Things To Do When You Buy A House

Things To Do When You Buy A House
by John Carlucci - June 26, 2022,

A house purchase is comparable to a marathon. There are several procedures to complete and documents to sign before entering the building. When it's all done and you have your keys in hand, you may experience a feeling of relaxation, but you shouldn't rest just yet. There are a few crucial actions you must do immediately after purchasing a home.

1. Hook Up Your Utilities

No one wants to live in a world without the Internet, so be sure to arrange the installation of your Internet and/or cable. When you know your closure date, you should book this in advance so you don't have to go a week without Internet while waiting for an appointment. In addition, you may need to be there when the technician arrives, so prepare to take a day off work.

Transferring the gas bill, water bill, and electric bill to your name may be somewhat simpler. Call them to find out what has to be done before the accounts may be transferred to your name. It is crucial to ensure that the previous homeowners have no outstanding payments or arrears to utility suppliers, as this might complicate the account transfer. Additionally, bear in mind that certain communities will need you to pay for garbage and recycling collection.

2. Do A Deep Clean

Do not assume that the previous homeowners (or building firm) cleaned your home well before they departed. Spend the first several days at your new residence cleaning everything instead. Alternatively, if your budget allows, you might engage a cleaning service.

Pay particular attention to cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms, but also inspect the carpet, dryer vents, chimney, and backyard (if applicable). If you believe the carpet requires a more thorough cleaning, you may also book an appointment with a professional carpet cleaner, preferably before you move in.

Also, keep in mind that what has to be cleaned is not always immediately apparent. For instance, when we recently disassembled our dryer to repair it, we were astounded by how much dryer lint was stuck inside.

3. Change Your Locks

You do not know who has a key to your new home, therefore it is prudent to replace all of your door locks. Don't forget to manufacture a few spare keys and leave one outside in a secure spot so you don't get locked out.

4. Reset Your Garage Security Code

If you have a garage, remember to change the security code. If you do not know how to accomplish it, you should be able to view a tutorial online. If the security box appears to be outdated, you may always purchase and configure a new one – they are reasonably priced.

5. Forward Your Old Mail

Contact the United States Postal Service and ask them to forward your old mail to your new address. Typically, the paperwork may be completed online, which simplifies the process. Keep in mind that mail forwarding normally terminates after one year. Therefore, it is essential to execute the next step: altering your address everywhere.

6. Change Your Address

When you receive a new address, you must notify a variety of different entities. Employers require your address for tax filings and other essential documentation. Even the applications you use to get groceries or takeout delivered must be updated with the new location.

7. Unpack Your Boxes 

Since moving is such an intensive activity, it is understandable that most individuals, including me, might feel a touch sluggish when unpacking boxes. In my twenties, I recall moving into an apartment with an office. Several unopened cartons containing office supplies sat untouched for at least a year. (Embarrassing, isn't it?)

Therefore, learn from me. Go ahead and unpack each package individually. Put items away. Then, donate the empty boxes to another individual relocating or recycling them. If you hired movers, now is also a good time to check for any missing items. If you discover that something is damaged, call your moving company to see who is responsible.

8. Buy A Safe

If you do not already own a safe, now is a fantastic time to get one. We purchased a tiny, fireproof document safe shortly after I gave birth to our twins. It accommodates 12–15 hanging files and is a convenient location to store birth certificates, automobile titles, and other papers acquired after purchasing a home. You should not leave your closing paperwork, title company documentation, and inspection report laying about.

9. Check Smoke Detectors

It is always prudent to replace the batteries in your smoke detectors and verify their functionality. You may also check for a guarantee and the age of the items. Many smoke detectors have a lifespan of around 10 years. Also, if your smoke detectors do not include a carbon monoxide detector, you should acquire one and install it throughout your home. Security first!

10. Introduce Yourself To The Neighbors

I am aware that neighbors are intended to welcome you to the neighborhood (not vice versa) However, as people become busier, they may not say hello. Therefore, you may initiate contact when you observe someone in their driveway. Attempt to meet the owners of at least a couple of nearby homes. Being sociable may be advantageous, especially if you ever go on vacation and need someone to keep a check on your parcels. Perhaps they will bring you a casserole!

11. Learn Where Everything Is

Take the time to discover where everything is in your home, even if it seems really obvious. Determine whether or not the previous owners labeled the circuit breaker switches. Locate the water shutoff valve. Know how to access your attic. Figuring out where to repair the HVAC filters was fairly challenging for us. Overall, familiarising yourself with your home will make maintenance a lot simpler.

12. Set Mortgage and Utilities to Auto-Pay

You likely have a new mortgage payment and new utility bills as a result of purchasing a new home. I enjoy having all of my payments paid automatically. The majority of banks, including Ally Bank, provide automatic monthly mortgage payment processing. This assures you'll never miss a payment. Ensure that you deactivate the automatic payments on your prior utility bills and mortgage, if applicable. Then, enroll in auto-payment for your new home.

13. Purchase Emergency Supplies

You may have these belongings in a box from your previous residence. Use this as an opportunity to stock up on emergency supplies in case you do not. It is useful to have flashlights and an emergency radio on hand. This is particularly crucial if you reside in a region prone to natural catastrophes at specific times of the year. In Louisiana, where I grew up, my father always maintained a large emergency kit and a backup generator, that he bought from a local home generator franchise  which we utilised frequently during hurricane season. Purchasing a first aid kit, extra water, batteries, and a power bank to charge your cell phone when the power goes out is beneficial if you are just starting started.

14. Examine Your Report of Inspection

After purchasing a property and settling in, review the inspection report. Notate any necessary repairs that the previous owner was not contractually bound to complete. Order the repairs from most critical to least important. Then, create a plan to tackle the list and a schedule for when you would like to complete it.

15. Establish A Cleaning/Maintenance Routine

Your house requires routine maintenance, including the cleaning of air filters, the yearly emptying of the hot water heater, the cleaning of the gutters, the winterization of the property, and pest inspections, among other tasks. Create a list of all these maintenance tasks and indicate which month of the year they must be completed. Adding activities to my calendar is one of the things that helps me remain organized. So, once a team cleans our gutters or we empty our hot water tank, I will mark a reminder on my calendar a year later to repeat the task.

16. Have A Housewarming Party!

Let's not overlook the enjoyable aspects of house ownership. After relocating and settling in, inform your friends and family of your new location and have a housewarming celebration, even if it's virtual.

The process of purchasing a house may be both thrilling and time-consuming. Keep in mind that just because you have the keys to the front door does not mean that your work is finished!

If you are interested in more articles like this, here’s one about how you get the most money out of selling a house as-is.

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