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Moving is a time to embrace new beginnings, despite the stress of the process. It can be both mentally and physically exhausting, but the financial and personal payoff of owning your own home can make the initial stress worthwhile. Here are 6 steps to take after you move into your new home to make the transition smoother:
1. Change The Locks
Always, always, always change the locks when you move into a new house. This is the very first thing to do after you close on a new house. You can never know for sure who has an existing copy of keys to the house. A few new locks and deadbolts are a much less expensive fix than having to replace stolen belongings. If you choose to hide a spare key, hide it in a safe place and not under the new welcome mat at the front door! Consider purchasing a lock box or fire box for valuable papers and jewelry.
2. Monitor Plumbing
You should always have your home inspected prior to purchase by a certified home inspector, who should test for plumbing leaks prior to the purchase of a new home. It’s important for new homeowners to monitor plumbing, especially if the home is older. Be sure you know the age of the pipes, as well as any hint of previous do-it-yourself fixes. Proper piping helps prevent future leaks, corrosion and bursts. Here are a few things to look for:
- Keep an eye out for dripping faucets and running toilets
- Check the water heater for any signs of a leak. Replace old water heaters. If a water heater overflows, it can cause serious water damage to your home.
- Check your water meter at the beginning and end of a two-hour window in which no water is being used in your house. If the reading is different, you have a leak.
(via House Logic)
3. Steam Clean Carpets
Steam cleaning your floors or replacing the carpets ensures a healthy home for you and your family. Carpets may not only have unknown stains, but can also hide little creatures like lice, fleas, and bed bugs. Before moving your furniture and belongings inside, be sure to hire a reputable carpet cleaning company or rent a steam cleaner.
Tip: If the previous owners were smokers, you should not only get new flooring, but also put a fresh coat of paint on the walls.
4. Get Rid of Pests
Home insurance does not cover removal of pest infestation. I repeat, home insurance does not cover pest infestation removal. This includes termites, mice, rats, snakes, bats, roaches, and any other nasty guests. There are several do-it-yourself tricks you can try when getting rid of pests; however, if you can afford to hire a pest control service, it will likely save you money in the long run and give you peace of mind.
5. Find the Shutoff Valve & Breaker Box
Make sure you and your spouse or roommates know how to find, access, and use the shutoff valve and breaker box.
In case of a plumbing emergency or natural disaster, it’s important to know where the valve is that turns the water off to your house, so you can turn it off quickly in an emergency. The valve could be inside or outside the house. Test if it was properly turned off by turning on any faucet in the house; when it is off, no water should come out of any faucet.
In newer homes, the breaker box is typically found in the garage, but it can be in a closet or an outside wall of the house. If the previous owner or electrician did not label each switch to let you know which part of the house it controls, it’s important to go through the process of determining which switch controls which part of the house. Figuring out which fuse controls electricity in each part of the house is typically a two person job, but even kids can get involved by letting you know when the lights go on and off after a fuse is tripped. After testing, label the switches accordingly (via House Logic).
If you would like a home quote or have questions about what is covered on your home insurance policy, give me a call!