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The New Homeowner’s Moving ChecklistJuly 6th, 2021 by
Congratulations! You closed on your first house. Now you’re officially … a homeowner!
But before you can get all comfy in your new place, you need to actually move in. And if you’ve never moved into a new house, there are a things you may not be aware of. While you’ve undoubtedly moved before, moving into a house is different from moving into an apartment.
That’s where this checklist comes into play.
In this article, we’ll share our essential tips for first-time homeowners prepping for the day of the big move. Be sure you take care of each item on this list before you move.
That way, you can start enjoying your new home from day one.
A Different Kind of Moving Experience
When you move into an apartment, there are several things the property management company takes care of on your behalf. You’ll need to make sure you add those items to your personal to-do list because now those responsibilities fall on you.
In addition to that, homes come with some additional maintenance tasks that apartment complexes take care of for their tenants.
Here’s everything you’ll want to think through as you make plans to move into a house for the very first time. (Or the fifth time, for that matter!)
✓ Have the House Cleaned
If your first house had a previous occupant, there’s no guarantee they cleaned thoroughly before moving out. In fact, even if they left it relatively neat, it’s probably not sparkling clean. And even newly constructed homes may have some dirt left behind from the building process.
You’ll want to address that before you move in.
You have two options. Either roll your sleeves up and do a complete top-to-bottom cleaning before the move or hire a cleaning service. Both work. One will save you money and the other will save you time.
Just don’t skip this vital step.
✓ Tackle Any Small Projects
If you already know you want to make some changes—anything from a fresh coat of paint to some remodeling—it’s best to do that before you move, if possible.
While it’s possible to complete a home improvement project after the move, it’s a pain. You’ll barely be settled before turning the house upside down. In contrast, handling it before the move means everything is as you want it from the very beginning.
Your home inspector can go over your entire house and suggest possible renovations and improvement projects.
✓ Meet Your New Neighbors
Apartments are like the revolving doors of living arrangements. People are always moving in and moving out. Homes, on the other hand, tend to see less turnover.
Even if you’ve never taken the time to introduce yourself to your neighbors in an apartment community, you’ll likely want to know the folks who live next to or near your new home.
You need to meet your neighbors.
Consider stopping by with a simple gift, like cookies, to break the ice, say hi, and get things started on the right foot.
✓ Check Out Community Activities in the Area
Every community has its own personality. That includes the local hotspots, activities, seasonal celebrations, and recreational options.
You may have looked into some of this while you were shopping for your new home. Now that you know where you’ll be living, this is a great time to go ahead and sign up for a recreational sports team or put the annual local festival on your calendar.
✓ Make Sure You Have Power
This one is important.
When you move into an apartment, the power is already on. But when you move into a new home, the power will only be on if you took steps to ensure it’s on.
Do not count on the former owner to leave the power on for you.
✓ Replace All the Locks
Who knows how many spare keys the previous owner had? Plus, they may have shared some with their family members, neighbors or friends.
Rather than assuming you have complete control over who can get into your new home, it’s best to go ahead and change all the locks.
This simple step isn’t expensive, and it will give you peace of mind.
✓ Consider Eco-friendly Appliances
Unlike apartments, homes rarely come with appliances already installed. You’ll need to purchase your own. And since you’re starting from scratch, we suggest considering eco-friendly options.
Going green will reduce your energy costs as well as your carbon footprint. And you don’t have to spend a fortune to make your house eco-friendly. There are energy-efficient appliances to suit every price range.
Plus, simple changes, like LED bulbs and a smart thermostat, can further reduce your energy bill.
✓ Make Your New Home Safe
Your new home may or may not come equipped with smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms and fire extinguishers. And even if you find all these in your new house, their presence does not guarantee that they work.
Bare minimum, you need to check every alarm and extinguisher. If any don’t work, replace them.
And if the house is missing any of these safety-oriented devices, this is not the time to save a few bucks. Your safety is invaluable. Make sure these precautions are taken care of before you move in.
✓ Outdoor Essentials
If you’ve been living in an apartment, you haven’t had to deal with lawn care. Whether you’re excited to be able to do your own gardening or dreading having to mow, lawn care and landscaping are both now on you.
You’ll want to arrange for a lawn care provider and give some thought to any needed landscaping before you move. That makes outdoor maintenance one less thing you’ll have to worry about as you settle in.
The Bottom Line
Moving into your first home is a significant milestone.
You may buy other homes, but this is your first. It’s a big deal!
Make the experience of moving in memorable, efficient and as stress-free as possible by working through this checklist well ahead of time.