6 Things Everyone Should Do When Moving Into A New House

Dated: 04/01/2015

Views: 290

When I bought my first house, my timing couldn’t have been better: The house closing was two weeks before the lease was up on my apartment. That meant I could take my time packing and moving, and I could get to know the new place before moving in.

I recruited family and friends to help me move (in exchange for a beer-and-pizza picnic on the floor) and, as a bonus, I got to pick their brains aboutwhat first-time homeowners should know.

Their help was one of the best housewarming presents I could have gotten. And thanks to their expertise and a little Googling, here’s what I learned about what to do before moving in.

1. Change the locks.You really don’t know who else has keys to your home, so change the locks. That ensures you’re the only person who has access. Install new deadbolts yourself for as little as $10 per lock, or call a locksmith — if you supply the new locks, they typically charge about $20-$30 per lock for labor.

2. Check for plumbing leaks. Your home inspector should do this for you before closing, but it never hurts to double-check. I didn’t have any leaks to fix, but when checking my kitchen sink, I did discover the sink sprayer was broken. I replaced it for under $20.

Keep an eye out for dripping faucets and running toilets, and check your 
water heater for signs of a leak. 
Here’s a neat trick: Check your water meter at the beginning and end of a two-hour window in which no water is being used in your house. If the reading is different, you have a leak.

3. Steam clean carpets. Do this before you move your furniture in, and your new home life will be off to a fresh start. You can pay a professional carpet cleaning service — you’ll pay about $50 per room; most services require a minimum of about $100 before they’ll come out — or you can rent a steam cleaner for about $30 per day and do the work yourself. I was able to save some money by borrowing a steam cleaner from a friend.  

4. Wipe out your cabinets. Another no-brainer before you move in your dishes and bathroom supplies. Make sure to wipe inside and out, preferably with a non-toxic cleaner, and replace contact paper if necessary. 
When I cleaned my kitchen 
cabinets, I found an unpleasant surprise: Mouse poop. Which leads me to my next tip … 
5. Give critters the heave-ho.
 That includes mice, rats, bats, termites, roaches, and any other uninvited guests. There are any number of DIY ways to get rid of pests, but if you need to bring out the big guns, an initial visit from a pest removal service will run you $100-$300, followed by monthly or quarterly visits at about $50 each time.
For my mousy enemies, I strategically placed poison packets around the kitchen, and I haven’t found any carcasses or any more poop, so the droppings I found must have been old. I might owe a debt of gratitude to the 
snake that lives under my back deck, but I prefer not to think about him.

6. Introduce yourself to your circuit breaker box and main water valve. My first experience with electrical wiring was replacing a broken light fixture in a bathroom. After locating the breaker box, which is in my garage, I turned off the power to that bathroom so I wouldn’t electrocute myself. 
It’s a good idea to figure out which fuses control what parts of your house and label them accordingly. This will take two people: One to stand in the room where the power is supposed to go off, the other to trip the fuses and yell, “Did that work? How about now?”

You’ll want to know how to turn off your main water valve if you have a plumbing emergency, if a hurricane or tornado is headed your way, or if you’re going out of town. Just locate the valve — it could be inside or outside your house — and turn the knob until it’s off. Test it by turning on any faucet in the house; no water should come out.

Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/blog/maintenance-repair/things-to-do-when-moving-into-a-new-house/#ixzz3W4kuFsnL 
Follow us: @HouseLogic on Twitter | HouseLogic on Facebook

Blog author image

Donna Podesta

I am an experienced Realtor working in the Greater Hudson Valley Region which includes both Rockland and Orange County. My goal is to make my client's real estate experience a happy one. Because succe....

Latest Blog Posts

17th Annual Botanical Gardens Singapore Orchid Show Is Just A Short Drive From Nyack

The New York Botanical Gardens is holding its 17th annual Orchid show from February 23rd through April 28th at its magical grounds in the Bronx. Just a short drive from Rockland, you can be

Read More

Surviving Winter And Getting Ready For Spring

If you’re used to the 4 seasons of the year, but by now are growing weary of winter, here are some great tips to make it easier on yourself until warmer weather and longer days arrive. 1.

Read More

Damaging Nyack Potholes Grow Larger And Deeper As Winter Continues

The continued rain we have experienced this winter has had a detrimental effect on Nyack’s roads.  Water freezing and expanding in our roadways each night enlarge potholes as nature

Read More

100 Ways To Say I Love You On Valentines Day

There are so many people that you care about, so say “I Love You” to all of them on Valentine’s Day! Here are 100 creative ways to show them how much you care. Saying “I Love”

Read More