Before you get too comfortable in your new home, you have a list of things to do to prepare. To make sure the house is move-in ready, you’ll need to thoroughly inspect the place. Use this home guide to help you on your walkthrough.
Here are our tips for first-time homeowners moving into a new home.
Locate the Breaker Box and Main Water Valve
The breaker box controls electricity to individual circuits (which may be concentrated in one room) and the overall power to your home. It’s important to know where this is and how to operate this in case you need to shut off the power or if you blow a fuse.
The main water valve controls the flow of water in your home and needs to be shut off during home maintenance projects, like water heater installation. If a pipe bursts or your house is flooding, you should know how to shut off the water as soon as possible to limit the damage.
Check Fire/Carbon Monoxide Detectors
If the house has been on the market for a while, chances are the batteries in the fire and carbon monoxide detectors are dead (or gone). Make sure the detectors work by pressing the test button. It should emit a very loud beeping sound; if the noise is faint or inconsistent, this is a sign of low batteries.
If you want to test the sensitivity of a smoke detector, light a candle in the same room as one and see how long it takes to for the smoke to trigger the alarm. Be ready to shut it off. Check the fixtures for their manufacture dates.
Detectors older than 10 years should be replaced promptly. Make sure you have an up-to-date fire extinguisher on hand and ensure everyone in your home knows what to do in the event of a fire.
Change the Locks
The real estate agent or previous owner of your home may still have keys to your home if you don’t change your locks. Install new locks and get a new set of keys made for you and everyone in the family.
Regular knob-locks aren’t very secure. Having another mechanism, such as a deadbolt helps re-enforce your doors. When everyone is home for the night, use something like a door jammer to make sure no one can break the door in.
Transfer Services From Previous Address
While you may have already started this process before you moved, make sure the following services are in your name at your new place:
- Utilities (electricity, water, heating/cooling, sanitation, and sewer)
- Banks, doctor’s offices, and insurance companies
When it comes to utilities, you should request these transfers as soon as possible. Let the companies know your move-in date so you can have a comfortable first night in your new home.
You’ll also have a specific timeframe, typically a 10-day window to update your address with the DMV. Depending on your state, this can be done online.
A Quick Home Guide For First-Time Homeowners
Once you’ve located important features in your home, changed your locks, and made your new address official, you can relax and enjoy your new place. These tips are important for the safety and maintenance of your home.
If you liked this home guide, check out the rest of our site for more real estate and home improvement posts!