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20 Tips for New Homeowners

20 Tips for New Homeowners

If you are a new homeowner or thinking of buying a new home, here are 20 tips to help you after you have purchased your new home.

1. Don't Stress

The process of preparing everything for your new home can be stressful but take a moment to relax and enjoy the journey. It is easy to stress about all of the details and I hope that this blog will help you in making sure that you haven't missed anything.

2. Make a Checklist

A master check list will make your life so much easier when you are moving into your new home.  Your "move-in checklist" can be your daily guide as you are prepping, unpacking and getting settled in. Make sure that you have multiple copies and keep the list in a safe place where it will not get lost in the shuffle.

3. Change Locks/Keys/Codes

Always be on the safe side by changing any locks, keys or alarm codes. Even if it is a new home copies of the keys or codes could have been provided to multiple individuals in the process of building the home. Click here for more information on buying new locks/keys for your home.

4. Homeowners Insurance

This is something to consider in the process of buying your home as this is typically required within the lending process if you have a home mortgage. Refer to Homeowners Insurance Basics for more information.

5. Transfer Utilities

Be sure to reach out to your various utilities companies to make sure that all of your utilities were transferred correctly. Typically you will need to contact each company separately as they are managed individually. Here is a brief list of the most common utilities: gas, electric, water, sewer, garbage, internet and telephone.

6. File Change of Address

Filing an official "Change of Address" with the United States Postal Service can be done in person or online. If you will be doing it online then it would be best to complete the online form before you move so that you will have internet access in your home.

7. Assess Maintenance Needs

Take a complete walk around your home prior to unpacking and assess any maintenance needs in your new home. It will be easier to complete maintenance tasks before you unpack so that all of your belongings are out of the way.

8. Check Batteries in Smoke & CO Detectors

Your new home should already have smoke and CO detectors as required by your state regulations so the next step is to make sure that they have new batteries. This will help keep you and your family safe.

9. Locate Grocery and Hardware Stores

One of my personal favorite cell phone apps is Yelp. Yelp can be a great tool to help you locate the best grocery and hardware stores in your area. Take a quick trip to the store if needed to purchase some of your basic home essentials.

10. Basic Set of Tools

If you do not have one already, it is highly recommended to have a basic tool set handy while you are moving into your new home. It is difficult to know what you might need and having a tool set ready could help a great deal.

11. Pest Control

While you are visiting your local markets or hardware stores, you may want to pick up a new bottle of various types of pest controls and complete a quick spray around your home. In the process of building a home or a previous resident moving out, it is not uncommon for the homes of various bugs to be disturbed in the process and doing a quick spray around the inside and outside of your home will help keep the bugs away. If you have pets or children make sure that you use a safe pest control substance.

12. Cleaning

Cleaning supplies are a must have in my book. Dust settles quickly and it will be easiest to do a quick cleaning of the counter tops, sinks, etc. before unpacking.

13. Keep Records From Home Improvement Purchases

If you do any type of home improvements in your new home, keep records for future reference. There are variations between home repairs and home improvements. Check out a great blog from Investopedia for additional new homeowner tips.

14. Inspect Your Belongings

Let the unpacking begin! As you unpack be sure to inspect your belongings as your bring them out. If you did not hire movers, be cautious when opening moving vehicle doors as items may have shifted in transition. If you did hire addition help from a moving company make sure to have all moving documents available as the companies may have their own policies on inspecting belongings.

15. Arrange Large Furniture

Start with the larger items first, have a plan ready of where you will place the beds, dressers, couches, etc.

16. Unpack Essentials

After the large items are in place start with the boxes that contain the essentials that you will need first. Some of the essentials include: toilet paper, cleaning supplies, tools and kitchen utensils.

17. Update Your Address with Financial Institutions

Be sure to contact your various financial institutions as they will need for most up to date address for your financial documents. Typically this can be done over the phone, online or in person at their retail locations.

18. Meet the Neighbors

After you have unpacked or if you are just ready for a quick break, get some fresh air, take a walk around the neighborhood and meet the neighbors. Meeting the neighbors could help give you sense of peace and make you feel a bit more at home.

19. Start Emergency Fund

It is always best to be prepared for anything, with owning a new home it is best to set aside some money in case of any emergencies or maintenance disasters.

20. Take Advantage of Tax Benefits

There may be tax benefits available to you now that you own a home. Be sure to consult your tax advisor to make sure that you are taking advantage of benefits that are available to you.

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