About to move into your beautiful new dream home?
Before you unload all of those boxes and start to unpack there are a few things you should do first.
Set up a Safe Deposit Box
Put all the originals of your important documents in it, but keep copies of everything on hand at the house in case you need them in a hurry. For example, some of the originals you should put in there are your mortgage loan documents and your title certificate.
Get the locks changed
There’s no way to really know whether there are copies of the old key floating around, and there is also no way to really know who might have them.
Cover the windows
Before you start moving everything in it is important to make sure that your windows are covered up with something. This prevents potential burglars from seeing what they might take.
- As a temporary solution, you can even use blankets or towels before you get curtains up.
- Also, for the same reasons, take care not to leave boxes from any expensive products out on the curb.
Meet the neighbors
Introduce yourself and the family, ask for their contact info, and learn what their cars look like so that you can help look out for suspicious activity. Ask them to do the same and make sure they can reach you if they see anything strange.
Mark any cracks in your foundation or basement
Use some masking tape to cover up the very ends of any cracks you notice, and write the date on the tape. After a couple months, check the tape again and see if the crack grew. If it did, consult a foundation specialist.
Take pictures of everything
Before you move everything in and start taking inventory, it’s a good idea to take pictures while everything is still bare. In the event of a total loss, you’ll need those pictures to refer back to in order to accurately restore your home.
- Keep the photos stored offsite, you can email them back to yourself, stick them in that safety deposit box, or upload them to a cloud-based server.
Make your home more energy efficient
- Check the setting on the hot water heater, anything over 120 degrees is wasted.
- Install a programmable thermostat and learn how to set it.
- Change your air filters out, you will save energy and have better air quality.
- Install LED bulbs, it can save you a lot of money over time, plus they last much longer.
- Put up a clothesline in your backyard and try to hang most of your clothes to dry outside.
Have ceiling fans installed in rooms that will be used most often
This should allow you to keep your thermostat a couple degrees higher or lower and save on heating and cooling.
- The fan should be blowing down on you in the summer and air should be pulled upwards/away from you in the winter.
- There is a switch on your fan that controls the direction of rotation.
Consider some other bigger purchases that you might need
- A lawnmower, if the yard is big a riding mower can save you a lot of time and effort.
- Gardening/Landscaping supplies.
- Tools/tool box, at least try to have the basics on hand (pliers, screwdrivers, a hammer, tape measure, a power drill with bits, etc.).
- A snowblower if you live where it snows a lot, they can be rather costly but used ones can be found online for much cheaper.
- Appliances, like a stove, refrigerator, a washing machine, etc. (Energy-efficient is best).
- Window treatments, floor treatments, new towels, and linens, etc.
- A grill/patio furniture.