Ready to pack that U-Haul? Not so fast!
Here are the first things to do after buying a house.
Buying a home is an exciting (and sometimes stressful) time, but before you pack all those boxes and hire your movers, there are a few things that you should prioritize before moving in. As daunting as it sounds, these are things you won’t want to tackle while navigating around furniture and boxes.
While it’s exciting to think about decorating and organizing, here are the first things to do after buying a house that will make the process of moving in that much easier.
Whether you hire a company to paint or do it yourself (kudos to you!), you’ll want to get this finished before moving in.
Painting is so much easier when you don’t have to worry about drips landing on your upholstery. You’ll still want to lay down some drop cloths to protect flooring (unless you’re going to replace it anyway!), but you won’t have to worry about covering your furniture or other belongings.
Paint also dries faster when there aren’t other items crowded around it. So bring your favorite music, open the windows (for circulation) and have at it!
If you plan on replacing, repairing, or refinishing any flooring, now is the time to do it.
Rather than moving all of your furniture from room to room, flooring installers will be able to get right to work. That way, you’ll be ready to move in as soon as they’re done.
Even if you weren’t planning on new flooring, it’s a good idea to at least consider steam cleaning the carpets. After all, when is the next time your house will be completely empty? This is the perfect chance to clean every corner.
3. Duct Cleaning
Duct cleaning is not only essential, it’s another thing that is best completed before you move in.
Duct cleaning basically rids your HVAC system of the dust, dander, and other contaminants (such as mold) that built up before you moved in. (If you’re buying a new construction, you shouldn’t have to worry about this.)
Cleaning your ducts prior to moving in ensures a perfectly spotless house—no dust mites under your couch! Be sure to hire a contractor that is a member of the National Air Ducts Cleaners Association and is experienced at using continuous negative pressure by HEPA collection devices to ensure the contaminants don’t settle back into your home.
4. Clean Top to Bottom
There’s no telling how often the previous owners cleaned their home, so it’s always a good idea to scrub those surfaces before anyone moves in.
You can hire a service to do this or do it yourself, but keep in mind that without furniture to maneuver around, working with a professional cleaning company can be quite affordable.
Besides, think of how nice it will be to use a sparkling clean bathroom after a long day of moving!
Make sure you have the utilities prior to moving in. This can take a few days, so make sure you call immediately after closing. Set up appointments for water, power, internet, cable, and trash pick up.
When it comes to the utilities at your old home, don’t have them turned off until you’re fully situated in the new home. No one looks forward to overlapping payments, but if something goes wrong, you don’t want to be caught without power and running water.
6. Change the Locks
It’s exciting to be handed the keys to your new home! Unfortunately, you have no idea who else has a copy of those keys. The locks might have been changed each time someone new moved in. But they could also be the same locks as when the home was built 30 years ago.
Change every single lock that is in your home. That means the inside garage door, outside doors, and of course, your front door.
7. Inspection Report Repairs
Hopefully you had a home inspection before you even closed on your home. That inspection would have told you the condition of various features of the home and how much “life” they had left in them.
No home inspection report comes back perfectly clear, but certain findings are more pressing than others. Take the time to get the house “move-in ready” before you move in. Things like termites, foundation damage, and roof repairs should be fixed before you move in.
8. Have Your Mail Forwarded
When you move you will need to notify the USPS to forward your old mail to your new address.
This process is fairly simple–just complete a form online on the USPS website. Make sure to change your address for all accounts so nothing gets lost in the shuffle.
9. Home Warranty
Some homes will come with a home warranty. Sellers occasionally offer these as an incentive to prospective buyers to let them know it’s a good home and safe to buy. You can also purchase home warranties yourself upon moving in. They are anywhere from $300-$600 a year and depend on what type of coverage you choose.
Home warranties can serve as a safety net if you’re expecting repairs in the near future but can’t quite foot the bill for a major replacement. Keep in mind that a company will have certain criteria for their warranty (for example, they may not insure repairs on a really old roof). So make sure you pick an appropriate warranty for your particular situation.
10. Homestead Exemption
Check for your state laws on homestead exemptions. This is something that varies from state to state but is worth checking in to. Not only does it help lower your property taxes, but it also protects you in the event that your significant other passes or you have to file for bankruptcy.
Remember, in order to file for homestead exemption, the property must be your primary residence and not a rental property.
Now that you’ve checked these items off your list, you can hire your movers and start living your best life in your new home!
We know that buying a home is exciting and you want to get started right away, but knowing the first things to do after buying a house will make sure the entire process goes smoothly right from the beginning.
If you haven’t gotten your inspection yet, call us today to schedule your appointment and get a clear picture of your new (prospective) home.