7 less-obvious things to do when you move into your new home
Moving into a new home is a daunting but exciting process. There are many well-known steps to follow: clean the home from top to bottom, connect your utilities, unpack your belongings, update your address with your contacts and service providers, etc. This article isn’t about those steps. Instead, here are seven less-common but worthwhile things you should do when you move into a new home.
1. Get your real estate agent’s contacts
Especially if you’re moving into a new city or state, a list of recommended service providers can be hard to come by. Your real estate agent should be able to provide a list of plumbers, electricians, handymen and other businesses you may need to call on. It’s much better to have this info before you need it rather than scramble when an urgent issue arises.
2. Put off painting the walls
Judging how paint hues will look in a house you haven’t lived in yet can be tricky. Rather than painting the walls first, consider living in the unpacked home for a while so you can better gauge how things look with your new layouts, light (artificial and natural) and other surroundings. Ceilings, however, are much easier to paint before you’ve unpacked, so tackle that job early on.
3. Plan a party
Throwing a housewarming party serves the dual purpose of celebrating your move-in while setting a deadline for you to finish unpacking. Choose a date that gives you enough time to finish settling in, then send out the invitations so you’ll hold yourself to your schedule, and your friends or family can share in the excitement of your place.
4. Go on a doggie meet-and-greet
Pre-move-in neighborhood tours aren’t just for people. Take your dog on a walk near the home to give him an early introduction to his or her new surroundings. This is a great way to meet your two- and four-legged neighbors and make a few introductions. Your pet will be more comfortable for having scoped out the area, and your neighbors will know where to send Fido if he slips out on move-in day.
5. Get an energy audit
You can save as much as 30% on your energy bill by the making upgrades identified in an energy audit. A professional energy auditor will walk through your home and identify any areas for improvement that can reduce your energy bills. Any suggested upgrades you make can lower your monthly costs, increase your home’s value and shrink your footprint on the environment. Ask your local electric or gas companies or visit www.resnet.us/directory/search to find an auditor in your area.
6. Start from scratch with safety equipment
Don’t trust your previous home’s owner to have all the safety equipment in working order for your move in. Test all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors immediately and consider starting fresh with new batteries in everything. A new fire extinguisher is a worthy addition as well. Set up any other components such as security systems or cameras as soon as you’re able.
7. Vet the vents and filters
If you’re moving into a new construction home, make sure to vacuum out the vents using a hose attachment before you turn on the HVAC. This will help prevent any accumulated dust from being blown out into your home. If your home had a previous resident, changing the air filters on your HVAC, the vent filter above your kitchen stove and the aeration filters on your faucets is also a good idea.
Moving into a new home is a big job, but with these steps checked off, you can get settled in quicker and make the most of your new place.