Congratulations on making it through another crazy year! You may be thinking now is a good time to purchase a new home. The good news is, you’re right, it is a great time! But, buying a house is a big deal and there is so much to do! So many different things to remember that in the hustle of the new year and that holiday daze, we can forget. You can get overwhelmed by all the things needing to get done. With all this in mind, we have compiled a check list to help make your move a little easier!
- Make sure to re-read and check the following things before your final walk through:
- Your inspection report and purchase agreement as well as, utility system instruction manuals and service information. Most systems in your home will need to be serviced at least once a year by a professional contractor to keep them running smoothly and help them have the best life possible.
- Ask the seller for documentation on appliances and equipment. Such as instruction books for appliances, service information, contractor information and any warranties that can be transferred into your name. Speaking of warranties, ask your home inspector if you get any warranties with your inspection.
- Learn the operations of your HVAC system. Asking the seller or your home inspector how to operate the heating and cooling system if you are unsure of the operations is a great place to start.
- Ask your home inspector about past water leaks on the ceilings, in the basement/crawlspace, at the water heater and other plumbing. It’s been a few weeks since the inspection and you want to make sure to re read your report before going into the final walk through.
- Go through the house and make sure there are smoke detectors in all the main living spaces. If not make a note to get some to install after moving in. Pro-tip: write down the date on the smoke detector with a sharpie, (they only last 10 years).
- Get a fire extinguisher. Hopefully you will never need one. However, it is always better to have one and not need it then to need one and not have one.
Utilities, Warranties, and Home Insurance
- Prior to closing, transfer all the utilities into your name. This is also a good time to ask the utility company about home operating tips to keep your bills low.
- Ask your agent or your new neighbors about the garbage and recycling schedules.
- Insurance is required by mortgage companies. They may need certain reports done by a home inspector. Make sure to ask if you need them and have them done with your full home inspection. Most home inspectors can perform these reports at the same time as the scheduled full home and you can ask about them when scheduling your inspection. This can also save you some money if done at the same time as a full general home inspection.
- Change the locks and security codes when moving in.
- Know how your garage door operates and remember to ask for the garage door openers at closing. Understanding the operation of your garage door system and how to use it when power is off is a necessary skill in areas that have a lot of power outages or surges.
- Know where your main shut offs are: for water, gas, and electricity. Know where the main electrical disconnect is located in case of an emergency. This could be a fuse block, breaker or switch. As well as the furnace disconnect switch, (if electrical) or the fuel valves (if gas).
More Safety shutoffs in your home
- Air conditioning disconnect switch
- Hot water shut off
- Individual breakers or fuses for branch circuits.
- Plumbing valves for appliances and main distribution connections.
- In the event of an emergency knowing where these shut offs are is important. Make sure everyone in your home knows where they are and how to disconnect or turn them off.
- Know where your lighting controls are. For exterior security.
- Have your important documents all in one place
- Understand how to operate your new cooling and heating systems
- Check for previous or active leaks
- Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors throughout the home if applicable
- Buy a new fire extinguisher
- Transfer utilities into your name and update your billing address
- Know the garbage and recycle pick up in your new neighborhood
- Change all exterior locks on your new home
- Understand how to operate your garage door
- Know where your main shutoffs are located
Moving into your new home is so exciting but can also be exhausting. Hopefully this list will help you on your way to a happy and healthy home!