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New Home Buyer Checklist: Things You Should Do When You Buy a House

By September 27, 2021Insurance

When you finally complete that home buying process after weeks – or months – of waiting, it’s exciting. It is a moment forever etched in your memory. Every person who has ever bought a home knows that the stress involved sometimes feels like it isn’t worth it. Between the inspections and financing, the packing, and the actual move, it’s a mammoth undertaking. However, once that closing day happens and you sign all of those forms, you can begin to feel as if it’s all over. The thing is, it’s really only the beginning!

When it comes to your homeowner’s insurance, this is actually something that you’ll need to have in place even before you move into the home. You may even need to provide proof of insurance before closing on the house. When you start shopping around for policies, consider what coverages you might need. Are you living in an area prone to flooding? If so, you’ll want to include this information when you are getting quotes for your home insurance. Homeowner’s insurance is a must – you shouldn’t spend all that money on a new house only to leave it unprotected and at-risk. Speak to your home insurance provider about any security measures you may need to install in the house to make your home safer and talk about things that can void your insurance policy, too. If you’re looking for home insurance in Yardley, PA, or another nearby town, give the team at Freedom Insurance Group a call. With over 10 top-rated insurance carriers, we can get you competitive quotes quickly, so that you can cross this off your checklist!

The real fun of being a homeowner starts once you’ve signed the forms, and you’re moving into your new home. You now have to deal with the house and all of the things that come with a new home – fixing any flaws, setting up the utilities, and purchasing the right homeowner’s insurance all come next. Rather than allow a new set of things to overwhelm you, consider how you can stay on track with your new home without any of the stress. The first step is to get to know all of your new goals, and then break them down into smaller more manageable tasks. This will help you to feel much more in control and, thereby, calm. With this in mind, we’ve put together a comprehensive checklist of things that you really should be doing now you’re a brand new homeowner!

Take A Moment

Before you dive deep into any new tasks and start opening boxes to unpack your things, you need to breathe. You’ve spent months searching for a home, filling out paperwork, negotiating contracts – not to mention the years of saving for this house in the first place. There is a lot about to happen to get your new home organized and the one thing that you can’t do is get overwhelmed. Give yourself a day or two before you wade into a new set of things to do.

Put A Budget Together

What do you need to pay for when you move into your new home? From decorating and furniture placement to outdoor landscaping and deep cleaning, you need to know that you’re not going to go bankrupt in your pursuit of homeowner perfection. You are building the inside of your home, and for that, you need a budget. How much can you afford to pay for homeowners insurance? How much can you put into your yard? What about any home improvements? These are all important questions and you need to ensure that you have the money to get your home looking the way that you want it to once you move on in!

Make An Improvement List

Is there anything that needs to be done to the house to make it liveable? Some items on the list might need a pro, but for others, you might be able to DIY. If possible, try to do as many of these things before you move in because then you can avoid living in a construction zone. It’s so much easier to get these out of the way before you start unpacking. Otherwise, you’ll have to move everything around again. If there is anything major that needs to be done, schedule it to be done before your official move-in date. Paint all the walls and install any flooring before you move your family and belongings into the house. This way, you won’t have to worry about getting paint on any of the new furniture and beloved personal belongings.

Set Up Utilities

Changing your address with your bill providers and the bank is a must when you move into a new home. You need to let everyone know where you are living now so that they know where to contact you. This includes:

  • Bank
  • Credit cards
  • Health and car insurance
  • Memberships
  • Utilities like gas/electric/water/internet

Make a list of all of the places that you make payments to that may need to have your current address, and then consider contacting each one to ensure that they have your correct information. The last thing you need is to move in and end up missing bills by accident!

Change Window & Door Locks

This won’t apply if you’ve built the home you’re moving into, but you have to change the windows and door locks of the house you’re moving into if you’ve bought it from a realtor or private seller. You can be the best friend of the previous owner, but that doesn’t mean that you know how many copies of the home’s keys are out there. So, a new set is the best way to have a fresh start and for you to ensure the security of your home. Anyone from realtors, maintenance workers or the former owner’s trusted neighbors can have the keys, but you don’t yet trust those neighbors as you don’t know them yet! This should be one of the first things that you do and you can confirm to your home insurance company that your home is more secure.

Call The Cleaners

Similar to having any work done on the house before you get there, call in the professional cleaners to come in and make sure that your new home is thoroughly cleaned. Yes, you could do this yourself, but why would you do it yourself when you can ensure a top-quality clean by a professional. They’ll clean the walls and the floors and make sure that your home is 100% move-in ready. While you’re calling the cleaners to clean your new house, you could also make sure that you get your old house cleaned properly, too, as the people who are moving in will have a pleasant surprise if you do that.

Get To Know Your House

If there was a water leak, would you know where to shut it off? If the power went out, would you know where to look for the breaker box? You need to get to know your home properly, and that means knowing how to fix the smaller issues that can crop up from time to time. You can’t just wait for a handyman to come to you – especially if the issues you’re having happen in bad weather conditions or other inconvenient moments. You have to learn how to do this for yourself so that you can fix the problem as it occurs.

Plan For Emergencies

Now that you know how to shut off the water and the electricity, you need to be able to plan for emergency situations. Get some recommendations for local plumbers in case the boiler or hot water heater stops working or there’s a leak. You should also do the same for electricians and window repair companies, poison control, and more. You should also ensure that you know all of the emergency exits, that your windows and doors have locks, and if necessary, install cameras and security lights around the property. You’d be surprised how many homeowners don’t take security seriously for their home and property, but you don’t have to wait around to secure your new place! Do it now and you can move in with peace of mind.

Make A Seasonal Checklist

Look at the land you’ve bought and the size of the house – now make two lists for each half of the year. What maintenance needs to be completed in the first half? Write it down and do the same for the second half of the year. A seasonal checklist can go a long way to keeping your home organized and in good repair and can help you to spot any issues that you need to report to your home insurance company. If you live in a flood risk area, you may need to invest in specific equipment to protect your home, so talk to your homeowner’s insurance advisor to find out what specific needs you may have.

Invest In A Safe

You don’t need a bank safe. It is a good idea, however, to invest in a small safe somewhere in the home for the most important documents and jewelry that you have. You need to make sure that you keep on top of your paperwork, especially your tax information and your identification records. Once you have these, you can get them in the safe and keep them away from fires/floods and any other issues that can affect your home. A safe is also the right place for insurance policies! A safe can be built into the walls of your new build home or even into the floor with the classic rug dragged over the top. Or you can get a smaller one in a closet. And you should make sure that you choose a safe that’s fireproof – just in case.

Go Shopping

Often, moving into a new property means shopping for new furniture and household appliances. You’ll probably have items from your previous home or apartment that you’re bringing with you. But you’ll probably also need new items! Start by making a list of the furniture that you need for your new home and then prioritize which items you need first. If you need a lot of furniture it’s likely that you won’t be able to knock it out in one trip. Try breaking the list down by room, that way you can focus on one room at a time. Take your time making this list because it’s going to be the best way to budget for everything that you need. It’s not just the big-ticket items you must consider, either, but the smaller ones down to the dishtowels and measuring spoons. 

Introduce Yourself To The Neighborhood

Your new neighbors are going to be an asset to you now that you are living in your new home, and the neighborly thing to do is introduce yourself! Go around and say hello and let them know you’re the kind of neighbor they want to live next to. It’s always nice to know that you have people looking out for your home when you’re away, or taking in your newspaper when you need them to. They won’t do this for you if there’s no connection there, though!

Throw A Party

These first weeks of a new home are busy and packed with decorating, furniture buying and calling in contractors to ensure that your house is ready to live in. After you’re settled in a little bit, it can be very fun to throw a house-warming party and invite everyone over to celebrate your new home! Hosting a party will also give you some good motivation for unpacking all your boxes and getting the pictures mounted on the walls. You won’t be leaving things around the house if you know people are going to be coming over to celebrate with you.

And Breathe!

Once again, take a moment to congratulate yourself on the mammoth task you’ve managed to complete. You’ve put together and moved into a new home that’s all yours. Taking time to appreciate this will help you remember this time for years to come. Make sure that you complete your list and keep it handy for later on down the line. You have to be ready for anything. 

Remember, one of the first orders of business is to get your homeowner’s insurance policy in place before you sign your closing papers. If you’re still looking for a company, give us a call at Freedom Insurance Group, and we can help you during this exciting season of life!