Buying your first home is a huge job and it will likely be both the most time consuming and stressful thing you ever do in your lifetime. The moment you sign the contract and finally pick up the keys to your first house there will be a whirlwind of events which happen afterward and you will have a lot of things to consider and work on when you do get into your new place. Here’s everything that you need to do when you first move into your home.
Keep the contract and deeds
It is so so SO important when you move into your new home that you immediately put your deeds and contracts somewhere safe. The best thing you can do is buy yourself a ring binder or two and file everything in there to keep it safe should you ever need it again. There will be a lot of documents you’ll receive when you first become a homeowner such as the homebuyers report, contract, deeds, stamp duty, home insurance, and bills… so it is well worth having a house file to keep it all organized ready for reference later.
Check the meter
Before you even step into the house for the first time and start unpacking boxes, you need to make sure that you take time to find the electrical and the gas meter on your house and take a photograph of it as evidence. This will be used when you set up your energy services with a new provider because it will provide you with a starting point for where you will be charged. It will ensure that you aren’t charged for any costs before you moved into the home and therefore you will save spending too much money.
Change the locks
You would think that the moment you walk into the estate agents to pick up the keys that you will have every copy of the key in your hand… but this isn’t always the case. The issue with buying a house for the first time from a stranger is the fact that they might have cut extra copies of their keys for family, friends, and neighbors too. There is no guarantee that you have all of the keys and this is a HUGE security risk for you and your family. Make sure that you change the locks as soon as you can and have a few sets cut for whoever you trust. This will ensure that no stranger has access to your house when you aren’t in.
Alarms are an absolute essential element to bring into your home once you move in. Although you will have checked what the neighborhood like, people can sometimes take advantage of first-time homeowners and will steal from you if you don’t have security in place. Install an alarm system in the house, add cameras outside and also think about bringing motion sensing lights to deter anyone who might try to scope out your home.
Clean the house
Although it is incredibly tempting to move into your home the moment you get your keys from the estate agents, it might not be the best idea for you in the long term. Visit your new house for the first time armed with cleaning supplies and spend some time wiping surfaces, cleaning the carpets and getting rid of any dust. This will be a job you are glad you’ve done because when you do bring your furniture in, it will come into a clean space and not one which needs to be cleaned again within a few days. It will be a pain while you are doing it but you will thank yourself in a few days!
Paint the walls
A lot of the time when we are about to move into a new house we can see the current decor inside and wonder what the previous owners were thinking. If you are going to be thinking about changing the color of the walls within the first few months of living in your new home, you might as well do it now. Imagine how annoying it will be to try and move things around when you have furniture in the way? It is much easier to paint over the walls before you move in and this way your home will already look fresh when you put your things inside.
If you have the money and you can wait a few days to move into your new house, you can go further than simply painting the walls and decorate the whole house! You can refresh the drab carpet with polished concrete or a laminate floor, take away the textured ceiling in favor of something more modern and get rid of any features in the home which you really don’t like. It can be a fun project and it will make you even more excited to move all of your furniture into the house later in the week.
Check the boiler
When you move into your first home your mind will likely be buzzing with excitement and you will have a lot of different jobs on your mind such as installing WiFi, opening up energy accounts and getting a water supply. One of the things you might not immediately think about is to check the boiler and make sure it is healthy. Especially if you are moving in during the winter, you won’t want the boiler to suddenly pack in on you and leave you without a means of heating the home and having a shower. During the first few weeks of living at you new house make sure you get a professional in to check the boiler and make sure it is safe for use. This will give you the peace of mind you need for those first few months and you can go about your daily business knowing you can look forward to a warm house when you return.
Do some plumbing
Along with the boiler, there are other jobs which you might want to get done as you first move into the house. It is always worth checking what the plumbing is like in your house and you can either do this yourself or use a site like Checkatrade.com to get a plumber in for you. Comparison sites like this are great, however sometimes an independent company like DavisPlumbingService.com will offer a better service for less money, which is what you need when you move into a house and are low on cash. You might notice the lack of drainage in the home or maybe green residue around the plugs and this can indicate that you need new pipes for the flow of water.
Clear the garden
If you have never looked after a garden before during your lifetime you will be in for quite a shock when you move into your first home. Having a garden is amazing because it gives you the freedom to sit outside and enjoy the summer in the privacy of your own home. However looking after plants can be a challenge and it might be better for you to simply clear the garden of small flowers and plants so that it is easy to maintain and simple for you to look after without assistance. You can always sow seeds and plant bulbs as you begin to learn about gardening, but for now, keep it simple for ease.
Plant a tree
A great idea for you both to do when you move into your first home is to plant a baby tree. Choose a tree which you both love such as a fruit tree or a colorful tree and plant this in the back of the garden when you move in. It will not only be a lovely reminder of this house belonging to you, but it will grow over time and attract birds and wildlife into the garden which can make space feel more alive and beautiful. You will also get the added benefit of some cover from the surrounding gardens which are always welcome!
Once you have moved into the home and spent the first few days moving things around, you can finally start to settle into the new chapter of your life and you can really start to look to the future of your life together. It will take months to figure out the final resting place of your furniture, so don’t worry if you keep on moving things around during the first year of homeownership- this is totally normal!
Last but not least, enjoy being in your new home. Becoming a homeowner is one of the biggest perks of adulthood and you will benefit from the freedom of living your life in your own time and with your own boundaries. Settle into this new life and enjoy spending time with its family, hosting friends and having quiet nights in with a bottle of wine and a film because you can!