What Happens After You Close on Your New Home
You’ve just signed on the dotted line for your new home. Whether it’s your first home, a larger home for an expanding family or a downsize as you start that next phase in life…don’t just haul your boxes in and start unpacking. Take care of these important tasks before you get comfortable. The house may be move-in ready, but you still need to tie up some loose ends on your new home purchase.
Change the Locks and Update Keypads
You really don’t know who else has keys to your new home, so to be safe, change the locks. That guarantees you’re the only person who has access. Install new deadbolts yourself or call a locksmith (if you supply the new locks, typically they only charge labor to install.) If your home uses a keypad entry, change the codes first thing.
Update Your Contact Information
It’s crucial to alert people and companies about your move. Change your address online with creditors, financial institutions, schools, publications, and anyone else that is important. Your change of address form from the post office will forward your mail, but going right to the source will ensure your new address is on file.
Deep Clean the Carpets
Before you move your furniture in, invest in a deep carpet steamcleaning. The previous owners may have already taken care of that, but for good measure it can’t hurt to have it done again. So whether you hire a professional carpet cleaning service or you rent a steam cleaner, clean carpets will get your new home life off to a fresh start.
Even though the sellers have proof of pest inspection, call an exterminator before you settle in to get an assessment for mice, rats, bats, termites, roaches, and any other uninvited guests. Sometimes if a house sits empty for a time being, little varmints will find a way to make themselves comfy. You can also get rid of pests by yourself with traps and poison packets. You don’t want to bring in all your furniture only to have it be exposed to a round of poisonous pest fogger.
Freshen The Interior Walls & Ceilings with Paint
You’ve just made a huge investment on a new home. Now is not the time to cut corners. It takes the same amount of time to slap up a coat of paint on the walls and ceilings than it does to take the time to paint it right, so hire professionals if you can. If there is visible damage — cracks, holes and other defects — a professional painter already has the necessary tools and supplies to repair those imperfections. If you’re short on time, paint all the rooms one neutral color. This will just make it easier and limit the number of decisions you’ll have to make now. You can always go back and repaint rooms the colors you want as time permits.
Consider An Energy Audit
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save up to 30% on your energy bill by making upgrades identified in an energy audit. Energy-efficient homes are a win-win for the owner and the environment. During a professional energy assessment, an auditor will identify shortcomings in your home that can be fixed to save energy and lower your bills. Contact your local electric or gas companies for an energy audit referral.
Look for Tax Deductions and Discounts
New homeowners should explore tax deductions and discounts that are available in your area, city, and state. An experienced accountant can help a buyer research and understand hard to find tax breaks in your new location. It’s also important to contact the local municipalities and state about discounts that may be available.
Investigate Smart Home Technology
After closing on a new home, buyers should explore smart home technology options. From a thermostat that can be adjusted by a mobile phone to a quality home security system that can be monitored when you’re miles away, the impact of smart home technology on real estate cannot be understated. There are a lot of products on the market today so do some research. You could update for some modern conveniences or go all out Jetson’s-style!
Make it Safe
Replace the batteries in the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors immediately. Buy a new fire extinguisher as well. At the very least, you’re postponing the inevitable annoyance of dying batteries chirping all at once all over the house. At best, you’re saving lives.
Check the Water Heater and HVAC Systems
Do this as soon as you buy the house. Getting the heating and cooling systems cleaned and other routine tasks done is important. A service contract is beneficial if the system stops working in the depths of winter. Ask your new neighbors which company they have found to be reputable and attentive for this work. It’s also a great way to meet the neighbors.
Meet The Neighbors
When you move into a neighborhood, your new neighbors will be curious and eager to meet you. Take the time to introduce yourself to those who live around you. Not only is it the “neighborly” thing to do, it’s also a good opportunity to exchange contact information with them just in the event of an emergency. Homes with security systems can be secure, however, sometimes the best security for a home are the surrounding neighbors!
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