You signed on the dotted line and have the keys to your first home in your hands. You feel like you are on top of the world until you turn the keys in the lock and wonder, now what?
Moving into a new home is exciting and overwhelming at the same time. Now that dealing with the mortgage is over with, it’s time to focus on what you need to do for your house quickly. Many of these steps should be done before you send the moving truck over to your new address.
Change the Locks
One of the first things you should do for your own security is to change the locks. No matter how well you think you knew the seller, you don’t know who has a copy of the keys you have. Call a locksmith and have those locks changed long before you move any of your own belongings into the home.
Change the Garage Programming
If you have a garage with a garage door opener, it’s time to change the programming on that too. Again, you don’t know who has an extra remote that could gain access to your house. Don’t forget to reprogram the keypad outside of the garage door if your home has one as well.
Get the Home Deep Cleaned
Before you move anything into the home, hire professional cleaners to deep clean it. While there is nothing in the way, the professionals can really get your home clean. Even if it looks clean at first glance, chances are there are areas that need some special attention.
Copy Your Closing Documents
Before too much time passes, you should make a copy of your closing documents. You never know when you’ll need to reference them again. It’s a good idea to have at least one extra copy that you store in your safe deposit box at your bank. This way if anything happens to your home, you still have access to a copy of your mortgage documents.
Change Your Address
You should let friends and family know about your address change, but more importantly, you’ll need to let any of your creditors, schools, banks, and insurance companies know of the change. You should be able to change your address online for many of them. If not, make the time to visit these places in person to make the changes. Don’t forget to update your driver’s license too.
Set up Your Utilities
Before you move into your home, you’ll want to turn the utilities on. You’ll need to call each provider and let them know you are the new owner of the home. This includes gas, electric, and water. You should also use this time to move over your cable/satellite services and possibly your home security services.
Set Up Home Security
If you didn’t have home security before, you may want to consider it now. If the home came installed with a security system, you just need to call the company and activate it. If there isn’t a system in place, you may want to explore your options. You can get something basic that monitors the doors and windows with sensors or you can go elaborate with security cameras and Wi-Fi coverage.
Cover the Windows
If the home didn’t come with existing window treatments, you’ll want something to cover at least a few of them for the time being. You can head to your local hardware store and purchase ‘temporary blinds.’ These paper blinds stick to the window and give you the privacy you need until you order real window treatments.
Consider Painting the Interior
If you don’t care for the color of the interior of the home or have plans to paint it anyway, the best time to do it is before you move into it. Without furniture and other belongings to move out of the way, you can get the job done much faster. You can hire out or do it yourself, either way, you’ll save yourself time and money without anything in the way of the job.
Walk Around Your Neighborhood
Remember, when you buy a home, you buy into a neighborhood. Take this opportunity to walk around and introduce yourself. If you have children, this is a great time to help them make friends. It’s a great way to make everyone in your family feel more comfortable just by having a familiar face or two as you drive down the street.
Register for School
If you have school-aged children, you’ll want to register them at the local school right away. You should also ask for the opportunity to walk the school with your child before his/her first day. This way they have a little more confidence as they face hundreds of new faces on their first day.
Buying a new home is exciting, but it includes a lot of work too. Using the above steps, you can best prepare yourself for the least stressful moving day. If nothing else, it helps you get organized before you move into the home and start the unpacking process.