Deborah McLaughlin's Blog
It goes without saying that buying a home is time-consuming.
First, there’s the financial planning to determine when you’re ready to buy a home. Then you need to get pre-approved for a mortgage and start looking for homes. After viewing several homes you finally find the perfect home. Then comes the difficult process of making an offer and negotiating the cost of the home. If all goes well, your offer is accepted and you get to enter the lengthy mortgage closing process. However, your work is not yet done. You’ll have to move out of your current residence and into your new home. All of this while juggling your work and social life.
After all of this, it might seem like the only thing left to do is relax in your new home. While it may be true that you certainly deserve a break, there are some things you should do sooner rather than later when you move into your new home.
In this article, we’ll cover ten things you should do right away once you move into your new home.
1. Home security
Your chief consideration when moving into your new home should be making sure it’s safe. The best first step to take is to change all of the locks on your house. In spite of how trustworthy the previous homeowner may have seemed, you can never be 100% sure who had spare keys to their home. Changing locks is quick and inexpensive, especially considering what’s at stake.
Another important step in home security is to put new batteries in and test all smoke detectors, make sure fire extinguishers are up-to-date, and ensure air filters are cleaned.
2. Set up your utilities
One of the first things you have to do when moving into a new home is to call your utility companies and transfer services into your name. Make a list of the services you’ll need to set up (electricity, water, garbage removal, internet, home security, heating, etc.). This is also a good time to set up online accounts and autopay for these services. It will save you time each month and make it easier to keep track of your bills if you simplify this process from the get-go.
You should have already had the home inspected by a professional prior to closing on the house. However, things can change in the time that someone moves all of their belongings out of a home and you move all of yours in. Wiring can be damaged, pipes banged, windows cracked, and so on. Do a thorough inspection of your home to check for leaks, broken wires, and fire hazards to be sure that your home is in good condition.
4. Deep clean
It might be tempting to just move your belongings into their new places once you arrive at your new home. However, the best time to clean a room is when it’s empty. Before you set up your furniture or fill your cabinets, give them a thorough cleaning.
5. Familiarize yourself with circuit breaker and water valves
When disaster strikes, you’ll want to be ready for it. Get to know your circuit box before the first power outage. Store flashlights in easily accessible places and make sure they have fresh batteries. Similarly, familiarize yourself with the main water shutoff valve in case you have a pipe burst. If the former homeowner lived alone and you have a large family, there’s a chance that the sudden surge in power and water usage could reveal issues with plumbing and wiring that the former owner wasn’t aware of.
For those who recently bought or sold a house, it may be only a matter of time before you need to pack up your belongings and move them to a new address. As such, you'll likely need to figure out how to properly pack your artwork to reduce the risk of damage while moving.
Luckily, we're here to help you take the guesswork out of packing your artwork prior to moving day.
Let's take a look at three best practices for packing artwork.
1. Use Acid-Free Tissue Paper
Acid-free tissue paper offers advanced protection against moisture – a serious problem that may cause artwork to fade or deteriorate.
You should have no trouble finding acid-free tissue paper at any store that sells moving and packing supplies. Plus, acid-free tissue paper usually is inexpensive and can make a world of difference as you pack up your artwork.
Ideally, you'll want to wrap an entire piece of art in acid-free tissue paper. This will offer immense protection until you unwrap your artwork once you reach your new home.
2. Take Advantage of Specialty Boxes
Specialty moving boxes are available for artwork. Pick up a few of these boxes, and you can pack your artwork accordingly.
Use caution as you place artwork inside a moving box. Ensure the artwork is secure inside the box before you seal the box as well.
Also, don't forget to label all moving boxes, including those that contain artwork. Place a "Fragile" label on boxes that contain artwork to further minimize the risk of damage during your move.
3. Store Artwork Carefully in a Moving Truck
When moving day arrives, you'll want to do everything possible to guarantee your artwork travels safely from Point A to Point B. If you place artwork on its edges and in a spot where it won't fall over inside a moving truck, you can limit the chance that your artwork will get damaged while in transit.
In addition, you may be able to wedge artwork between heavy objects in a moving truck. That way, you can secure your artwork throughout the moving cycle.
If you require extra help as you pack your artwork and other belongings, it often pays to hire a professional moving company. This business employs friendly, knowledgeable moving experts who can help you streamline the process of getting all of your belongings to a new address.
Lastly, a real estate agent is happy to put you in touch with moving companies in your area. This housing market professional understands the challenges associated with packing artwork and other items and can provide plenty of support as you get ready for moving day. Furthermore, a real estate agent will ensure anyone can achieve the optimal results during the homebuying or home selling cycle.
Simplify the process of packing up your artwork – use the aforementioned best practices, and you can quickly and effortlessly prepare your artwork for moving day.
Moving into a new home can be overwhelming. Once you have gone through the long process of buying a home, when the keys are your hand, your mind could be swirling with tons of ideas for what you should do in your new space. There are a few important things that you need to complete before you get into painting those walls or buying a new sofa. Read on for tips.
Look At Your Things
In the excitement of moving, you may forget about all of the stuff that you actually moved into the home. If you hired movers, check your boxes. Make sure that nothing is broken or damaged from the move. If there is anything wrong, you can file a complaint with your moving company.
Turn The Utilities On
The utilities need to be turned over to you from the previous owner. In many cases, you’ll need to contact the local utility companies in order to get the bills switched to your name and the services started. This is important for you to have a completely functioning household. Cable and Internet is a choice provider that you’ll also need to set up ahead of time before your move.
Unpack Your Stuff
Rome wasn’t built in a day but you need certain things like clothes and coffee makers as soon as you move into a space. Find the boxes that have the most important things in them like sheets, blankets, clothing, and important appliances. Work your way out. You don’t want your new home to stay a complete disaster zone forever.
Organize Your Stuff
Moving into a new home gives you a new opportunity to get organized. Get everything in order the first time. This will keep you from needing to clean up constantly at a later date. When you start off with good organization you’ll be a lot happier in your new home.
Make sure that your new home is secure for your family. Think of everything from accidents to crime. Install an alarm system. Change the locks. Inspect the property for any hazards. All of these activities can help to make your new home a more secure place to live.
Learn About Your New Surroundings
When you move into a new neighborhood, you should take the time to get to know the area. This includes meeting your neighbors and taking a stroll around your neighborhood to see the area more closely. Discover the highlights of the area like restaurants, shops, and other activities. Enjoy the new place that you call home to the fullest!
There was a time when moving across the country was a trip into the unknown. For some, that prospect may be an exciting one. For a homeowner with bills to pay or children to raise, the more you know about a place the better.
Fortunately, today’s technology equips us with tools to learn everything (or almost everything) we need to know about a place without ever visiting. With the use of statistics, maps, and first-hand accounts, would-be homeowners can put in their researcher hats and get a feel for a place without ever even visiting.
In today’s post, I’m going to introduce you to some of those tools. So, if you’re thinking of making a long distance move sometime in the near future, read on for a list of the most useful resources that will help you along your search.
Cost of living
Most of us would love to move to Hawaii or San Francisco, but let’s face it--cost of living differences can make a huge impact on our ability to move wherever we want. Fortunately, there is reliable data on the specific cost of living for different parts of the United States.
Nerdwallet’s cost of living calculator lets you enter your current city and income and then compare what you would need to earn (on average) to move to a city of your choice. Moving to Boston, MA from Denver, CO, for example, would mean a 34% increase in costs like housing, groceries, transportation, etc.
Do you freelance or work from home and have the ability to travel wherever you want? If so, check out the Nomad List. It lets you compare housing costs, safety, weather, and--perhaps most important for freelancers--internet speeds in cities around the country and around the world.
How’s the weather?
Another important consideration for long distance moves is the climate. Not only will it determine your wardrobe and comfort level, but it also could mean more expensive heating in the winter or air conditioning in the winter.
To check out the average monthly temperatures and precipitation levels, check out U.S. Climate Data.
It’s hard to judge schools based on a few numbers, and it’s best to see what kind of programs and classes they’ll offer for your children as well. However, to get a glimpse of the nearby schools, you can check out City Data or NeighborhoodScout.
Safety is always a concern when visiting or moving to a new place. Fortunately, there are several good sources of information for neighborhood safety.
When we think of safety, most of us think of things like crime rates. NeighborhoodScout provides all the data you’ll need on crime. However, there are other safety concerns that should be addressed.
You’ve closed on your new house, moved all your boxes, and started planning how to arrange your furniture. Your family can’t wait to settle in and regain a sense of normalcy after the chaos of moving. But before you get back to your normal routine be sure to add these tasks for new homeowners to your to do list. Each takes just an hour of your time and will help you to stay on top of maintenance as well as familiarize yourself with your new domain.
Start by finding out where your main water shutoff valve is located. This is not something you want to have to find when you are in an emergency. In colder climates, it’s most likely to be found in your basement and if you are in a warmer climate you should find it outside. If you keep a binder for home updates add a note of the location within.
Make sure your attic insulation is the correct depth. You want at least 6 inches and even more in northern states. Ensuring that your insulation is the correct depth will help you to save money throughout the year on heating and cooling costs. If you’re attic doesn’t have the correct depth or is damaged be sure to have it replaced as soon as possible. Oftentimes you can get incentives for improving your insulation and thus creating a more energy efficient home.
Check the temperature of your hot water heater and be sure it is set at 120 degrees tops. If you have an older model add a hot water heater blanket to help retain heat. If you find that your heater leaks you want to replace it immediately. A small leak can quickly lead to a major one, flood your home and cause serious damage. Again, be sure to keep note of the month and year you replaced your heater or which year your current model is.
Replace air filters right away so that you will know when they’ve last been replaced. Add monthly reminders to your calendar to stay on top of this quick maintenance task. You can make this task even easier by buying them in bulk. If you love to be organized label them for each month so you know exactly when you’ll next need to replace them.
Change all of the locks on your home. This is simple enough to do on your own and is an easy proactive safety measure for your family. While one hopes there are no lingering keys out in the world of your home, you can’t be sure of who may have a spare key.
Take note of any cracks in your basement. If you find any mark their length with a piece of masking tape and mark with the current date. Watch closely to see if the crack spreads beyond the mark. If you find that the cracks are lengthening be sure to get them taken care of by a professional. This is a serious repair you don’t want to wait on.
Buying a new home is an exciting time. Especially after you’ve closed on the house, can begin to move in and start settling into your routine. Before you get too comfortable be sure to add a few tasks to your to do list. Familiarizing yourself with your new home right away will help you stay on top of maintenance and have peace of mind.