Congratulations! You’ve just closed on your new home. It probably feels like you have come to the end of a long journey. There is still some work to do before you can truly settle into your house with complete peace of mind, however. Once you’ve accomplished certain tasks like, storing your closing paperwork in a safe place, ensuring safety devices are working properly to less critical things like painting, you can officially consider your move complete.
Here are 10 things you should do once you’ve closed on your house.
Take Care Of Your Housekeeping Items
The amount of work you’ll need to do on your house after you’ve closed will depend on how much effort the previous owner put into repairs. Regardless, once you’ve been handed the keys, put the following suggestions to work to make the house feel like yours—and ensure your family’s safety.
Clean And Paint The House
The previous owners might have left your new home sparkling clean. In the event they did not, take time to wipe down the all of the surfaces, clean the fixtures, mop the floors and vacuum any carpeting. You can also hire a cleaning service if other parts of the move are occupying too much of your time. A lot of realtors have professional cleaning services that will tidy up your new home for you after closing. Be sure to ask your realtor if they include a cleaning service as part of working with them.
Putting a fresh coat of paint on the ceilings and walls is another great way to freshen up your new home. If you can make it work timing-wise, paint before you move any furniture into the house. It will be a lot easier to maneuver without it in the way, according to title and escrow company, Endpoint. Other “fixer upper” tasks include putting in new window treatments, installing crown molding or a backsplash and getting new doors.
Change All Of Your Locks
You never know who else besides the previous owners have keys to your new home, according to the Navy Federal Credit Union Making Cents blog. Purchase and install new locks yourself or hire a locksmith to change them. Also change the codes on any doors that have a keypad.
Service And Clean Your HVAC Units
You might not need heat or air conditioning depending on the time of year that you move. It’s still best to make sure your vents are clean and both systems are running properly right away so they’re ready when you need them. The last thing you need is to have to call for service in the middle of winter or summer.
This would also be a good time to change out your furnace and AC filters. They should be changed every three months, My Mortgage Insider reports. Timely filter changes can save you money, improve air quality and eliminate odors.
Test The House’s CO And Smoke Detectors
Do not assume the smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors in your new home are functioning. Check both monitors as soon as you close on your house. You and your family’s health and safety depend on these devices’ functionality. Your smoke and CO detector checks could result in needing to change the batteries or replacing some or all of the units altogether. Smoke detector batteries should be replaced at least once every year, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.
Check The Water Heater
You or an inspector might have looked at your new home’s water heater. There’s only so much you can do during that check before you close on your house, however. Once it’s yours, you might want to drain the water heater and adjust its settings. Changing the unit’s temperature and pressure could lower your energy bill and extend the water heater’s life.
Turn Your Home-Inspection Report Into A Maintenance To-Do List
Look no further than your home inspection report for things you need to fix. There are likely a number of issues on there that the prior owner did not address, SG Associates owner and broker Sergio Gonzalez told Bankrate. The report could include issues like overstuffed gutters, leaky pipes or windows that need to be resealed. Trying to address everything at once could be overwhelming, however. List the flagged items on the inspection report from highest priority to lowest and get started on the things that could save you the most money in the long run.
Get Your Home-Related Documents In Order
Moving can result in a lot of paperwork and information that needs to be updated. Once you’ve closed on your house, take time to get your important documents organized, alert anyone who needs to know your address (insurance companies, utility companies, credit card companies, cable, etc.) that you’ve moved. You’ll also need to update the address on your driver’s license, or get a new one if you move out of state, as soon as you can.
Put Your Closing Packet In A Safe Place
Your house closing paperwork should be kept together and put somewhere secure. Closing documents include the promissory note, mortgage, deed and closing disclosure. You should also file away your buyer’s agent and purchase agreement, the seller disclosure, title insurance policy and the home inspection report, according to Endpoint. Make copies of all of these documents and put them in a safe deposit box at your bank or buy a fireproof safe to hold them.
Alert Others To Your Change Of Address
More parties need to know that you’ve moved than you might think. Once you’ve closed on your house, inform your bank, tax agency, utility companies, post office, credit card providers, insurance company, the Department of Motor Vehicles and any of your subscription providers of your new address. It’s also a good time to let personal contacts like your friends, family members and employer know you’ve moved.
Update Your Driver’s License
There’s a lot going on when you move, but don’t put off changing your driver’s license for too long. State’s rules vary, but some require to you update the address on your license within 10 days of your move, according to My Mortgage Insider. There’s also the possibility that you might have to take a written or road test if you’re moving to a different state.
Let GEICO Help You With Your Homeowners Insurance Needs
You actually need to purchase homeowners insurance before you close on your house, but if you’re looking to switch, consider GEICO. You could get the affordable home insurance coverage you need through the GEICO Insurance Agency.
With a homeowners insurance policy through the GEICO Insurance Agency:
- You protect one of your biggest investments
- You’ll have protection against accidents in your home or on your property
- Your furnishings and other assets will be protected
- You could receive a discount* when you insure your vehicle with GEICO and your home through the GEICO Insurance Agency.
See how much you could save on your homeowners insurance by switching to GEICO.
By Joe Dyton
* Some discounts and coverages are not available in all states or areas or in all GEICO companies. Homeowners insurance is written through non-affiliated insurance companies and are secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency, LLC.