When you buy a new home, it’s hard to think about anything else but moving in and starting to make the place your own. However, if you can arrange to have a few days between your closing and your move, completing the following tasks will be well worth your time and effort.
1. Change the locks.
You don’t know who else has keys to your home. The previous owners may have given keys to neighbors, relatives, or even a cleaning service. Changing your locks will give you some peace of mind, so make this project your first priority.
2. Find your electrical panel and main water valve.
You’ll use the circuit breakers in the electrical panel to cut off or restore electricity to the various parts of your house. If the circuit breakers in the panel aren’t already labeled, it’s a good idea to label them.
It’s important to know where your main water valve is as well. You’ll need to use it to turn off the water to the house if you have a plumbing leak or if you’re going out of town.
3. Replace your air filter.
Changing your air filter can help improve the performance of your air conditioner and furnace and reduce allergens in your home. It’s a good idea to write the replacement date on the filter so you always know how long it’s been since the last change.
4. Change the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are often tested during inspections, so it’s likely that they’re all working well. However, now is a good time to change the batteries and ensure that all units will continue to work well for the next several months.
5. Paint walls and clean, refinish, or replace floors and carpeting.
It’s a lot easier to paint walls or attend to floors in an empty room, so before the move is your best chance to get these tasks done. Because this type of work always takes longer than you think, be sure to give yourself several days before moving day. If you can’t decide on wall colors, it’s still a good idea to paint or refinish the trim, and patch, prime, and give the walls a fresh coat of a light neutral color. Once this work is done, it will be easy to add coats of another color at a later date.
6. Make electrical upgrades.
If you’re moving into an older home, you may need to add Ground Fault Interrupter (GFIs) in your kitchen and bath(s), additional outlets for your electronics, and new lighting fixtures. All of these projects are easier for your electrician to complete, and clean up after, when your rooms are empty.
7. Install storage systems.
Make the most of the space in your basement, garage, closets, cabinets, and drawers. While your house is empty, it’s the perfect time to assemble the shelves, bins, and trays that will keep all your belongings organized. Having these storage systems in place, and having a place for everything when you’re unpacking, will feel really great.
With a little planning and preparation, you’ll find that moving can be a pleasant experience. And you’ll find yourself feeling right at home sooner than you could have imagined.
Contact a local mortgage expert in your area to get started on your path to homeownership.