Congratulations — you’re the proud owner of a new home! More than likely, you’re focused on unpacking and fun things like shopping and decorating. There are, however, a few key home-related tasks you should do that are not always top-of-mind for new homeowners. Read on for our list of essential things to do after you move into a new house.
1. Change the Locks
Safety first! Since you have no way of knowing who has a copy of the key to your new home, make this task a top priority. You can install new deadbolts yourself for as little as $10 per lock, or call a locksmith. If you supply the new locks, they typically charge about $20 -$30 per lock for labor. Once you have your new keys, hide a spare key in a safe place (not under the welcome mat!).
2. Officially Change Your Address
Here is a great guide to making sure you’ve changed your address with all of the essential places!
3. Replace (or Install) Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Better to be safe than sorry — install brand new smoke and carbon monoxide detectors with fresh batteries. We also love the Nest smoke detectors. They are a little pricey, but great for peace of mind.
4. Locate the Fuse Box and Water Shut Off
The location of the fuse box and water valve should be noted in your home inspection report, so be sure to check your report and confirm you can access them. You don’t want to end up looking for these two things when you really need them. In most cases, the fuse box will be in your basement, garage, or storage room and the water valve will be located around the perimeter of the house.
5. Replace the Furnace Filter
For a step-by-step tutorial, read this post. While you’re at it, set a reminder on your phone or calendar to change this filter at the start of every new season, which is the timing many manufacturers recommend. Better yet, set replacement filters on auto-delivery from your favorite online retailer.
While you’re at it, replace the filters in your microwave and in your refrigerator’s water dispenser.
6. Test the Sump Pump
Pour water into your new home’s sump pump to ensure it works. The most common time for a sump pump to fail is the first heavy rainfall after months of not being used.
7. Arrange for Pest Control
An initial visit from a pest removal service will likely cost a few hundred dollars but will provide peace of mind that your home is critter-free. Sign on for monthly or quarterly visits with the company to keep it that way!
8. Schedule an HVAC Check-up
Scheduling an appointment to have your HVAC serviced twice a year is wise, especially heading into winter and summer. You’ll also want to have your fireplace cleaned and inspected in the late fall, before its heavy-use season.
9. Flush the Water Heater
Doing this simple task will remove sediment that reduces efficiency. Explore this link to learn how. Click here to learn how.
Lastly, it goes without saying that if you have small children, the first thing you should tackle is babyproofing your new home. Here’s a great checklist that will help you cover all of the essentials.
The Bottom Line
With a new home, the work doesn’t end when the boxes are unpacked! Take these safety precautions and steps, both to ensure safety and keep your home’s systems working well. Then you’ll be able to rest easy and enjoy your new home!