June is not only the start of the summer but it’s also when many people officially sign the papers on their new home – and it is National Homeownership Month.
While the purchasing process may have been stressful, once you have the keys in your hands there is a sense of relief. Of course you still have a huge checklist in front of you, but before you totally settle in and start picking out paint samples, you might want to keep the following tips in mind.
Despite the fact that this may well be the biggest purchase you have ever made and you have lost sleep over it, you still need to celebrate. Take a little time to just step back and congratulate yourself. Have a few friends over and make a toast (of course, those friends can also help you move too!).
The first thing you should always do is to change the locks – all of the locks. You never know how many people the previous owners passed out keys to. It’s just good piece of mind to make sure you, your family, and your possessions are secure. And don’t forget the code for the garage door too.
Now that the locks are changed, you’re going to need utilities, right? Besides the electric and water, you’ll need to set up – or transfer – accounts for municipal sewer, trash removal, gas, and the ever-important cable and internet. Also consider a security system.
While everything make look clean, you know your mother would insist that you clean everything from top to bottom. Turns out, mom was right. A good, deep cleaning is always in order to make sure all the nooks and crannies are up to your standards before you start moving in your belonging.
OK – so let’s get back to the paint samples. This should be a no-brainer. It is so much easier to paint a room when you don’t have to cover or remove furniture. Same with making repairs. If at all possible, now’s the time to put a fresh coat of paint on the walls or patch those holes in the wall. You’ll be much happier avoiding the obstacles later.
While you are at it, take the time to find the main water shut-off valve. If there is ever a problem with a burst pipe or a leak, the last thing you want is a frantic search. Be ready before anything happens!
Find a secure place for all your home-related documents. Yes, we live in a digital world, but you know that you still are inundated with invoices, permits, owner’s manuals, and closing documents. Buy a filing cabinet or even invest in a safety deposit box.
Always keep a close eye on your mortgage. Through the years, mortgages can and are sold to secondary market investors. You need to know the status of your mortgage and make sure that any sale is legitimate. Make sure your payments are being submitted to the proper place.
Finally, and maybe most importantly, take the time to meet your neighbors. Don’t wait for them to make the first move. Introduce yourself and be friendly. A close-knit community is a safe one.