Homeowners don't generally think about filling the shoes of a first-time home seller until they decide to buy a new home. Usually, the motivating factor is the need to move -- due to work-related
10 Things New Homeowners Should Do Right After Move In
Purchasing a new home can be very exciting. But a new home brings a lot of new responsibilities, too. From additional financial responsibilities to ongoing maintenance, becoming a new homeowner will put a lot on your plate. While you may hope to live in your home for years to come, there are a few things you should do right when you move into your new house. Consider completing these simple tasks during the first few days of homeownership.
Your fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are essential safety devices that need to be in working order. Before you move into your home, make sure each alarm is working properly. To test these alarms, simply press the “test” button. If it beeps, the alarm is working. If you don’t hear a beep, try replacing the batteries and test again.
Clean the Home
The best way to ensure your home stays clean while you’re living in it is to start with a clean slate. Take the time to give the entire house a deep cleaning before you move your furniture and other belongings inside. Calling an exterminator to spray the home for pests before you move in is also a great idea.
As you’re deep cleaning your home, be sure to clean the appliances, too. In addition to cleaning out your oven and refrigerator, don’t forget to pull the refrigerator away from the wall to clean the coils on the back of the appliance, too. Then, head to the laundry room to clean the dryer vent, lint screen, and dryer duct. Finally, replace the furnace filter and head outside to clean off the outdoor HVAC unit.
Change the Locks
To make sure your family is safe in your new home, it’s a good idea to change all the locks on the house. While the previous homeowners may have relinquished their keys, you have no idea how many duplicates of your home’s keys are in the hands of strangers. Installing new locks on each door is a simple DIY project you can tackle in a few hours.
Check Crawlspace and Attic
Getting familiar with every inch of your home is important as a homeowner. That means venturing into the crawlspace and attic to ensure there are no leaks, bugs, or mold in those spaces.
Find Shut Off Valves
Start by finding your main water and gas shutoff valves, which will allow you to shut off water or gas to the entire home in case of an emergency. On most homes, this valve is located near your home directly after your meter. Then, check under each sink to find isolated shut-off valves for those areas.
Check Your Electrical Panel
The electrical panel in your home will allow you to easily cut off power to the whole house, as well as different sections. This will come in handy when doing repairs to your house or during an emergency that requires you to shut off your home’s power. The home’s main circuit breaker panel is typically a gray metal box located in a utility room garage, basement, or closet. To access the panel, open the door. At the top of the panel, you’ll find the main breaker. Below the main breaker are rows of other breakers that control individual circuits. There are often labels on the breakers telling you which section of the home they control. If there are no labels, add your own by shutting off each breaker to determine which part of the house they turn off.
Check the Hot Water Heater
Inspecting the water heater is essential to ensure it’s in proper working order. Be sure the heating element is warming the unit and the pipes going into and coming out of the appliance are secure. Finally, take the time to drain the unit to prevent sediment buildup, which may cause problems later on.
Inspect Your Sump Pump
If your home has a basement, checking your sump pump is important. To make sure your sump pump is working well, pour a bucket of water into the hole and wait for the pump to turn on. Older sump pumps can rust and seize, so making sure your sump pump is working before a big rainstorm can prevent flooding in the future.
Start an Emergency Fund
Homeownership means you’ll need to be prepared for anything. If your hot water heater starts leaking or your refrigerator stops working, those appliances will need to be repaired or replaced. And that won’t be cheap. Having an emergency fund for instances like this will allow you to have money set aside to take care of the problem immediately. Purchasing a home is a big investment, so taking small steps toward increasing your emergency fund is a good idea. To create an emergency fund, simply open a separate savings account that will only be used in case of emergency, then add money to that account as you can with a goal of keeping $2,000 to $3,000 in the fund.
Victor Madrigal, from a young age, witnessed his father invest money, time, and labor into real estate. It was these memories that encouraged Victor to become a Realtor in 2009. After successfully obt....
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