After you close on your home, you will most likely be filled with feelings of excitement and accomplishment. Take some time to celebrate this achievement and all of the hard work that got you to this point. Even though this is the start of a new chapter, there are still some important things to do right after you close.
Update Your Address
Once you have purchased your home and are ready to move in, remember to start updating your address in various places. Start by registering your new address with the post office to allow for mail forwarding for 12 months. Ahead of time, remember to coordinate your move-in date and to update your address with utility and electric companies, as well. This ensures you don’t have any lapses with heating, electricity, or water.
It is also necessary to update your address with your employer. This ensures your important documents are sent to the correct place without delay. A few additional places to include on your list are medical and dental offices, credit card and banking companies, and subscription services. As you start to receive your forwarded mail, update your address accordingly with the different places you might have overlooked. Last but not least, send out a mass text or email to friends and family to provide them with your new information ahead of time.
Change the Locks
Getting the keys to your new home provides you with an accomplished feeling while allowing you to take a breath of fresh air knowing that you are starting a new chapter in your life. Once you receive the keys and garage door openers to your new home, however, one of the first steps to take before moving in is to change the locks and the codes. Maintaining a sense of security within your new home is essential. You don’t know who might have a copy of the keys you receive from the previous homeowner. Furthermore, by changing the locks as soon as you move in, you can ensure that those who need keys have them, eliminating any potential lockouts.
Evaluate Insurance Needs
While you most likely had to secure a homeowners insurance policy before you closed on your home, becoming a new homeowner is a good time to evaluate other insurance policies you may have. After buying your new home, you will have more responsibilities. Securing adequate insurance in all aspects of your life protects you from financial loss if an unplanned situation were to arise.
For example, you will want to either evaluate your current life insurance policy or look into purchasing a plan if you don’t have one yet. Having enough life insurance coverage is important, now more than ever as a homeowner, especially if you live with a family that depends on your income to make monthly payments on the mortgage. Additionally, remember to update your car insurance carrier to let them know your new address and that you purchased a home, as some carriers will offer a discount once you become a homeowner.
Deep Clean and Paint
Depending on your particular situation, you might have some time between closing and your actual move-in date. When the home is vacant, try to take some time to do a deep clean of the interior before you start to move your belongings inside. Additionally, you can also take advantage of this in-between period to refresh the paint to your liking.
Because all of your items have not been moved in yet, it will be easier to clean and paint without having to work around your furniture. You could either hire a professional cleaning company or do it yourself to save some money. If you decide to do it yourself, remember to dust the light fixtures and ceiling fans, wipe down the inside of the refrigerator, and clean the inside of cabinets and vanities. Sellers often miss these spaces in their cleaning process.
Introduce Yourself to the Neighbors
Another essential thing to do when you move into your new home is to introduce yourself to the neighbors if you have not met them yet. While you might naturally meet them by seeing them outside, if you move in the winter you might need to make more intentional efforts. Meeting the neighbors can help you to feel more at home, giving you a sense of community while allowing you to start making connections as soon as you move in.
This is especially important if you are moving to a new area because they will likely have some greater insight into the larger community. Consider going up to the front door and bringing a card or small gift to help introduce yourself and start the conversation. Another way to meet neighbors that might not live directly next door is to take walks around the block to initiate conversations with others in your neighborhood who are spending time outdoors.
Refer Back to Your Home Inspection
If you decided to have a home inspection done prior to purchasing your home, use that information to your advantage once you move in. While you might have asked the seller to fix some items based on your report, you most likely did not have them fix every last issue. It can be helpful to use your home inspection as a guide to fix and update items that might have been problematic so they don’t become an even larger issue in the future. Start by updating the most important items first and then work your way down to the more minute details. This will give you added peace of mind knowing that your home is safe and secure and can minimize the risk of a larger (and more costly) issue arising.
Becoming a homeowner is a very exciting time but also comes with added responsibilities. We know you can’t wait to get settled into your new place. But these are a few more items to do right after you close to set you up with a good foundation as you enter into this new stage of your life.