6 things to do when moving into a new home

March 24th, 2015 by

Before you move into your new home, it's a good idea to have a checklist to make sure everything goes smoothly. In a recent article for Houselogic, Courtney Craig discusses six main tasks new homeowners should do:

  • Change the locks: Since you want to make sure you're the only one with access to your home, be sure to change the locks before moving in. Installing deadbolts yourself only costs roughly $10 per lock. Alternatively, you can hire a locksmith, who will normally charge $20-$30 per hour. 
  • Make sure there are no plumbing leaks: While your home inspector will check for issues before closing, it's always a good idea to double-check. In particular, confirm that there are no dripping faucets or running toilets. In addition, check your water heater to be sure there are no leaks. Craig gives some advice: "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."
  • Steam clean carpets: By steam cleaning before you even move your furniture in, you can be sure your home has that brand new feel. A professional carpet cleaning service will typically charge $50 per room, while most services have a policy in which you have to pay a minimum of $100 for services. You also have the option of renting a steam cleaner, which can cost approximately $30 per day.
  • Wipe out cabinets: You want to make sure the cabinets are clean before placing your dishes, kitchen supplies and bathroom supplies in them. Craig advises using a non-toxic cleaner. While you're cleaning your cabinets, make sure there are also no critters.
  • Get rid of critters: Make sure your home does not have any "uninvited guests," which includes mice, rats, bats, termites, roaches and the like. While there are a range of options you have for removal, a pest removal service is often the most effective. Such services normally cost between $100-$300, with follow-up monthly and quarterly visits costing $50 each. There are also simple DIY options, including poison packets which you can place in your kitchen. 
  • Become familiar with your circuit breaker box and main water valve: As the author explains, her first time dealing with her home's electrical wiring was when she had to replace a broken bathroom light fixture. However, she cautions that she had to be careful in this process. "After locating the breaker box, which is in my garage, I turned off the power to that bathroom so I wouldn't electrocute myself." Craig affirms that it's important to know "which fuses control what parts of your house and label them accordingly." Usually, this task involves two people: "One to stand in the room where the power is supposed to go off, the other to trip the fuses and figure out which one is actually working." In addition, Craig advises new homeowners to know how to turn off their main water valve. This is especially crucial in the event of a plumbing emergency. "Just locate the valve — it could be inside or outside your house — and turn the knob until it's off," writes Craig. "Test it by turning on any faucet in the house; no water should come out."

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