All the paperwork is signed, and you’ve officially closed on your new home. All your belongings are packed. The moving truck is scheduled, and the keys to your house are in your hands. Congratulations! There are so many exciting things ahead, and it’s the perfect time to set yourself up for success. Here are 9 things you should do before you move those boxes into the house of your dreams:
- Change Your Address
Fill out a change of address form with the U.S. Postal Service so you don’t miss any important mail. That will get your mail forwarded to your new home for six months (or a year if you ask for an extension). That’s why it’s also a good idea to contact credit card companies, the Social Security Administration, any subscription services that are mailed to you, etc. Also, don’t forget to change saved shipping addresses with online companies.
- Turn On Utilities, Cable and Internet
Whether it’s for heat, air conditioning or lights, turning the electricity on is a must. You also want to plan ahead and set up cable and internet, which require an appointment. You might even be able to transfer services from your old home to your new one, depending on how far you are moving.
- Change Locks and Garage Codes
Obviously, you’ve been handed a set of keys to your new home. Unfortunately, you don’t know how many copies of those keys have been shared. Rather than risk it, a top priority should be changing the locks on all your doors and your garage code, if you have one.
- Deep Clean and Change Toilet Lids
It’s so much easier to clean a house, especially floorboards and nooks and crannies, when the house is empty. It’s a perfect time to get carpets cleaned, and to get your new space sanitized. One great way to do that is to change your toilet lids and start fresh.
- Paint Walls and Ceilings
If you have time before the moving truck arrives, put a fresh coat of paint on
the walls and ceilings. It’s definitely more trouble once the furniture and all those boxes arrive.
- Test Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
The smoke and carbon monoxide detectors were probably tested during the home inspection, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Make sure they are all in working order. If you don’t know when batteries were last replaced, it’s not a bad idea to just change them.
- Find Fuse Boxes, Shut-Off Valves
You want to know where the fuse box is and how to shut off the water or gas before there is a power outage or emergency. In general, fuse boxes are located in the garage, on the outside of the house, or tucked in a closet somewhere. Natural gas shut-off valves are often located outside near the meter. Water shut-off valves are usually inside within 3 to 5 feet of where the main water comes in.
- Check HVAC Filters
This is a great time to find the air return vents and check the filters. If the filters are dirty, change them to improve air quality and air flow.
- Touch Base with HOA
When you bought the house, you were probably told whether your house is covered by a homeowners association. If it is, check in to make sure all fees are paid and that you know what’s allowed and what’s not in the neighborhood.
Looking for more tips? Our Homebuyer’s Guide provides plenty of them. You can also contact one of our loan officers directly to get pre-approved and find answers to questions you might have about the homebuying process.