Moving into your new home is truly exciting. You have likely been up late at night packing, organizing, and dreaming of how you’ll make your mark on your new home. Before you back up the moving truck, though, make sure you taking these necessary  tasks to ensure you don’t cause any moving day headaches!

Turn on utilities and cable

The previous owner will likely take the utilities out of their name before they hand over the keys. The utilities will need a new account holder for the property in order to continue service. So make sure you call set up service prior to your moving day.

Prepare for a deep clean

More than likely the previous own has meticulously cleaned the home when preparing for putting it on the market. However, you still want to make sure all nooks and crannies are clean and disinfecting all sinks, tubs, and kitchen appliances. You can get out the elbow-grease and do it yourself, or you can hire a cleaning crew to do a “move in” clean for about $200.  It’s much easier to do this when the house is empty, so schedule it before your moving trucks arrive.

Change or re-key the locks

You have no idea how many copies of keys could be floating around for your home. The previous owner may have given keys to friends, the dog sitter, or other parties. It’s just a practical safety measure to change the locks before you move in, to ensure that only the people you want to have access to your home can get in. You can have a locksmith re-key the lock, or you can simply replace the whole doorknob and deadbolt. Don’t forget the back door, storage sheds, and any other keyed access points, and change the code on the garage door keypad, if applicable.

Note: You can’t do this step until you have actually taken possession of the home.

Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

More than likely, if you had a home inspection, all the detectors have already been tested recently. However, it doesn’t hurt to check them again. You may also consider changing the batteries at this point, then mark your calendar to change them every six months after.

Set up the alarm system

Many homes already have security alarms installed, and the previous owner may leave it deactivated for you. But you will need to set up the monitoring service in your name and set your own codes to the system. You can call the monitoring service directly to make this happen.

If your new home does not have an alarm system, installing one will be much simpler before you move in. Once you have taken possession of the home, you can have the service set up, if you desire.

Schedule any immediate renovations and make repairs

Moving into a new home in the midst of a construction zone is no fun. If you plan on adding an addition, gutting the kitchen, or replacing the carpet, schedule it before you move in all your furniture. For the same reason, if there were any necessary repairs identified on the home inspection, get those taken care of before move-in day as well.

Consider a home warranty

Not all potential problems show up in the inspection, especially in regards to home appliances. Some sellers may offer a home warranty to entice buyers, but that isn’t always the case in today’s competitive market. You can buy a home warranty for about $300, and it will give you peace of mind for your first six months – 1 year after moving in. The home warranty covers things that are NOT typically covered under your home owners insurance, such as mechanical failure of major systems or appliances.

Bring Your Own Fire Extinguishers

The previous owner may leave the fire extinguishers in the home, but maybe not. Plus, you have no idea the age and whether or not they are in working order. Much better to provide your own. Purchase them new and replace according to manufacturer’s recommendations.

Forward your mail and update your billing address

You can fill out form to have your mail forwarded from your old home to your new home at the post office. However, if you subscribe to magazines, you will need to call the publisher to update your address. The post office will only forward these for a about two months. For things like credit card statements and other services, you will also need to update your mailing address to ensure that they get to you in a timely manner. Don’t forget to also update you Amazon Prime account, otherwise, the next time you do a 1-click purchase, you may be disappointed when the smiley box is delivered to the wrong address!

We love to help buyers find their perfect new home and get happily settled in. We are here to help! As always, if you or someone you know need help selling or finding a dream home in 2018, please do not hesitate to call us. Contact Jason at 703-298-7037 or jason@jasonandbonnie.com.