Just bought a new home? The moving frenzy never end. Even after you close, the to-do lists drag on and on—endless pages of bullet points that keep you up at night. Some of them are fun, like redecorating and buying new furniture. Others, not so much.
“When you move into a new house, you’re more concerned with decorating and taking stuff out you don’t like. Let’s not forget about the less romantic things that are mundane.”
Once you’ve got the keys, feel free to give yourself a break. You deserve it! But don’t rest on your laurels too long. Make sure to do these eight things right away.
Change the locks:
Before moving even one tiny piece of furniture into your new home, change the locks. At least have them rekeyed. It’s not that you don’t trust the sellers. It’s that you shouldn’t trust everyone who’s had contact with those keys over the year. Any of whom could have copied the keys for some unsavory purpose.
Change the alarm batteries:
Making sure your fire and carbon monoxide detectors have fresh batteries may not seem like a pressing issue, but it’s the kind of thing that gets ignored and then forgotten. Better to deal with it now, when the home is empty and you can make a quick sweep of the house.
Review your home inspector’s report:
Don’t wait until something goes wrong to pull them out. A good home inspector will outline the most important issues in their report. Use their expertise as a guide for your first few days of ownership. If they’ve marked anything as particularly pressing, make sure to handle it before moving in.
Find the circuit breaker:
If you were there during inspection, you should know where your junction box is. If you don’t, find it. During a move, when you’re plugging all sorts of electrical doodads into the wall, you don’t want to be lost in the dark hunting for that metal box. (While you’re there, find the water shut-off, too.)
Get familiar. If it’s not already well-marked, have your spouse or another family member stand in different parts of the house while you flip different switches. Make a note of which ones handle different rooms.
Deal with any water problems:
Looking at that inspector’s report? Deal with water-related issues immediately. These tend to be troublesome because they’re so easily ignored. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Wrong. A leaky toilet might seem minor, but the steady drip can damage internal structural components.
Check your roof, too. If the rubber vent boots on your roof are leaking, you might not know it for a while. By the time they see it in a ceiling, there’s been a fair amount of water.
This one isn’t mandatory, but caulking is a whole lot easier if you do it when the house is empty. This allows you to see all the nooks and crannies that might need a little sealing. Don’t forget the exterior!
Plan your emergency exits:
Before you begin bringing in furniture, walk through every room and decide how you would escape in an emergency. This can help you spot problem areas or rooms that need some adjustments. A few things to do include removing bars or adding egress windows to a basement.
Clean your gutters:
BO-RING. Right? You can put this off until Day 2 of your big move. Don’t let the dullness of the task push you to procrastination though! If the previous homeowners didn’t clean the gutters, you need to do so ASAP.
Take 30 minutes to clear them out, and you’ll be rewarded come the rainy season.
Written by Darren Wilson, The Wilson Team