You’ve decided to take the big leap and become a homeowner. First of all, we’d like to say congratulations—owning a home is a huge milestone that will continue to benefit you and your family for many years to come.
However, even if you’ve already signed the mortgage and have the keys to your new home in hand, that doesn’t mean you're quite done yet. It’s been a long few weeks stressing and preparing for your big move in. Now, it’s time to finish strong.
Is it your first time moving into a new home? No need to panic. Below, you’ll find a checklist that will help ensure your next big move is a start-to-finish breeze.
1. Replace the Locks and Install Security
First Thing's First
One of the first things you should do when moving into a new home is replace the locks. Even if you know and trust the person you bought the home from, there is no way to know who else might currently have a copy of the key. Replacing the locks on your home will be one of the easiest ways to prevent a future break in.
Luckily, replacing your locks is relatively easy. If you do the project entirely on your own, it should cost about $150. Additionally, you should check your home warranty to see if lock replacement is already covered.
Other ways to help make your home secure include installing an alarm system, a doorbell camera, motion sensors, and other features around your property. The transition period between homeowners is when break-ins tend to be more common, so you’ll want to be sure to be cautious.
2. Set Up Utilities
Be sure to set up your utilities before you move into your new home—otherwise, you’ll probably have to spend a few days with no Wi-Fi or even no running water.
There are many different utilities you might be required to transfer or otherwise set up, including the following.
Your realtor should be able to help you switch these utilities with ease. There are also likely services in your area that are designed to help you change each of these utilities at once.
Water, sewage, gas, and electricity
Cable, internet, and streaming services
Recycling, trash, and other disposal services
Lawncare and other home service providers
Subscriptions and postal services
3. Safety First
If you are a homeowner, you will be responsible for making sure that your home is a safe place to live. The purpose of your inspection was to ensure your home is structurally sound and safe for human living—but you will also want to make sure your home is well stocked with emergency supplies.
By proactively placing each of these items in your home, you’ll be able to identify and respond to a wide range of possible emergencies.
Not only should there be smoke alarms in every room, but these alarms should also each be less than ten years old. You should also do a quick battery check.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Installing carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home can help provide protection from “the silent killer.”
It is recommended that you have at least one fire extinguisher for every floor in your house (its especially smart to keep one by the kitchen and garage). Be sure to check if there is an expiration date.
First Aid Kits
Be sure to purchase a comprehensive first aid kit for your home and to let everyone know where the first aid kit is located.
4. Smart Home Technology
One of the best ways to modernize (and add value to) your home is to install smart home technology. Currently, the smart home industry is rapidly expanding. About 37 percent of all households in the United States contain at least one smart home feature.
Smart technology can be used to easily manage the different components of your home (lighting, security, sound, HVAC, etc.) and to help make your home more energy efficient. There are many comprehensive smart home platforms, allowing you to monitor and make changes to your home from anywhere in the world.
5. Say Goodbye to the Old
Let It Go
When people move into a new home, they often find themselves thinking about the various things they will need. But what they often tend to forget about is the things that they don’t need.
Moving is a perfect opportunity for you to take inventory of all your belongings and throw out the things you no longer use. When looking at each item, ask yourself, when is the last time I used this? Am I likely to use it again? Is it worth taking up space in my new home? Some people will find that as much as half of their possessions could be easily discarded with.
Moving can be stressful but also very rewarding. To help make the process a little bit easier, it’s a good idea to go into it with a plan. Be sure to remember each of these important steps whenever you are moving into a new home.
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