Congrats, You Own a Home! What Should You Do First?

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Congratulations, new homeowner!! You made it through the home search, mortgage, and closing process. What now? Here are some tips to make starting fresh in a new place easy.

Change Your Address

This is actually something you can do before you close, but schedule it to go into effect on the closing day. You can do it easily online via the United States Postal Service (USPS), and even sign up to get a daily preview (called Informed Delivery) of packages and mail scheduled to arrive soon.

But, changing your address with the USPS, is only the first step to getting yourself squared away. Don’t forget the following additional places and/or businesses, too.

  • Bank(s) and credit card companies
  • Places where your debit and/or credit card information is stored
  • Your employer
  • Miscellaneous monthly bills and/or subscriptions (e.g., insurances, cellphone carrier, food delivery services, etc.)
  • Schools
  • DMV

Turn Utilities On

To ensure the home always has utilities on, try to work in some overlap with the seller (just a day or so). Ask the sellers to shut off utilities in their name the day after closing, and you turn them on in your name the day of closing. If the home was vacant, arrange to have the utilities turn on the day of closing.

Set Up Cable and/or Internet

To avoid any technology hiccups, you may want to get your cable, satellite dish, and/or internet set up quickly. Depending on the time of year you move, there may be high demand for these services, so scheduling your appointment in advance could save you some trouble.

Change the Locks and Garage Codes

Even if the previous owners tell you they handed over all keys to the house, it’s recommended you change the locks as soon as you have possession of the home. They may not remember giving a key to a neighbor or friend. You can install new locks yourself or hire a locksmith to do it for you. If the garage has a code to get into it, change it immediately and reprogram any remote openers.


Even if the house looks sparkly clean, you may want to give it a deep cleaning. If it’s in your budget, hire professional cleaners that handle new move-ins. If not, here’s where you should focus your efforts.

  • Wipe down all walls, countertops, and touchable surfaces
  • Deep clean all appliances including the oven, stove, and microwave
  • Deep clean and sanitize the freezer and refrigerator
  • Dust all fixtures, fans, and smoke/carbon monoxide detectors
  • Deep clean and sanitize all bathrooms
  • Vacuum and mop all floors; pay close attention to the corners

Test Smoke Detectors

Don’t assume smoke detectors work. Walk around, test each one, and put in fresh batteries.

Paint Walls and Ceilings

If you have time before you move into the house, you might consider painting. If you have to move in right away, try keeping all the furniture and boxes in the center of the room so you can easily paint the walls. You’ll need to move the furniture and boxes to get to the ceiling, but it will be less work when everything starts in the center of the room.

Change Toilet Lids

If it’s in your budget, change all toilet lids for a clean start to your new home. Toilet lids aren’t expensive, and they’re usually easy to install.

Check HVAC Filters

Always check HVAC filters. Even if the seller just changed them, you may want to make note of the month so you can get on a schedule for regularly replacing them.

Get in Touch with the Homeowner’s Association (HOA)

Get a copy of the HOA’s Rules and Regulations, and ask them how and when you pay your dues, how to get approval for any property changes, and/or how you get help with repairs or issues if it’s something they handle.

Take Inventory for Insurance

Your home is a big investment so it’s smart to be as prepared as you can for anything life throws at you. Take inventory of what’s in your home now so if you have a loss, you have the proof of what you own. Walk around your home and take pictures of all your belongings and even each room of your home so if it comes down to it, you can show the adjuster what you had before a loss or damage. This inventory may seem like a pain, but it’s an incredible help if something ever happens.

Home is where your adventure begins, and we’re excited to be your guide. These tips and tricks will get you started on the right foot.

With more than 21 years in the industry, we’re a leading fintech mortgage lender saving current and potential homeowners money and time through transparent rates, zero junk lender fees*, and technology that automates over five million tasks each month. We’ve served over 100,000 borrowers, boast a 98% customer satisfaction rating and 4.9 stars on thousands of online reviews, and provide a “mortgages without migraines” experience. (*Note: Wyndham does not charge junk fees, application fees, processing fees, or underwriting fees. There can be fees charged directly by Third Parties for services such as, but not limited to, title, settlement, appraisal, taxes, and insurance.)

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