Congratulations! You’ve purchased a home, had an inspection and have your closing date set, but now what? The idea of moving can be overwhelming when you start thinking about packing up all of your possessions and moving them to a new home. Not only do you have a lot to take care of at your current residence, but you’ll also have things to consider at your new place. I’ve pulled together a list of 8 items to take care of before you move into your new home to help make your move a little easier.
Note, if you’re moving into a brand new home, most of these items will not be applicable since these mainly pertain to resale homes. Anything you should take into consideration, I’ll mention.
1. Turn on your utilities
In order to make any repairs, clean or really do anything in your new home before you move in, you’ll need to have your utilities turned on. While you may not need cable TV or internet, you’ll want to at least make sure you have water, electricity, and gas working.
2. Take care of any necessary repairs from the inspection
Your inspector may have found some items worth taking care of right away during your home inspection and depending on what you and the sellers agreed to, you may need to fix them after you close on the house. Prior to moving in, try and fix as many of the big-ticket items as possible. This will be one less thing to deal with after you move in. This is especially true if the repairs have anything to do with plumbing, electrical or roofing.
3. Deep clean the entire house
The sellers may have hired cleaners or attempted to clean the home themselves, but I always feel better giving the house my own deep clean so I can be sure every nook and cranny is squeaky clean. Some people may opt to do this themselves, but there’s nothing wrong with hiring a professional cleaning service. This will ultimately save you a lot of time. Some areas of the home to pay close attention to are cabinets and closets, flooring, appliances, and bathrooms. Make sure that the floors inside of closets are thoroughly cleaned and that any shelving in closets, pantries or cabinets is wiped down. When it comes to flooring, you’ll want to hire a professional carpet cleaning service and evaluate hardwood, laminate or tile flooring to see if it needs any extra TLC. In addition, you may consider changing your toilet seats.
4. Add any additional storage, shelving or built-in features you want
If you purchased the home knowing that you were going to want additional shelving, cabinets or storage, it’s best to get all of these items added and built out before you move in. This means that when you do move, you’ll be able to put away all of your things instead of leaving boxes to get unpacked after your new shelves are complete. It’s much easier to have this type of construction handled before you move in and have to worry about convenient scheduling and potentially moving your personal belongings.
This particular point is also true for new home buyers. If you purchased a new home build, but knew that there were custom design options the builder would not include, the best time to add them is before you move into your new home. This is also true of any flooring changes. In Vegas, in particular, it’s often more cost-effective to request the builder put in builder-grade flooring during construction and to install an upgraded flooring after you close. Even with the cost of labor and materials, the builder markup is still usually quite a bit higher when it comes to flooring. Make sure you make these changes prior to moving in.
5. Complete all interior paint if necessary
If you are planning on changing or even just touching up the existing paint in your new home, it’s best to get this done prior to moving in all of your furniture and possessions. It will make the process significantly easier for both you and the painters if they do not need to worry about moving and covering furniture. Make sure you do this after any additional construction, but before you put in new flooring or have the existing flooring cleaned.
6. Call in the exterminator, pest control, bug guy or whatever you want to call them
If you’re already aware of some type of pest problem it’s an especially good idea to call these guys before you move in, but even if you’re not, it’s never a bad idea to have pest control come out and spray your yard and home. If you have pets, it will be significantly easier to have them come before you move in, plus it gives their extermination methods a little time to start working before you move in.
7. Reset your garage door code
More than likely the previous owners of the house gave you all of the garage door openers, but in my opinion, it never hurts to reset the code just to be extra sure that no unwanted visitors will be coming in through the garage.
This is also a good idea for new home build owners. Even if you’re putting a brand new garage door opener in your garage, make sure to reset or change the code. Often the codes are not changed after the opener is installed, and having the manufacturer default code is never the best security practice.
Last but not least (and probably the most important step)…
8. Change your locks and keys
This is probably one of the most important things to do before you move into your new house, and it should be taken care of last on this list. During the home selling process, keys are given to many different people like handymen, inspectors, and real estate agents to name a few, and in addition, homeowners typically provide backup keys to either close friends and family or even neighbors or house sitters. So even though you were provided “all” copies of your new keys at closing, you never know who might still have an extra copy. After you have finished all necessary repairs, cleaning, and construction, hire a locksmith to change your locks to ensure that only you have a copy of your new house keys.
Hopefully, these items will help streamline your moving process and help you feel at ease about moving into your new home! You can also check out our Change of Address Checklist post which has some great information about changing your address when you move.