Buying a home is one of the most important purchases you will ever make. Finding the perfect home is never easy and likely has taken many hours of research and showings with your realtor. Yet, you made it across the finish line. Once you’ve closed on your house, it’s time to tackle some important homeowner tasks with our moving into a new home checklist.
New home checklist
Make copies of all documents
The first thing to check off your new home to-do list after closing on your new house is to make copies of all your closing documents. Though your county’s record clerk should have a copy, it’s best to keep a copy for yourself as well. Store them in a fireproof safe or safe deposit box. Remember, if you’re a first-time homebuyer, these documents are probably some of the most valuable papers you’ve ever held, so be vigilant in keeping them secure.
Contact your local property records office
As mentioned above, your county’s records clerk should have copies of your closing documents. However, about two weeks after closing, you should still contact your local property records office to confirm that they have officially recorded your deed. Having this record is as important on your new home checklist as it is public notice of your homeownership.
Change the locks
Before your agent hands you your new house keys, they were likely in the hands of many realtors, prospective buyers, and previous owners, to name a few. One of the most important things to do after moving into a new house is to change all the locks. Ensure to include the garage, back, and side doors, to avoid strangers gaining access.
Set up your utilities
This step seems obvious, but even if you haven’t moved into your new house, you need to make sure to have the utilities turned on in your name. If you’ve lived in your current house for a while, it may have been years since you’ve had to update these, so make sure it doesn’t fall off your new home to-do list. Household utilities can include everything from electricity and gas to water and internet.
When you move into a new house, photograph, or video everything and label all circuit breakers. Having records of your home when you purchased it is important in case of unexpected loss like fire or water damage. Having pictures of what the home looked like when you bought it will help you restore your home to its original condition.
Keep the photographs and video in a fireproof safe or somewhere out of your home, like a safe deposit box or cloud storage.
Clean and paint
Previous owners usually will not deep clean before they move out and may do the bare minimum. As a part of your new home checklist, hiring a cleaner to scrub the house from top to bottom, including steam-cleaning carpets, ceiling fans, and baseboards, is a great idea. While you’re at it, if any rooms need painting, take advantage of them being empty and paint. If you deep clean the carpets and are unsatisfied, you can replace them with hardwood flooring. Having no furniture in the house makes the floor part a breeze!
Meet your neighbors
Once you move in, do your best to meet your neighbors. Start with the ones directly next to you, then go for the ones behind and across the street. Exchange contact information in case anything happens and either party needs to contact the other.
Move in and start decorating
The best item on the new home checklist must be decorating. After completing the above duties, you can be creative and turn your new space into your home. If you’re moving in with your significant other and haven’t lived together, take a home inventory of your belongings. You’ll need to decide on styles and what you want together as a couple. It’s sometimes difficult to blend your style with someone else’s, but relationships are all about compromise, so blending your likes will be essential for this process.