Becoming a new homeowner is a thrilling life event, but with your new home comes an avalanche of tasks and responsibilities. Between packing, moving arrangements, decorating and setting up utilities, your to-do list seems never ending. So, it's no wonder that in all of the excitement, many new homeowners forget to cover some of the basics.
To ensure the move into your new home goes smoothly, check off these four must-do tasks:
1. Change the Locks
Your new home is most likely someone else's old home. You don't know how many sets of keys the previous owners made, and your realtor, contractor, plumber and carpenter probably have keys, too. So, as soon as you get the keys to your house, change them out. You can buy and install new locks yourself or have a locksmith come out to your home to switch them out for you. Consider it a security measure as well as a definitive symbol of taking ownership of your new property.
While your home is still empty, have an exterminator come out and spray your house. Particularly if your property has been vacant for an extended period of time, some uninvited house guests may have claimed squatters's rights to your new place.
Depending on the region of the country you reside in, the kinds of pests and the damage they can do varies. So, it is important to look for the warning signs of these potential home-wreckers, like wasps and termites. Your best decision will be to get a professional out to your home to perform an initial inspection before you move in your belongings and your loved ones.
3. Find the Control Switches
When you first move in, be sure you know which fuses sync up with each part of your home. You may even want to label them so you don't forget down the road. It may seem like an obvious task, but you'd be surprised by how many new homeowners end up fumbling in the dark after a power surge.
It's also a good idea to acquaint yourself with the main water valve. In the event of a plumbing catastrophe, you need to know how to turn off the water supply to your home. Simply find the valve, and test it to make sure that when you give it the old righty-tighty, the faucets inside close off.
4. Learn the Lay of the Land
You need to get to know the neighborhood you're living in as you get settled in. What if you need a gallon of milk at 11:30 p.m.? Where will you get your hair cut? You definitely need the phone number to a quality pizza delivery shop before you unpack your dinnerware. Do a survey of the area and talk to your neighbors, if for no other reason than to find out which day of the week is garbage day and when you should put out the recycling. Plus, they probably know where to get the best Chinese take-out and great local spots. Take a stroll through the streets of your hamlet and buy a subscription to your local newspaper.
Want to know what else to do as a new homeowner? Download our Home Maintenance Checklist!