Welcome to your new property: next steps
Updated: May 31, 2021
Here’s a complete list of what you need to do after buying your home.
Set up your new address everywhere
Now that you’re in your new digs, people need to be able to find you. Make sure to notify your friends and family. You want to get all your holiday cards, right?
You probably set up homeowners’ insurance while you were processing your mortgage paperwork, which is great. But your address can affect your car insurance as well, so make sure to check in with your insurance company to confirm that your car insurance is sufficient.
Are you going to buy a home warranty? Now is the time! Home warranties cover a whole host of things, from air conditioners to plumbing to simply rekeying your house.
Cleaning and painting
A lot of buyers aren’t organized enough to clean and paint before they move in, but it makes everything easier if you can swing it! Try to get at least a thorough cleaning done before you move all your stuff in, and if you can, get all your painting done. It’s much easier to paint an empty room than a room packed with furniture.
Make a maintenance plan
Your new house requires maintenance not included in everyday cleaning and tidying up. These duties include:
Dryer hose and vent: Your dryer can become a fire hazard if the vents and duct are not cleaned often enough. Make sure you check your dryer at least once a year to make sure everything is working properly — more often if there’s a problem.
HVAC filters and maintenance: HVAC filters are fairly easy to change, once you know where they are, and should be swapped out every one to three months. Some air conditioning and furnace systems have a washable filter that you can take out and rinse off, so make sure you check to see what you have when you move into your new home.
Refrigerator: Simple maintenance can significantly increase the life of your refrigerator. Empty your ice bins monthly. Every three months, clean the condenser coils and inspect the door gasket. Newer fridges have insulated coils, so cleaning won’t be necessary. Every six months, replace the water filter and clean the drain hole, if applicable.
Water heater: Once a year, drain your water heater and rinse out any sediment that has collected in it. If you have a tankless water heater and live in an area with hard water, think about having a pro come out once a year and descale it.
Gutters: Make sure to clean your gutters at least once a year — more frequently if you have trees on your property. Not cleaning your gutters can lead to serious damage to your home, including mold and even ruining the foundation.
First and foremost, if you don’t have a fireproof file box, get one to store your important documentation in. Make sure you have copies of your mortgage documents and insurance documents stashed somewhere safe (like in the fireproof box).
Introduce yourself to the neighbors
Go and say hello to your new neighbors! Neighbors can be an incredible resource for the goings-on in the neighborhood, and can also give recommendations for handymen, landscaping, and so on.