Buying a new house is huge step for most people, especially first-time homeowners!
To help ease the plunge into home ownership, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most important things to consider when taking the leap.
1. Shop around for insurance
After purchasing a home, the next step is crucial: purchase insurance. Most new homeowners take the easy route and work with a friend in insurance or a real estate agent’s recommendation. But it’s wise to shop around and do your research. For example, some standard policies don’t include fire and flood protection. So compare policies from different providers and read the fine print.
2. Save money now for problems that will arise later
As a new or potential new homeowner, you already know that buying a house is expensive. There’s the cost of the house and the mortgage, moving fees, inspections, insurance and furnishings, to name a few. Managing all that can be overwhelming, but you can’t forget that a house brings with it plenty of other expenses down the road. So be sure to squirrel away money for those repairs and updates that will eventually be needed, such as roof repairs, plumbing issues, storm damage, HVAC failures, and more.
It’s easier than ever to track your home improvement savings, with several apps to help, or Microsoft provides a variety of money management templates for Excel to help you track your spending and saving throughout the month.
3. Purchase the essentials
Some purchases are non-negotiable and absolutely essential in a home. Make sure you have these critical items: first aid kit, tool kit with a full complement of basic tools, ladder, fire extinguishers (be sure they can handle different types of fires) and emergency preparedness kit should your home lose power.
Everyone is different; people are raised differently and have different viewpoints on what is and is not clean. While we accept everyone for their differences, we don’t have to live in these differences. Before moving into your new home, homeowners should deep clean and scrub every square inch of a house. If you don’t want to tackle this task yourself, there are plenty of cleaning companies to do the move-in cleaning for you.
5. Replace the locks
Odds are, there are spare keys to your home in the hands of the previous owner’s family and friends. There might even be one hidden outside somewhere. One of your first tasks for move-in should be to change every door lock so you can rest easy and not wonder who else besides you can gain access to your home.
Changing the locks is a fairly easy DIY project, or you can hire a locksmith. Make sure you have enough keys to distribute to your own collection of trusted key holders!
Better yet, ditch keys entirely! Yale has a variety of electronic locks that can be used as standalone passcode-controlled locks or connected to a smart home system so you can lock and unlock doors from anywhere using a smartphone app, share passcodes with others, and more.
6. Update your address
With so many things to do when moving into a new home, it’s easy for tasks to slip through the cracks. During your move, be sure to change you address with the US Postal Service, credit cards, insurance companies, banks and your services like Amazon. After all, you don’t want your dollar shave club subscription being sent to the wrong person when you spend cold, hard-earned cash on it!
7. Quick Upgrades
If you’re looking for some quick fixes to spruce up and personalize you’re new home, here you go:
- Paint – A fresh coat of paint instantly brightens and transforms any room.
- Replace the old ceiling fixtures with new ones that suit your style.
- Freshen up a kitchen with new cabinet and drawer knobs and handles.
- Replace doorknobs and handles with fresh new designs and finishes that match. You’d be surprised how many homes have mismatched door hardware!
- Upgrade those plastic switch plates on the walls with something decorative.
8. Meet your neighbors
Make time to introduce yourself to your new neighbors and remember that first impressions mean a lot – it’s best to start off on a good note! After all, you’re going to see them almost every day for however long you live in this house. And, as Ellen DeGeneres always says, be kind to one another.