When you finally finish signing all your closing paperwork, hand over your down payment, and (at last!) get the keys to your new home, you might want to start moving in right away. Buying a house is very exciting, but there are a few things you’ll want to take care of before moving into your new home.
Do This Before Moving Into Your New Home
This home might be new to you, but chances are, it’s not brand-new. And even if it is, it could probably use a good cleaning before you start unpacking. So before you start hauling boxes, here’s what to do.
Change the locks
First and foremost, change those locks. You never know who was given keys to your door, and there’s no way of knowing if the seller has handed over all their keys. By changing all the locks (Home Depot if you’re handy or a locksmith if you’re not), you ensure that you know who has the keys to your front door.
Set up utilities
The last thing you want is to move into your new house… only to discover there’s no power, water, or heat! Make sure you switch any and all utilities over from the old owner into your name and schedule service to start on the day you close. You will likely also want to schedule to have internet, phone, and/or cable set up, too.
And don’t forget to change your address with any of your regular banks, credit cards, or other providers. You probably want to also request a change of address with the post office to ensure that any important mail still reaches you.
There’ll never be a better time to scrub down your home without the hindrance of furniture, decor, and other belongings. Not only will your floors and countertops be much easier to vacuum and wipe, you’ll also be able to reach those oft-overlooked places, like cupboards, drawers, and behind appliances.
Like cleaning, painting is much easier when there’s no furniture in the way. Just throw a sheet or some newspapers on the floor, pick your colors, and start painting. You may want to aim for more neutral colors—especially if you don’t want to have to paint again before you sell—but it is your home now, so it’s your choice.
No home is perfect, and unless it’s brand-new, there will probably be a few things here and there that need to be fixed or that you’d like to update. Flooring is much easier to replace or refinish when there’s no furniture, and any type of larger construction projects are typically less of a hassle if you haven’t moved in yet.
Just make sure you plan and budget carefully, and don’t try to take on any projects that are too big or too costly—especially if you do plan to move in within a few weeks.