Congratulations on buying your new house—it’s a significant milestone to be proud of. But it’s not over yet; you still have a few crucial steps to take before moving to your new property. Moving into a new house is complex, overwhelming, and sometimes stressful. It’s like starting a new life in a different place. But with careful planning and preparation, you’ll be in your new home without much struggle. So what’s the first thing to do after buying a house? Here’s a guide.
1. Do a Walkthrough
The first thing to do after buying a house is to walk through your new house while it’s still empty. It feels good walking through your newly bought property for the first time. This allows you to assess the property while it’s still empty and familiarize yourself with the various aspects. You want to know where to keep your bedroom and sitting room and how to plan your spaces.
And it’s not just the house you’ll assess during the first visit as the new homeowner. Instead, you want to familiarize yourself with every structure and amenity sitting on the property. You want to discover even the minor details on the property that the previous owner might have forgotten or ignored in the property listing.
It’s important to note that this moment can be overwhelming. The joy of standing on your newly bought property can really blow your mind away. So, this isn’t the time to start looking for issues or requesting repairs—you’re still overexcited and probably not in your right senses.
Use this moment to release your anxiety. Feel proud of the considerable achievement you’ve made. You can even spend a day or two just walking through your property for the first time. Once all the excitement is gone, and “your eyes can now see clearly,” you can now move on to the next stages.
2. Arrange for a Property Survey
If you’re thinking of the first thing to do after buying a house, perhaps you should consider having a property survey done. Although not a legal requirement for buying houses, a property survey is crucial in the property-buying process. A property survey will provide details of the legal description of your new house. You also get to know whether or not your new house has structural issues, if the property is in a flood zone area, or if it needs significant repairs like rewiring.
A property survey helps identify or confirm already established land boundaries. This is particularly essential if you’re considering fencing your new home. The survey will draw a clear line between your property and your neighbors. This will help prevent future conflicts regarding land boundaries.
Property surveyors are often familiar with local zoning and development regulations. Therefore, they’ll help you understand your property’s specific requirements and restrictions. You’ll need this knowledge when making improvements to your property in the future to ensure compliance. This step is also crucial when seeking financing for land.
3. Obtain the Property Title
How do you know that the seller is the actual owner of the house you just bought? Well, the property title will tell you who has the legal right to sell the property to you. So, the first thing to do after buying a house is to ensure that the title is free of defects and unencumbered. After you buy the property, no one else should claim ownership.
Title companies conduct title searches to reveal the “chain of title” before issuing title insurance. A title officer will analyze records and conduct property surveys to discover any legal or ownership restrictions. It’s worth noting that there’s a difference between a deed and a title. While the former shows the property owner, it won’t protect you from claims by previous owners.
Additionally, your title company may act as a closing agent for your financial transaction to buy a property. The company will arrange the closing process and compile all the necessary documentation required to close on your property.
4. Check for Maintenance Issues
If you haven’t checked your new property for maintenance issues, then you shouldn’t be asking the first thing to do after buying a house—you already got one to do. If you’re buying a used house, it’s essential to inspect the house for any necessary repairs or maintenance. Although most home sellers prepare their properties before putting them on the market, you should not ignore the inspection stage. So, what exactly should you check in your property before moving in?
Ideally, you should inspect everything, from the wiring and plumbing to the fence and garages. However, priority should be given to essential areas, especially those likely to cause damage and costly repairs. Sometimes you’ll need a home builder to help you inspect the house and show you how things work.
Start with a general inspection of the walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, and other visible features. Look for signs of damage, cracks, stability, and any other safety hazards. You might want to test some of the systems installed, like the HVAC, to ensure proper functioning.
Consider hiring a licensed electrician to check the property’s electrical system. They’ll check the lights, outlets, circuit breakers, and other electrical components and systems to ensure correct function. Let them notify you of any damage or malfunction before repairing them. If everything is in excellent condition, you can move to the next step.
5. Home Repairs or Renovations
Your new property might be in good condition, but you just don’t like some aspects like the flooring, the paint on the walls, or the roof design. In this case, the first thing to do after buying a house will be to renovate it. So how do you tackle this step? It will depend on your needs, preferences, and budget.
First, inspect your new property and identify the features you don’t like. This might include window designs, electrical work, or kitchen appliances. Then, list the renovations you want to complete before moving to your new property.
You might want to add a fresh coat of paint to the walls and ceilings to refresh the space and match your preferred color palette. If you spot any visible cracks, holes, or damage on the walls, seal them off or repair them before painting. If you don’t like the current flooring, you might want to replace it with a new one, like wooden or tile flooring, to suit your style.
Consider adding new structures to your property, like a new garage or patio. You’ll need land clearing services to create space for your new structures. You’ll also need to hire experienced builders to help renovate your new home to match your style and preferences.
If you’re building a massive structure, consider excavating the area well to create a solid foundation if you’re building a massive structure. Ensure you make all the necessary modifications to your new property before moving in.
6. Update Home Security Measures
The home seller or any other person should not have access to your property after completing the sale. And it’s up to you to make this happen. Therefore, the first thing to do after buying a house is to update the home security measures. So how do you update your new home’s security features?
First, you should either change the locks or install new locks on all entry points of your new property to ensure security. Remember, anyone with access to your locks has access to your new house. And you don’t know how many spare keys are in circulation. But this isn’t the only reason to change your locks. You may need to do so because the locks aren’t functioning correctly.
After changing the locks, you must review and upgrade your new home’s security measures. If the old homeowner didn’t have any security measures in place, you might want to install a home security system to protect your new property. This includes surveillance cameras, alarm systems, and motion sensor lights. If any security systems are in place, review and update them as needed. You can also consult with those in charge of property management to determine potential security threats requiring special measures.
7. Deep Clean Your New Home
Most people consider cleaning the first thing to do after buying a house. Well, it is indeed an essential step to take before moving into your new property. While the previous homeowner might have cleaned the property, you must still redo it. So how do you clean your new house before moving in? Remember, you’re not just wiping the floors or clearing cobwebs; it’s a deep clean of the entire property. Therefore, you need to have a plan.
First, you should determine all the cleaning tasks needed. You must have a solid plan to complete the cleaning process effectively. Some cleaning tasks include cleaning the kitchen, mopping or sweeping the floors, and vacuuming and dusting empty rooms. Once you know the cleaning tasks to complete, gather the necessary equipment and supplies. This includes vacuum cleaner(s), mop and bucket, squeegee, cleaning gloves, and cleaning solutions.
Then, plan the cleaning process. You can’t mop the floors before cleaning the ceiling fans and overhead fixtures. So literally, you should start your cleaning from the top down. Don’t forget essential areas like bathrooms and kitchen.
But you don’t have to struggle with the cleaning process, especially if you don’t have enough resources and workforce to help you. Therefore, we recommend hiring a professional cleaning company to clean your new property. You can still participate in the cleaning process by completing simple tasks like wiping the windows. Otherwise, professional cleaners will do all the hard work for you.
8. Planning for Your Move
Your new house is now ready to be occupied. So now you’re not thinking about the first thing to do after buying a house. Instead, you’re actually moving into your new property. But it’s not as simple as it looks. You still have a long way to go before settling into your property. So how do you plan for your move?
9. Create a Moving Checklist
Creating a moving checklist may seem tedious and unnecessary, but it’s worth it. The list outlines everything you need to do during your move. Your checklist will depend on the distance of your move, the location of your new house, and the size and number of your items, among other aspects. The items on your checklist may include;
- Ordering packing materials
- Contacting local utility companies to schedule shut-off services
- Setting mail forwarding serves
- Items you wish to carry, dispose of, or donate
You can stay on track with your checklist by crossing off any item you complete. This makes the whole moving process more manageable and effortless.
10. Plan a DIY or Hire a Mover
You might be tempted to move your items one by one to your new property, but it’s not highly recommended. Instead, consider hiring professional movers. These companies have the experience, tools, and equipment, including heavy haulers, to complete your move.
If hiring movers, research top moving companies in your area and find one that aligns with your needs and budget. Consider referrals from family or friends. When you hire a moving company, you won’t need to worry about other steps like decluttering, packing, and transporting your items. The moving company will handle everything as you watch.
Also, moving companies have insurance policies. This means your items are protected while in transit. So, should anything happen during the move, the insurance policy will pay for the damages. However, you’ll rarely experience issues like property damage when using professional movers. This is because they have adequate experience and equipment to move your items safely to your new property.
Now you shouldn’t worry about the first thing to do after buying a house. After reading this post, you know exactly what to do. So, it’s up to you to follow the above tips and steps to complete your moving process safely. Remember to hire professional movers to ensure safety. Safe moving!