valves. It’s imperative to know where the gas shutoff valve is in the event of a natural disaster. The last thing you want is for your house to fill with gas while you search for the valve if you need to shut it off at some point.
If you didn’t have your septic system inspected when the loan closed, you should hire a professional to do so. It is important to know when your septic tank was last pumped. Your tank should be pumped every three to five years. Different septic systems have different types and functions, so hiring a professional is likely the best option.
Ensure that all your locks, garage codes, and security codes are changed before you move into your new home. Your house should not be accessible to the previous homeowners (or their friends) since you forgot to complete this essential step.
Check the tops of door frames and under rocks on the porch for hidden spare keys if you have not yet done so. If not, change the locks right away if possible.
Create extra keys so you can get into your home in case of lock-outs! It wouldn’t be wise to crawl through your new screens or windows, when you are stuck outside, and risk breaking them. Buy a hide-a-key rock or figurine and put it in your yard to ensure you’re never stranded.
Before getting settled into your new home, make sure you change all the security codes. Garages, alarms, and even locks can have security codes.
Mold Inspection & Testing
You may not be aware that mold can be extremely dangerous to your health if left undetected and untreated. Having a mold inspection and test can help homebuyers and homeowners determine the best options for avoiding the health issues mold can bring.
Home inspections are standard when buying a home. There are indicators that can indicate the presence of mold during a home inspection, such as a buildup of moisture. Because more people are aware of the dangers of mold, home inspectors possess the training to perform mold inspections.
In the event that you own a home, you may also want to consider getting a mold inspection. Mold may develop in a home if there is water damage, a leaking roof, or broken plumbing. In the case of a mold problem in a house you just bought, you should hire someone with mold testing expertise to know the actual condition of your home.
Are you experiencing a problem with water temperature in your new house? Your water heater’s heat setting may need to be adjusted if you are uncomfortable with it.
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors need to be functional. A carbon monoxide detector is the only way to know if a leak is present in your house because carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless, and soundless. Be sure every smoke and carbon monoxide detector in your new home is working by replacing the batteries.
Make sure the house has fire extinguishers – one on each floor and one in the kitchen. Check your emergency kit every six months for expired products, and place it somewhere you’ll remember. A good emergency kit will include at least 3 days of non-perishable food (including pet food), a gallon of water per person, radio, first aid, batteries, cash, clothing, flashlights, matches, etc.
Make a list of the things that your family needs every day so you can tailor your emergency kit.
Set up your utilities in your new home, including gas, water, electric, Internet service, and cable/satellite, as soon as you get settled in. You should then set up autopay in all the places you can so you won’t miss any utility payments. Your new house should have all the lights checked and any burned-out bulbs replaced.
Schedule regular cleanings and maintenance.
Taking care of your house regularly requires you to clean the air filters, empty the hot water heater once a year, clean the gutters, winterize the house, and perform pest inspections. Write down the maintenance items you need to complete each month, and what month of the year it is. In addition to adding events to my calendar, I also keep track of my tasks. We’ll make a note on our calendar a year from when a crew cleans our gutters or empties our hot water tank to do it again.
Meet your neighbours
Now, its the time to get to know about your neighbours. Neighborhood neighbors can provide the scoop on what is happening in the neighborhood, and help connect you with handymen, landscapers, and so forth.
Making the decision to purchase a home can be a long, stressful process. Don’t forget, your job isn’t done once you have the keys. If you have just moved into a new place, follow the above checklist to make sure you are able to live in it and take care of it.
If you’ve just bought your dream home, the last thing you need is an unforeseen crisis that you can’t afford to handle. Putting away 1% of your paycheck, or even more, will help you avoid financial problems if they do come up.
This guide covers the steps you should take after buying a new home, regardless of whether you’re a first-time home buyer or buying a second or third home.