Congratulations closing day for the purchase of your new home is here! You expect to have the keys to your new home by days end. The road to getting here has been filled with filling out and signing a mountain of documents. You have had to decipher what is important in the property inspection report and ask for the major items to be addressed. The lender has made you dance through numerous hoops but it is here closing day!! Hopefully you have not been too overwhelmed as the journey is not quite complete. Here are a few tips to help you make your transition to the new home safe and comfortable.
Make Sure Your New Home is Secure
One of the first things you should do as the owner of your new home is have the locksmith out to change out the locks. Though the sellers may be honorable folks you have no idea who has a key to the house. The seller may think that they have given you every copy of the keys or garage door openers but you just don’t know if a contractor or someone else has a copy that was forgotten about. You could do the conversion yourself if you are a handy sort of person but a locksmith might actually save you money as they can just reset the tumblers in the existing locks and make new keys to match.
Switch the Utilities to Your Name
You want to handle this to take effect on the closing date of the sale. This will ensure that the seller is not receiving bills that you have incurred. More importantly it makes it unlikely that you will have a re-connect fee due to a lapse in service. One other reason to tackle this prior to closing is scheduling, with the phone and cable/internet providers you often have to schedule an appointment for them to come out and make their service live. If you wait to the date of possession you might find yourself waiting a week or two before they can get you on the schedule.
Make Arrangements for School
If you have school age children make sure to make arrangements for enrolling them in their new school before you get lost in the task of moving. Waiting until the first day of school is awkward for all involved and makes the transition for your child that much harder.
Have you ever left a job with the best intentions of being a stellar employee to the last minute but in the end you develop a bad case of short timers? Sellers are the same way, they have the best intentions of leaving their home spotless for you but the excitement of their new place overrides their intentions. Best to bring in a cleaning service experienced in deep cleaning a home, someone who will clean every nook and cranny from drawers and cabinets to walls and baseboards to bedrooms and closets to bathrooms and kitchens. Sounds overwhelming if you are tackling this chore by yourself, so treat yourself and budget some money to bring the pros. A side note, if you purchased a new home it too should be deep cleaned. There is always leftover dust and construction dirt from the building process. Depending on how competitive your market is you might want to consider asking in your offer that the home be professionally cleaned prior to the close of escrow.
Do you have plans to refresh the interior paint scheme? The most convenient time to tackle this project is before you move in. This way there are no boxes or furniture to maneuver around.
Along the same lines of interior painting, having your new homes carpets cleaned prior to moving in is much easier if the carpet cleaners do not need to work around the furniture lay out. Keep in mind that you should wait 24 to 48 hours before moving furniture in to allow the carpets to dry properly.
There is nothing better than having crisp clean windows when you first move into your home. Have a professional window cleaner take on the task before he has to maneuver around your furniture. This is a good time to assess the condition of your screens too. Address any that need attention.
Replace Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detector Batteries.
We have all heard the public service announcement reminding us to change out these batteries at the start of a new year. I would recommend not relying on the previous owner to have done this for you. From there you can set your own queue for changing the batteries. This is also a good time to evaluate if you have sufficient detector coverage. Many older homes have just the bare necessity to get the home sold. This is a great time to add smoke detectors to each bedroom if they do not already have one.
Replace All Filters
Often overlooked by homeowners are their heating and cooling filters. A clogged up air filter can cause you HVAC system to be overworked as it struggles to breath. This is a great time to set up a schedule for replacing this filter as it easily forgotten. If the refrigerator came with the home you might want to consider replacing or having a replacement water filter on hand. Some homes have whole home filter systems this would be a great time to change that filter out too and set its replacement schedule too.
Clean the Dryer Vent
Rarely addressed in real estate transactions in our area are the homes dryer vent. Lint build up in the piping for the vent is quite common and is a fire hazard. Fire marshals everywhere report home clothes dryer fires every year. It is unlikely unless called out in the property inspection report that the dryer vent has been cleaned. Save yourself some grief down the road and have the vent professionally cleaned before you move in.
Picnic in Your Home
The first days in your home may be a bit hectic trying to figure out where everything is. Have a picnic basket of paper plates, napkins, eating utensils and disposable cups. This is an easy way to deal with serving your meals until you have the kitchen settled in.
Moving is a huge task, with these steps you should be able to lighten your load and get to the business of enjoying your new home much sooner.