Before you unpack all your boxes into your new home, you need to do these five things.
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With all the excitement of moving and trying to get settled into your new home, the last thing you want to do is a honey-do list. But some things shouldn’t be put off and need to be taken care of right away. So push those boxes aside, because I have a list of the five things you need to get done first.
1. Change the locks. While this may seem like a no-brainer, many new owners forget to do it. Since you don’t know how many people have keys to your new home, or who those people are, this should be at the top of your to-do list for your own safety and security.
2. Locate your home’s main water shut-off valve. In the event of an emergency, you don’t want to waste time scrambling to figure out how to shut off the water quickly. If you can, ask your agent to get this information from the sellers. If you can’t ask, locate the valve now and tell everyone in your household. In warmer climate regions, this is usually located outside.
3. Secure your home purchase paperwork. At closing you will receive all your signed documents, and while you never may need to refer back to them, you’ll be glad you kept them when it comes time to sell your home. You could purchase an accordion file to store this as well as all the paperwork you accumulate as a homeowner, such as receipts for repairs and home improvements, insurance information, and warranties. This way, it is all in one place if you need it.
You don’t know how many people have keys to your new home, or who those people are.
4. Open a new savings account. Although you paid a lot at closing, that is just the beginning of what it costs to own your own home. Routine maintenance, emergency repairs, etc., will need to be factored in as well and you can never be fully prepared for these costs. However, a savings account dedicated specifically to these expenses can go a long way toward being prepared. Financial experts suggest that you set aside 1% to 2% of the home’s value each year so that you have the funds available when needed instead of deferring the maintenance that can damage your home further.
5. Replace your air filters. This is a very inexpensive and easy home maintenance chore that you need to do routinely. You don’t want to end up breathing in the brown fuzz that clings to the old filters. Also, a dirty filter can mean that there is less flow from less pressure. For homes with children and pets, it is best to change the filter once a month.
If you have any questions about this, please feel free to reach out to me. I look forward to speaking with you soon.