Moving into a new home is exciting! It represents a fresh beginning and a big step forward in your life! In the course of this hectic time, it is natural to get caught up in all of the excitement. However, despite your concerns of ensuring a smooth moving process, there are various imperative things to keep in mind when settling into your new home.
The first task on your list of post-purchase to do’s should be securing your new home. Despite you being handed the keys to your home upon your purchase, you are unaware of any copies that may have been given to a previous owner’s friends or family. You need to contact a locksmith and have all outside locks changed, including garage door opener codes. This ensures that you, and the people you choose, are the only people who have access to your home.
The next task on your list is to notify everyone that your address has changed. Before you can really settle in, you want to make sure all of your bills, and any other important packages, are coming to the right address. There are many places to update, but your first priority is to notify the United States Postal Service and fill out a change of address form. To update your address you can visit the Official Postal Service Change of Address website, call 1-800-ASK-USPS, or ask for form 3575 at you local post office. Next you want to take care of your bills. To make this process easy, create a list of every bill you receive through mail and contact each company to notify them of your address change. You may also check these companies’ websites just incase they allow you to update your information online. When it comes to magazines, catalogs, and any other subscriptions, you can usually update information online, or you can call these publications and ask for an address change over the phone. Last, but not least, you need to order a new driver’s license or state identification card with your new address. After moving, you have a 30 day window to update your divers license, which you can do by visiting your Department of Motor Vehicles. Be sure to pay attention to your time frame because failure to update your driver’s license or identification card may result in a fine.
Transferring boxes won’t be the only thing you move in this process because you also need to transfer your utilities. You will need to change your water, gas, cable, Internet, and phone to your new address. Arranging for your old utilities to be canceled and establishing new ones for your new address should be rather easy because the transferring of your utilities should be able to be done online. In some cases you may be able to visit websites such as WhiteFence.com in order to set up all of your utilities online.
It is very important to get acquainted with the safety features and other important aspects of you home. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are two of the most important safety features in your home, so they require loads of maintenance. You should change the batteries to all of your home’s smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and continue to do this at least twice per year. Each detector in your home should be tested once per moth and change entirely every 10 years. Check the expiration dates on all fire extinguishers, and be sure that all safety devices are working appropriately. It is also important to find the home’s main circuit breaker and make sure it is labeled efficiently. If it is not yet labeled, you need to decipher which fuses control which parts of your house, and label them accordingly. Furthermore, you will want to know where your home’s main water shutoff is. This will be helpful if a plumbing emergency occurs, if there is a natural disaster, or if you are going out of town.
As soon as you move in, you want to have your house cleaned up. Even if the previous owners left the property adequately clean, you will want to clean it to your own standards. Although you can do it yourself, it is recommended that you hire a cleaning service to do the work. If you decided to do the cleaning yourself you must consider that cleaning the house will be no ordinary task. Be sure to meticulously clean any carpeting and to wash down cabinets, counters and plumbing fixtures thoroughly. Do not forget about having any mechanical equipment cleaned and serviced for this should happen as soon as you purchase the house. Cleaning the cooling and heating systems is important, as is getting a service contract to prevent additional costs if either of the systems fail in the future. If you are having trouble finding reputable services in your area, don’t be afraid to ask your neighbors.
Although your schedule may seem busy, it is important to make introducing yourself to your neighbors a priority. By establishing a good rapport with your neighbors, you generate a coveted and sturdy community. Additionally, becoming familiar with your surroundings is the best way to make your new place feel like home.
It is very important to keep peace in the neighborhood by following the rules of your Homeowners association. Although you should’ve reviewed said rules before purchasing your home, it is recommended that you periodically do so in order to avoid fines. HOAs often have very strict rules prohibiting certain changes to your home, but can also be helpful when learning your community’s trash or recycling pickup schedules.
Last, but certainly not least, you want to relax. You’ve endured the house hunting and the counter offers, you’ve successfully purchased a home, and now you’ve successfully moved in, so the hardest part is over! Remember to store any closing documents in a safe place, but now its time to rejoice in your status as a new homeowner!