Things To Do When Moving Into Your New House
It’s done, you finally bought your first house, but wait there are still a few things to do before your home is truly ready.
Change the Locks
You never know how many copies of the keys were in circulation before you got them or who had them. Also consider installing a deadbolt or home security system, and have an extra copy of your key made.
Replace your Air Filters
It takes about 10 seconds and will not only improve air flow but keep your air system or HVAC from using more energy pumping out lower quality air.
Locate your Circuit Breaker and Main Water Valve
Good to know in case of emergencies or if you’re about to fix a power or water issue and need to turn off the electricity or cut off the water supply.
Check for Leaks
Your home inspector should do this for you before closing, but it never hurts to double-check. I didn’t have any plumbing leaks to fix, but when checking my kitchen sink, I did discover the sink sprayer was broken. I replaced it for under $20.
Keep an eye out for dripping faucets and running toilets, and check your water heater for signs of a leak.
Here’s a neat trick: Check your water meter at the beginning and end of a two-hour window in which no water is being used in your house. If the reading is different, you have a leak.
Make sure smoke alarms are installed, and make sure they work. If you have a second or third story, consider purchasing a roll-up ladder.
Steam Clean Carpets
Actually do this before you move your furniture in, and your new home life will be off to a fresh start. Never assume the previous owners were as neat and clean as you, it will eliminate the threat of bed bugs or fleas right away. You can pay a professional carpet cleaning service — you’ll pay about $50 per room; most services require a minimum of about $100 before they’ll come out — or you can rent a steam cleaner for about $30 per day and do the work yourself.
Wipe Out Your Cabinets
Another no-brainer before you move in your dishes and bathroom supplies. Make sure to wipe inside and out, preferably with a non-toxic cleaner, and replace contact paper if necessary.
When I cleaned my kitchen cabinets, I found an unpleasant surprise: Mouse poop. Which leads me to my next tip …
Give Critters The Boot
That includes mice, rats, bats, termites, roaches, and any other uninvited guests. There are any number of DIY ways to get rid of pests, but if you need to bring out the big guns, an initial visit from a pest removal service will run you $100 to $300, followed by monthly or quarterly visits at about $50 each time.
For my mousy enemies, I strategically placed poison packets around the kitchen, and I haven’t found any carcasses or any more poop, so the droppings I found must have been old. I might owe a debt of gratitude to the snake that lives under my back deck, but I prefer not to think about him.