If you’re a first time homeowner – or it’s been years since you bought a home – it’s good to know what those crucial first tasks should be. In the excitement of closing, packing up and moving, you may easily forget to check important items off your to-do list when you first arrive. To help you, I’ve composed this list of tasks you should do when moving into your new home.
Do a final check
Did you have an agreement with the seller to include some items with the purchase of the home? The first thing you should do when you get the keys is to double check that all those items remain. This could include the washer/dryer, kitchen appliances or even curtains.
Change the locks
Now that you’ve got the final check squared away, your top priority should be to change the locks. Think about all the people who have been coming and going while your new house was on the market. Do you want any of them to still have unlimited access? Probably not. So be sure get those locks changed, and make spare sets of keys while you’re at it.
Even if the seller cleaned before packing up and moving out, you’ll want to do another pass before moving in all your belongings. Now is the best time to do a deep clean, since your house will never be this empty again. Steam clean the carpets and replace filters in the heating and air conditioning units, above the stove and in the kitchen and bathroom faucets. Wash the windows and buff and seal hardwood floors. Yes, it’s a lot of work. But think of how nice it will be to get settled into a home that is sparkling!
Test the alarms
If you home came with an alarm system already installed, have the account transferred to you and test all the alarms. Since you’re just getting to know your new neighborhood, it’s comforting to have that extra layer of protection in place. You should also go through the entire home and test the smoke alarms. Replace the batteries and any units that aren’t functioning properly.
Figure out your electrical panel
Locate the breaker box in your house, and when you have someone to help you, figure out what each breaker goes to. It’s easier as a team so that one person can go from room to room while the other stands by the box and flips each switch. Write in marker next to each switch what area it corresponds to. And don’t forget to turn off the electricity when you’re changing out any broken lighting fixtures.
Find the main water valve
The last thing you want to think about when moving in is what you’ll do if you have a plumbing emergency. But wouldn’t you rather be prepared before it happens? Know where the main water valve is located and how to shut it off, should the need arise.
Say hi to the neighbors
Lastly, take your first step toward becoming a member of the community by introducing yourself to your new neighbors. It will help make you feel settled sooner, and it’s always nice to see a familiar face or two around town.