The move into a new house is exciting … especially if it’s the first home you’ve ever owned. But it can also feature a lot of anxiety and stress.
You’re moving into a house with which you aren’t familiar — other than a couple of showings and inspections — and you’d like the process goes smoothly. In order to ensure a smooth move-in, you need to do certain things after closing … but prior to unloading all your belongings into the house.
If you take the time to familiarize yourself with the following actions in proper sequence, you can speed up the process and set the stage for a successful move-in.
Eight Things You Need to Address
Many people close on a house and then move in the same day — and that’s understandable. After all the anticipation, it’s great to finally be able to settle into a place you may call your own.
But it might be smarter to slow down and take a couple of days to do this. If you do, you could make time for the following vital tasks.
1. Change the Locks
The very first thing you should do is change the locks on all the exterior doors. Sure, the previous owners may have given you their keys, but can you really be sure they handed all of them over to you?
And what the owners that preceded them? Or their friends and family members to whom they might have given extra keys?
Leaving the existing locks as they are probably won’t be a problem, but that’s an unnecessary risk you could quickly remove with minimal effort. New deadbolt sets can be purchased for $10 to $20 from the local hardware store.
Even if you lack any previous experience, they’re pretty easy to install with just a couple of tools. Not feeling up to the task? A handyman can put in a handful of locks for you within an hour.
Don’t want to mess with either of these options? You may be able to rekey your existing locks and get brand new keys made for them.
2. Paint Walls
Most people end up painting at least one or two rooms as part of the process of moving in. Many new homeowners repaint the entire structure to make it their own.
If you expect to do some painting, go ahead and take care of that before you move in your stuff. This will make the entire process easier and give you plenty of space to spread out materials without having to worry about messing up furniture and belongings.
3. Hire a Cleaning Service
Ideally, the sellers would have done a decent job of cleaning the house on their way out. But even if they wiped down all the surfaces and vacuumed floors, it’s unlikely they performed a deep clean.
An empty house is far easier to clean than one that’s filled with furniture, clothing, and collections. You might prefer to pay for a professional cleaning company to come in and prep the house for your move-in.
It’ll cost you a few hundred bucks, but it could be money well spent.
4. Steam-Clean the Carpet
A professional cleaning service will clean just about anything in the house, but carpeting is tricky. Vacuuming only removes loose debris and surface contaminants.
If you want your carpet to look and smell brand-new, steam cleaning is the answer. “Do this before you move your furniture in, and your new home life will be off to a fresh start,” homeowner Courtney Craig advises.
“You can pay a professional carpet cleaning service — you’ll pay about $50 per room; most services require a minimum of about $100 before they’ll come out — or you can rent a steam cleaner for about $30 per day and do the work yourself. I was able to save some money by borrowing a steam cleaner from a friend.”
5. Familiarize Yourself With the House
Now is the best time to familiarize yourself with your house and all its primary components, systems, and quirks. For example:
- Locate the main water shutoff valve. If a water leak or burst pipe should ever occur, this is the valve you’ll have to shut off to minimize the damage. You don’t want to be having to search for it frantically in the middle of a crisis.
- Find your circuit breaker. If the switches haven’t already been labeled, now is the perfect time to test each one and record the corresponding outlets.
- Other systems and elements you should locate include: water heater, HVAC components, water meter, and air filters.
Every house is unique, so you’ll have far more peace of mind when you feel as if you’ve become properly acquainted with the home you just purchased.
6. Say Goodbye to the Previous Owners
Regardless of how pleasant the previous owners may have been, this is your house now. You have no idea how they honestly treated the house or what they did in it, so go ahead and start fresh. For starters, replace the toilet seats, swap out air filters, and clean the refrigerator.
7. Perform Upgrades
If you were planning on performing any upgrades to the house, now’s the time to do them. Whether you’re replacing countertops, swapping out appliances, tearing down a wall, or renovating a bathroom, all of these are easier to accomplish when you aren’t also living in the space.
8. Meet the Neighbors
The sooner you make it a priority to meet the neighbors, the better. You might assume you’ll do it after you move in, but life gets going and you’ll more likely put it off. Before you know it, you’ll have spent six months in the house and still not have met anyone. At that point, it’s a lot more awkward.
Buy and Sell With Green Residential
At Green Residential, we’ve built a solid reputation as one of the most trusted and respected names in all of Houston real estate. From property management to buying and selling homes, we do it all.
Best of all, we’re family owned and operated … and have been for more than a quarter of a century. The next time you buy, sell, or invest in a home, please consider giving us a call.
Our policies and services are honest, transparent, and straightforward, and our clients find that highly refreshing in today’s environment.