So you bought a new home, congratulations!
Whether this is your first home or your fifth,there are quite a few things you will need & want to take care of as you get settled in. I have rounded up a list of tips to help make your new homeowner status more enjoyable.
1. Change Your Locks:
This should be one of the first things you do upon buying your home. You never know who has a key to your house, realtors, neighbors, family friends of the people who previously owned the house, etc. To get some piece of mind, change your locks right away.
2. Don’t Throw Away the Welcome Kit Sent to you by USPS:
Upon filing for a change of address, USPS will send you a welcome kit, do not throw it away! It includes an official Postal Service change of address confirmation letter, so you’ll know that your mail will be delivered to your new address. Information on where to register your car and obtain a driver’s license, voter registration information, and the Internal Revenue Service procedures for filing a new address to receive tax return forms and/or refunds expeditiously. The welcome kit also has an important telephone numbers reference page that lists local phone numbers for post offices, libraries, emergency services and major government agencies, and a coupon book with tips for saving money on common home-related expenses; including money-saving coupons from national advertisers with instant access to over $750 in value.
3. Mark up Your Calendars a Year Out:
It is important to keep track of seasonal maintenance as well as installation days/updates. One tip is to make a seasonal schedule for routine maintenance such as air filters, septic tank, plumbing, yard maintenance, gardening, spring cleaning, etc. Another tip is to make a birthday list in order to track when appliances, HVAC, roof, etc. were installed so you know when to reinstall/update them. This also helps when you are considering reselling your home so the buyer knows when everything was last updated.
4. Go on a "Scavenger Hunt":
The fun part about purchasing your new home is finding everything that makes your home function. It’s basically like an adult version of hide and seek. It is important to find where the main shutoff valves for gas and water, the power box, etc. are so in case of an emergency you are prepared. Water damage is one of the most common household insurance claims and if you know where your shutoff valve is when a pipe burst it just might save you a couple thousand dollars. Preparedness rather than reactiveness is better when it comes to owning a home.
These include figuring out where your property line is located, testing fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, figuring out the trash and recycle schedule, finding a reliable contractor, calling 811 before digging a hole, and researching the surrounding area (grocery stores, parks, restaurants, mechanics, etc. All of these items are important for a new homeowner. Some of these items do not need to be done immediately but in order to make the most of your home ownership; they all should be done within 30 days of moving into your new home.
Now relax, go meet your neighbors and enjoy your new home! :)