Moving into a new house is a busy time. But there are a few things that you should do right away to ensure your safety and peace of mind. Here are six things you should do when you first move into a new house.
Change the locks and garage code
First things first, change the locks on all the doors and select a new garage code if you have one. For the most part, homeowners will do their best to collect and provide all keys to the new owner. But even the most well-intentioned seller can forget who else might hold a key, especially after years of owning a home. Keys and garage codes are handed out to neighbors, babysitters, pet sitters, cleaners, etc. Better to be safe than sorry. Get the locks changed and create a new garage code.
Do a Deep Cleaning
Yes, after you've spent days and maybe even weeks packing and cleaning up your former home, you also need to spend some time cleaning your new home. This is actually the perfect time because you haven't unpacked and filled each closet, cupboard and corner with your personal belongings yet.
Go through the house room by room — even the basement, crawl space and attic. Vacuum or sweep the floor, wipe down the inside of cupboards and cabinets, dust the light fixtures and clean the baseboards and crown molding. Don't forget to pay attention to all of the appliances too.
Find The Electrical Panel
Typical locations for an electrical panel are the basement or garage. Find yours and become familiar with the breakers. Some homeowners create a guide that lists which breaker goes to which part of the house. If no guide is provided, consider creating one in the future. This way, if you need to turn the power off to a specific section of your house, you can easily and quickly locate the correct circuit breaker.
Check The Plumbing
You most likely had an inspector look over your house prior to the purchase, so everything should be in working order. But it's also a good idea to locate any areas of plumbing access as well as the location to turn off the water if you ever need it. The main water valve might be located in the basement, on an exterior wall or in a box underground.
Get to Know The Appliances
Appliances can have quirks and tricks for optimal usage. Don't assume the microwave will pop popcorn in three minutes like your last one did. Likewise, don't test out a new washer or dryer setting on your nicest clothes.
Meet the neighbors
The neighbors have been awaiting your arrival since the house went on the market. They might come visit you first, but if they don't, try to make a point to introduce yourself. Building a good relationship with your neighbors can make a big positive impact on the way you feel about where you live. You don't have to do anything formal. Sometimes a simple smile and wave is all that's needed.