Congratulations, you’ve successfully Closed Escrow on the purchase of your new home and you are officially a Home Owner! Once you have your keys, the process of moving in and orienting yourself with your new home begins.
Your Loan Officer or Real Estate Agent may also have some version of a New Home Owner Checklist. Following is a quick list of some of the more important things you may or may not have thought about yet.
Call the Utility Companies
If you haven’t already started the process, utilities and services like Gas, electric, cable, telephone, garbage service, must be set up in your name. You can also double check what day your garbage will be picked up and when your bills will be due.
Your Real Estate Agent will most likely be able to provide you with a list of local utility and service companies to help make this process easier.
Find Your Main Circuit Breaker
Take the time to locate the main circuit breaker box for your home and label each breaker correctly if it’s not already done. In the event of a tripped circuit, not being able to easily find and reset the breaker can be a real pain.
Install Fire Extinguishers
Be sure to have at least one basic “all-purpose” fire extinguisher on each floor in your home and one for the kitchen. Fire extinguishers can be purchased from any home improvement store and are quite affordable. It is much better to be safe than sorry!
Identify Emergency Exits
This is a simple and quick exercise that could save your life. Get the family together and plan your evacuation routes in case of an emergency such as fire. Just a few minutes of discussion can ease your mind in the long run.
First Aid Kits
Making your way through uncharted territory while cleaning, organizing and moving into a new home will unquestionably produce some “Ouchies” in the form of minor scrapes, scratches and stubbed toes. Make sure you have a First Aid Kit handy. First Aid Kits can be inexpensively purchased from your local drug store like Long’s Drugs, CVS or Walgreens.
Also make sure emergency phone numbers are all posted in one place where everyone can find them quickly in case they are needed.
Find Your Water Main
A broken water pipe or fixture can result in serious flooding and thousands of dollars in water damage if not stopped as soon as absolutely possible. Find the main water shut-off and make sure all household members know where it is located. It is also not a bad idea to purchase a water cut-off wrench in case it ever is necessary to turn off your water supply from the meter.
Smoke and Carbon Dioxide Detectors
Working smoke and carbon dioxide detectors in a home for sale is usually a contingency of the Home Buying Process unless you’re buying a home in “As-is” condition or using alternative financing sources that do not require working Detectors.
It’s always a good idea to personally check, and make sure there are adequate smoke and carbon dioxide detectors in your home and all work properly. Change batteries every six months. A good idea is to change the batteries whenever you change the clocks for daylight saving time, this is an easy way to maintain Detectors.
Many new homes will have cans of unused paint left in them. These are great for touch-ups and for getting an exact match when re-painting. Make sure these cans are stored all in one place where they are free from freezing or getting too hot. If you’re completely re-painting, be sure to purchase Extra Paint for quick touch-ups after normal wear and tear, or “oops” events while moving around furniture.
Protect Your Floors
If your home has hardwood, ceramic, or tile floors, it’s important to use protective padding under furniture legs, wheels or stands. Taking precautions to protect your floors now will save you time and money in the future.
When using protective padding when you move all your furniture in you won’t really need to think about it again unless you do some reorganizing at a later date.
Change of Address Resources
Don’t forget to inform creditors and magazine subscriptions of your new address. Here is a convenient link to the USPS that you can use to register a change of address online. Click Here for USPS Change of Address Online
Meet Your Neighbors
You’re most likely not a temporary guest in your new neighborhood. Get to know your neighbors. Many will see you moving in and introduce themselves, reach out to those you do not meet while moving in.
This is your neighborhood now. You will be watching over and protecting your neighbors property just as your neighbors will do the same for you. Welcome to the neighborhood!