Renting an apartment has its advantages, whether it be the landlord taking care of all maintenance and repairs or the communal amenities such as a pool or gym. However, there comes a time, whether it be a new job, recent marriage, or another important accomplishment or milestone, that one must move on into a home of their own. Once you have made a down payment and signed all the necessary paperwork, you are ready for tips for moving into your first home.
Moving into your first home can be an exciting time, but it can also become a stressful and exhausting process. With so much to do in one day, it can easily become overwhelming. These tips for moving into your first home will make the transition as easy as possible.
Before The Move
Before you begin considering tips for moving into your first home, you will want to prioritize these tasks beforehand so the process runs as smoothly as possible.
Getting a jump on this task before you move into your new home is recommended. Physical utilities include gas, water, electricity, trash, and sewer. The sooner they are notified of the date you will be moving in the better, especially if it during their busy season. Although, the activation process is generally quick and painless. Depending on the location of your new home, you likely will not have a choice of physical utility companies.
Connecting Cable and Internet
Living without internet or cable can be a lot more difficult than you think, even for just a day. You will want to ensure these services are up and running before the day you will be moving in. Do your research on what services are provided in the area, compare prices, and decide what provider best suits your needs. Consider scheduling the installation at least two to three weeks before your move-in date. This will guarantee you get an appointment at a time that is convenient for you. About 43 million Americans move each year, so you will be surprised how many appointments utility and cable companies have to attend to. Do not forget to cancel your old plan or transfer it, if possible.
Update Your Mailing Address
Your mailing address is associated with many important aspects of your life, more than you may even realize, including banks, credit cards, insurance, driver licenses, and vehicle registration. Alert the post office of your change of address and consider mail forwarding to continue receiving mail without interruption. You can change your official USPS address on their website. This should be done at least two weeks in advance to avoid any interruption in service.
Plan For Maintenance and Chores
If you are moving from an apartment to a home, every task that your landlord once handled is now your responsibility. You will likely need equipment for lawn care such as a lawnmower, trimmer, rake, shovel, and other landscaping material. You will also need tools to handle common household chores, such as cleaning the gutters, fixing a simple leak, and unclogging bathroom drains.
Change the Locks
You have no idea how many sets of keys the previous homeowner could have handed out. Contact a locksmith as soon as possible and get new locks and keys. This is also a good time to have a deadbolt installed if your door does not have one. These simple tasks will help guarantee your safety in your new home.
Schedule a Cleaning
Before any furniture has been moved in and the house is empty is an opportune time to clean every inch of the home. The home may be old or the previous homeowner may not have cleaned it to your standards. A cleaning service will get the job done quickly and free of any hassle. On your final walkthrough, keep an eye out for pests like ants or roaches. If necessary, consider a residential pest control service or other similar services before unpacking or any furniture is moved in.
Schedule Repairs and Home Improvements
Home improvements and repairs are an unavoidable step in moving into a new home. Some repairs will require more attention and money than others. For a leaky roof, contact a residential roof contractor. If the windows are damaged or do not lock correctly, find a local residential glass repair company. Schedule these repairs and improvements two to three weeks ahead of time so they are taken care of before the day you move in.
Tips For Moving In To Your First Home
Before closing, complete a final walkthrough. This is a time to ensure the home is in the condition it was when you purchased it. Check for any plumbing leaks. It is a lot easier to see water stains, spots, or leaks when the home is no longer perfectly staged. Also, make sure any repairs agreed upon were made.
Ensure the heating and air conditioning units are working to your satisfaction. An HVAC system is a necessity, so it is of the utmost importance that you or a technician conducts a thorough inspection at some point. This should include an inspection of the insulation and ducts. If repairs or replacements are necessary, get them done right away. Do not hesitate to contact a home heating contractor. Do not forget to inspect other expensive appliances, such as the water heater and water treatment system.
Other tasks include locating the valve that shuts off the water supply and opening and closing the electrical panel or circuit breaker. This will be crucial in the event of an emergency such as a leak or power outage. In addition, view the home inspection report or any other type of inspection report that is available.
Final Steps Before Closing
Take note of the condition of the flooring. Replacing the flooring is much easier to accomplish before the furniture has been moved in. Other tasks that are best completed before the move is driveway asphalt paving, while the driveway is not in use.
During your final walkthrough, keep in mind all these tips for moving into your first home.
If you have the budget, many full-service movers will take care of all the tasks associated with your move and provide other tips for moving into your first home. This includes supplying all packing materials, packing up your belongings, disassembling furniture, truck loading and unloading, transporting your belongings, and unpacking. If a full-service mover is not within your budget, there are always trucks for rent and friends and family to help.
Other Tips For Moving Into Your First Home
Do not forget to pack a few boxes for your first day. Include everything you will need for your first twenty-four hours in your new home, such as an air mattress, toothbrush, shower curtain, toilet paper, lamps, extensions cords, trash bags, and some dinnerware. Making sure these items are set aside and accessible to allow your first day and night in your new home to go much smoother.
After The Move
Once you have finally gotten all of your belongings moved in, you are in the final stretch of settling into your new home, which will require a fair amount of maintenance. Along with these tips for moving into your first home, you will need a checklist to help you perform seasonal inspections.
Tasks To Perform Monthly
- Clean plumbing fixtures, such as bathtubs, showers, sinks, and toilets. A mixture of vinegar and water applied with a nonabrasive cloth or sponge is most effective.
- Clean the garbage disposal. The chamber and top of the drain pipe can be cleaned with a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. Drains can also be cleaned using the same solution combined with boiling water.
- Check and replace all HVAC filters. Over time, these can accumulate mold and dust. Do not forget exhaust fans in the bathrooms. Replacing these filters will not only improve airflow but also prevent your HVAC system from using more energy. You’ll want to be sure your heating and air conditioning is working properly.
- Check underneath the hood of your stove. Clean the range hood filter and exhaust fan filters, or replace them if necessary. The range hood filter’s purpose is to collect grease, so it needs to be cleaned often. The filter can be easily cleaned in the sink with a mixture of boiling water, baking soda, and a degreasing dish soap.
- Locate and inspect the fire extinguisher and replace it if necessary. Make sure it is in an accessible location, the seal is unbroken, the pressure gauge is in the operable position, and lift the extinguisher to make sure it is still full.
Tasks To Perform Bi-Annually
- Clean the refrigerator coils. Unplug the refrigerator and pull it away from the wall. Locate the coils and vacuum them with a brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner hose.
- Inspect the water filtration system. Whether you have a charcoal, reverse osmosis, ionizing, or infrared filter, you can test the quality of your water with a testing kit or have your water tested by a state-certified laboratory.
- Test carbon monoxide and smoke detectors by pressing and holding down the test button on the face of the device. You should hear two beeps after a few seconds, indicating that the device has entered testing mode. If the detector does not make any noise or if the sound is too weak, the battery needs to be replaced. If the detector still does not function correctly after a battery replacement, the entire device needs to be replaced.
- If you have one or more unused bathrooms in your home, make sure to run water in the sink, shower, and flush the toilet. The purpose of this is to keep the traps full. This creates a water seal to prevent methane gas from flowing into the home. If the trap were to evaporate, sewer gas will slowly flow into your home and cause an odor.
Tasks To Perform Annually
- Schedule an inspection for termites
- Clean your porch and patio spaces. Start by clearing all plants and furniture. Sweep away any debris and rinse the entire surface with a garden hose. If the surface is still stained, oily, or grimy, apply an environmentally safe cleaner and then scrub with a stiff broom.
- Service air conditioning and heating systems. This equipment should absolutely be inspected, cleaned, and serviced annually, especially oil-fired equipment. Most of these tasks, such as cleaning the outdoor coil and condensate pump, are best performed by an HVAC service company. For more information, contact your residential fuel services.
- Inspect the grout and caulking in the bathroom and kitchen. If you notice an orange or yellow tint, clean the caulk with a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and bleach or a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water, depending on the extent of the bacteria growth. For a gentler surface cleaning, a mixture of vinegar and water can also be used.
- Inspect the exterior drainage system. Keep an eye out for cracks in the foundation, basement leaks, mold growth in the basement, water damage, or damaged landscape. These are all signs of significant structural damage caused by poor drainage.
- Inspect the roof. When it comes to home maintenance, it is very easy to forget the roof. A leaky roof is one of the two most common causes of water damage, the other being a flooded basement. Have a roof inspection done every year and after every storm or other severe weather. You do not have to hire a professional, just walk around the exterior of your home and look for signs of damage, sagging, or aging. This can include curled or buckled shingles and granule or texture loss on the shingles.
- Inspect and clean the exterior dryer vent. Remove the cover and clear out any accumulated lint with gloves or a vacuum.
With this maintenance checklist and tips for moving into your first home, you are ready to make the transition into your first home while staying organized and avoiding as many mistakes as possible. Once you are all settled in, the fun can begin. Other tips for moving into your first home include planning a housewarming party to celebrate and show off all your accomplishments.