Here are our 7 tips for getting settled in your new home:
Change the Locks
When a home is on the market countless people go in and out through the lockbox, so the keys to your new home have been in quite a few hands. Additionally, after spending a few years in a house seller’s can collect keys, meaning they may still have a copy they forgot about. It’s best to be on the safe side and hire a locksmith to change all your locks on day one.
Mortgage lenders require you to purchase homeowners insurance, generally enough to fully replace the property, but you may need more. If you share your home with dependents you’ll need life insurance to help cover home expenses in the event of your death. If you are located in a flood-zone you will want additional flood coverage to protect you. Reach out to a trusted insurance agent to talk about what insurance is best for you.
A new house gives you the opportunity for new decor and it’s easy to get excited about furnishings, but take it slow. Homeownership comes with unexpected expenses you need to be prepared for. You’re also now responsible for the trash, water and insurance bills. As you replace old furniture be smart about how much you’re spending.
Address Maintenance Concerns
If there were maintenance concerns brought up during your inspection that were not fixed by the seller, address them as soon as possible. Ignoring maintenance concerns often leads to a bigger problem down the road which is often more costly. Write down a list of concerns around your house such as leaks, slow drains or old windows. Prioritize your list and get started! Remember to hire professionals for plumbing and electric!
Meet Your Neighbors
Go knock on some doors and meet your direct neighbors. If you are in a single family home, work on meeting the 8 people that surround you. If you have shared walls in a condo or townhome, introduce yourself to anyone on the other side of the wall/ceiling. Learn names and become familiar with their cars and faces. This is a good way to stay safe but also comes in handy if you ever need an egg or a cup of flour.
Label Your Breaker Box
Breaker boxes are rarely organized. The labels former homeowners used may not make sense to you. Instead of flipping switches at random when a breaker blowers, spend a few minutes right after you move in to turn breakers on and off and label them appropriately.
Hire an Accountant
Being a homeowner means tax breaks, but it’s not always simple to figure out. If you don’t already have an accountant consider interviewing a few and hiring one to help navigate the tax puzzle. They’ll be worth every penny and help get you back every penny you’re due.
Welcome to the wonderful world of homeownership! Remember to ask your real estate agent for references to trusted professionals!