Moving into a new home is exciting, and it can be overwhelming. With so much to do, you may feel like you don’t know where to start. To help you get organized and settle in quickly, here are a few important tasks for the new homeowner to take care of within their first year.
A New Homeowner Should Tackle these Tasks
1. Change the Locks
After closing, the first thing any new homeowner should do is change the locks on their doors. Previous owners or tenants may have copies of the keys, and you cannot be certain with whom they shared them. The petsitter, housecleaning company, and nanny may have access to your home. Replace the door locks with new ones as soon as possible.
Consider smart locks to take advantage of technology to make your home more secure. With this option, you can lock or unlock your door using a code or an app on your smartphone. Give friends or family members their own code and change it as needed.
2. Purchase Homeowners Insurance
Homeowners insurance offers protection from damage due to storms, fires, or other disasters. If insurance was not required as part of your mortgage loan, purchase it after closing. It’s important to research different companies and policies to find one that fits your budget and provides adequate coverage for your particular home and location.
3. Address Maintenance Issues
After moving in, inspect your home for repairs or maintenance work to complete. Check pipes and drains for leaks and clogs, repair broken windows or doors, and replace worn-out faucets and fixtures. Taking care of these issues right away will save you time and money in the long term by preventing worsening, more expensive damage.
4. Update Utilities
Update the utilities (electricity, gas, water, trash pick-up, internet) and make sure they are in your name. Ask about billing and due dates, and arrange for paperless billing if the company offers it. To stay current on bills, set up automatic payments. Use your bank account or enter a credit card to pay the bill automatically. You’ll avoid late fees and save money.
5. Landscaping Tasks for the New Homeowner
One of the best ways to make your house feel like a home is by sprucing up the landscaping. Plant flowers or shrubs around the front entrance to boost curb appeal, add a vegetable garden out back, mulch around trees, mow regularly, and trim the hedges. Lawn care will help personalize your property, and regular maintenance will go a long way toward making your house look great.
Moving into a new house is an exciting experience but can also feel daunting with so much to do. Use this checklist of essential tasks for new homeowners; you’ll settle in quickly and make the new place feel like home.