Congrats on your new dwelling! It might seem like all the hard work of getting your new place is behind you but there are several steps you’ll want to take to get off on the right foot in your new home. Here are the 5 things to accomplish before you get settled in.
1. Change the Locks
Security should be top priority when you move into a new home. Most people create spare copies of their keys. You don’t know who else the seller might have given access to home -neighbors, family members, friends, or contractors. Change the locks. That ensures you’re the only person who has access. It is economical to install new deadbolts yourself but we recommend hiring a locksmith to get the whole house re-keyed and the hardware replaced. If you supply the new locks, they typically charge about $20 to $30 per lock for labor.
2. Check for Plumbing Leaks
Your home inspector should do this for you before closing, but it never hurts to double-check. Keep an eye out for dripping faucets and running toilets, and check the water heater for signs of a leak. Check your water meter at the beginning and end of a 2 hour window in which no water is used in your house. If the reading is different, you have a leak.
3. Start From Fresh – Clean Carpets, Change Filters and Wipe Out Cabinets
Clean the carpets before you move your furniture in, and your new home life will be off to a fresh start. You can pay a professional carpet cleaning service or you can rent a steam cleaner and do the work yourself.
Before you move in your dishes and bathroom supplies, make sure to wipe down the shelves inside and out with a non-toxic cleaner. Place liners if necessary. Don’t forget to change the air filters for a breath of fresh-air.
4. Get to Know the Circuit Breaker Box
It’s a good idea to know which fuses control which parts of your house, so find you circuit breaker box and make sure you fully understand the labels. If it is not labeled, label the circuit breakers.
5. Find the Main Water Valve
Locate your main water valve — it could be inside or outside your house — and any other emergency shut off valves in your home. You’ll want to know how to turn off your main water valve if you have a plumbing emergency, or if you’re going out of town.
Tip: Many plumbers will check your emergency shut-off valves for free and can tell you how to properly turn them on and off.