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Keeping New Homeowners in Check: 10 Tasks for a Happy Move-in

Keeping New Homeowners in Check: 10 Tasks for a Happy Move-in


Moving season is in full swing! First-time homebuyers, move-up buyers, empty-nesters and retirees are busily settling into their new spaces. With all of this excitement, it can be easy to forget some of the often-needed items that accompany the move-in process.

So, while every new homeowner is unloading, unpacking and organizing, what are some things that they can do to start off on the right foot in their new home?

Here are 10 top tasks to include on your new homeowner checklist:

1. Inspect the Insulation – As if the pre-closing home inspection and final walk-through weren’t enough for you, as you are getting settled into your new home, be sure to do a triple check of your attic’s insulation. If your home’s insulation is scantily-clad, you may not only be feeling a draft; but, you also may be feeling the pain of larger heating and cooling bills. You can start your new home off right by adding any needed insulation from the get-go.

2. Filter Problems Before they Start – From the insulation in the attic to the air system in the basement, new home ownership is the perfect time to get a head start on preventative home maintenance. So, as you’re unpacking and moving in to your new home, replace furnace and dryer filters and clean out vents right from the start. That way, there will be no question as to the last time they were refreshed.

3. Be a Stud (Sensor) – Of course, one of the very first steps in a making a new house a “home” is hanging things like photos, mirrors, artwork, blinds or curtains. But, before you get too comfortable pounding and drilling holes into the walls of your new home, make sure you know what’s behind those walls. There are major differences between drilling into a stud and drilling into plumbing, ductwork, wires or other cables.

4. Hook Up with a Handyman – This advice is two-fold, because you may be very handy yourself and it is always good to keep a tool box full of the basics; you know, a hammer, screw drivers, wrenches, extra nails, screws and maybe a few other things. However, in addition to your go-to tool box, you also want to keep the number of a good Mr. Fix-it on hand for any unexpected home maintenance or appliance issues that may be above your personal home maintenance pay grade!

5. Go Beyond “Just the Basics” – There are some tools and gadgets that every homeowner should have that may not fit in their tool box. As a new homeowner, you’ll likely need your own garbage cans, but you should check local regulations to see if there are any size restrictions or cans that may be already issued. Every home should also have at least one fire extinguisher in case of emergency. Finally, hanging photos, changing light bulbs and completing many other homeowner tasks will be much easier (and safer!) with the help of a trusted six-foot step-ladder.

6. Install Some Energy Efficiency – Speaking of changing light bulbs, move-in time is a great time to start your new home off on an energy-efficient foot! Select CFL or LED bulbs for your new home and you’ll be a step ahead on that “go green” resolution you made at the beginning of the year.

Making a small investment in a programmable thermostat will also help to regulate the temperature in your home and keep your heating and cooling systems running properly. Another perk of using energy-efficient light bulbs and a programmable thermostat? They’ll actually help keep some extra green in your pockets when it comes to utility bills.

7. Make Safety a Top Priority – If you’ve often considered adding an extra layer of protection for you and your family at home, moving in to a new home is the perfect time to make that thought a reality. Do your research and find the best security system for your needs and have it installed as soon as possible. After all, peace of mind is one of the most important things you’ll want to have in your new home!

8. Prepare for Disaster – Certainly, those are three words that no new homeowner wants to hear; but, those three words are important for homeowners and renters, alike. In case of any natural disaster, it is important to have a disaster-preparedness kit packed and ready to go. Not sure what to pack inside? Consider things like flashlights and batteries, non-perishable foods and water, plus a first-aid kit, blankets and a radio. In the event of a disaster, those things should help to keep you safe until more help is available.

9. Make New Friends – Now, back to a daily reality. In your new home, you will likely be surrounded by neighbors who are eager to know who “the new person” is. Don’t be afraid to get to know your neighbors and make at least a good friend or two. When you’re out of town, it is nice to rely on a neighbor to pick up your mail or look after your home. It is also nice to know someone that you can borrow that late-night cup of sugar from when you’re craving some homemade chocolate chip cookies.

10. Don’t Forget the Trimmings – If you’re a first-time homebuyer or you’re moving into a single-family home after living in an apartment, condominium or townhome community, home ownership may also mean it is time to invest in some lawn-care supplies. Say hello to your very first lawnmower and while you’re at the hardware store, pick up some fertilizer and possibly a sprinkler. If that’s not your cup of tea, be prepared to hire someone to care for your yard. After all, you’ll want to be using that space for hosting your first backyard BBQ this summer!