After the Closing, 25 Things You Need to Do

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Buying a house can be very stressful. You have to collect lots of paperwork and review/sign lots of documents before and during the closing. So once you’re handed the keys, you’re ready to relax.

But there are quite a few things you still need to take care of.

This article outlines what homeowners need to do after buying a new home. Even if you’ve been in your house for several years, you may find things you missed. Some tasks only need to be done once, while others should be reviewed every year.

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Things You’ll Want to Do Before/While Settling In

  • File a change of address with the post office. Check to see if there’s a new resident packet that often contains discount coupons.
  • Have your home cleaned before moving furniture in, including carpets.
  • Paint at least ceilings even if you want more time to pick your wall colors.
  • Start building your home maintenance team. Arrange for services that need to start quickly like house cleaning, lawn care, pool cleaning and pest control.
    • Reliable cleaning, lawn, pool and pest service providers.
    • HVAC company to maintain your heating and air conditioning systems.
    • Plumber and electrician for repairs and home improvements.
    • Handyman for odd jobs. Have them come out to discuss routine maintenance like gutter cleaning, changing air filters and other tasks that may have been ignored by the sellers.
    • Locksmith – to change your locks and support you in an emergency. Learn how to find a locksmith.
    • Chimney cleaner – to clean the chimney if you plan to use your wood burning or gas fireplace.
  • Add contact information to your smart phone for your insurance company, utilities and home maintenance team.
  • Change your driver’s license and car registration. Check state requirements as you may only have 10 days.
  • Confirm your deed has been officially recorded about two weeks after closing.
  • Check to see if you’re eligible for any property tax discounts. Often known as homesteading, you may find one for living in your new home, for seniors or even retired military.

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  • Change your locks. If you’re considering smart locks, take time to think through the different devices you plan to control remotely over the next few years, so you can get one shared controller.
  • Put your name on the mailbox, but put it inside for the mailman only.
  • Find your main water shutoff and learn how to turn your water off.
  • Check the temperature on your hot water heater. Turn it down to 120º to avoid burns and save money. Your HVAC and/or plumber can help with this.
  • Review you main electrical panel to make sure it’s properly labeled. Practice shutting off power and buy circuit breakers if your house needs them.
  • Schedule an HVAC maintenance tune-up to insure your system is running efficiently.
  • Meet your neighbors. Introduce yourself and learn what hobbies and interests you have in common. Share contact information with immediate neighbors (8 recommended).
  • Meet the president of your condo/homeowners association. Learn about local customs.
  • Make a copy of your closing papers and store outside your home. You can use an old fashion safe deposit box or scan and store documentation online, in case of a fire.
  • Make a photo or video record of your home and personal possessions. For more information, check out this article on Home Inventory: how to Document Your Personal Property.
  • Identify high value items and make sure they’re covered by your homeowners insurance. Review your policy now, as you probably didn’t have time before the closing.

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Decorating Your New Home

  • Draw up a floor plan for your home. Measure room sizes, window sizes (width and height), different lengths of walls, space between electric outlets, etc. This will help when buying furniture.
  • Cover windows with inexpensive blinds or bedding sheets if needed. Delay buying window treatments until you’re ready to make decorating decisions.

Things You Want to Do Every 1 to 2 Years

  • Review documents you’re storing outside your home. This includes closing papers, home inventory and personal papers like passports, birth certificates, Social Security cards, bank and tax information, investments, etc.
  • Review recurring home operating expenses. This includes utility bills, homeowners insurance and property taxes. If you see a big jump in cost, it’s time to find and fix problems. Comparison shop insurance every other year.
  • Review your home maintenance team. Are you comfortable with everyone? If not, look for a new contractor so you’re prepared before you need them.

And of course, don’t forget to relax and enjoy your home!

About Tina Gleisner

Tina Gleisner learned marketing to build her handyman business. She was so successful branding herself that other home pros started asking for help and Tina started 4 Walls 1 Roof to get everyone online via a shared website. From this start came HomeTipsforWomen.com, HomeDirectoryforYou.com and MarketingForHomePros.com. We invite you to join our community building successful businesses and empowering women homeowners to create their dream homes.

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