May 17 2019

You just purchased your first home. Now what?

by Erin

red door with lock

So, you’ve just gained the title of “homeowner” and the stress and anxiety of the home buying processes is finally over with. Now, what do you do? Don’t think that the work is done once you sign the dotted line. There are a few steps you should make after the home buying process that will make your life a little easier. We’ve got 10 helpful tips below to help you along the way.

 

Change the locks

 

Many people don’t think about taking this step when purchasing a home. With all of the open houses, realtors, and past homeowners trafficking through the home, you never know who may possess an extra set of keys or even the garage door opener. The cost to change the locks is minimal compared to both your peace of mind and the possibility of a break in. When changing your locks, be sure to replace the hardware as well.

 

It’s also best to wait until the day after closing to schedule a locksmith to come out to make this change. You never know how closing can go. Sometimes it can drag on for a few more days than expected and you want to make sure that the entire deal is finalized before changing your locks.

 

Set up your utilities

 

This is probably everyone’s least favorite part about having their own living space when it’s apartment living or being a homeowner. It’s time to set up those utilities and pay deposits.

 

Say hello to your new neighbors

 

A bowl of jello or a plate of fresh baked cookies is not required for this step. We’re not living in the ’60s, but it’s still nice to introduce yourself to your new neighbors. It’s great to form a relationship with the people you live next to. You’ll see them on a daily basis leaving and coming in and in most cases, it’s a great way to look out for one another’s homes when you’re away or form a carpool when the kids go to school.

 

Put your mortgage documents in a safe place

 

All of your documents may already be saved somewhere in the cloud or right in your email and that’s great! We may be in a new age with technology, but it’s always a good idea to make hard copies of your official mortgage documents and place them in a safe place for future reference. If for some reason, you cannot access your documents on a computer, you’ll always have a backup copy in hand.

 

Give your home a good deep clean

 

 

The best time to give your house a deep clean is when it’s completely empty. You won’t be able to see every spot, stain, or spider web with your house fully furnished. Take the time out to steam clean the carpets, buff the floors, wash windows, and deep clean in and around your appliances before your home becomes lived in with the day to day wear and tear. If you prefer to do it yourself, that’s great and you’ll save a few dollars, but there’s also nothing wrong with hiring a professional to get the job done and save some time.

 

Purchase a home warranty

 

A home warranty is a service contract that will repair or replace things around your home like a broken dishwasher. A warranty on your home may have come with the purchase of your home, but be sure to read the fine print. If you find that you may need extra security with another warranty, take the steps to do so.

 

Set aside an emergency fund

 

It may not sound very appealing to start yet another savings fund after shelling out the last of your savings on your new home, but this is a very important part of home ownership. Now that you’re a homeowner, there is no longer a maintenance man to fix the garbage disposal and there’s no leasing office to complain to. When something goes wrong, it’s up to you to fix it, so it’s better to be safe than sorry and have a few dollars stashed away for emergency purposes only.

 

Create a maintenance plan

 

The same way you have a maintenance plan for yourself when it comes to routine salon visits, dental appointments, and doctor visits, you should also have a maintenance plan for your home. Keeping a plan in place will prevent future problems around the house like the A/C going out in the summer or a pipe bursting in the middle of the night potentially flooding your brand new floors. Keep important numbers handy for your homes maintenance repairs.  Keep track of how long your warranties are for your major appliances and schedule “checkups” routinely to ensure everything is in good shape. 

 

We hope you find these tips helpful as you get settled into your new residence. 

 

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