Purchasing a home is an exciting but overwhelming experience, particularly if you’re purchasing your first property. Staying organized throughout the process can help you start your next chapter feeling relaxed and ready for the challenge of owning a new home. While each move will have its own unique requirements, the following steps in the new house checklist can provide you with a starting point to ensure that nothing gets forgotten.
1. Transfer All Utilities
A new home won’t be particularly comfortable without hot water and good lighting. Before you move, be sure to arrange for all of your utilities to be canceled or shut off in your old home and set up and transferred to the next. This includes basic utilities such as gas, water and electric, as well as cable and Internet, too. Depending on your location, you may be able to choose your next provider, so do some research before making a decision. If you’re moving during a particularly busy time period, make sure to put in your requests as soon as possible to avoid cold showers.
2. Update Your Address
It can be easy to forget just how many companies, family members, and friends need to know your address, so make some time to update everyone accordingly. You should inform your bank, student loan provider, insurance agency, and any other important people of your new address. You’ll also want to update your address on your driver’s license, car registration, and subscriptions. Set up mail forwarding, which remains in effect for about one year from the date it’s activated, to help catch mail from those you’ve forgotten to update. This ensures that anything sent to your old address will eventually find its way to you.
3. Make Time for (New) Home Improvements
You’ll never have an easier time cleaning your house or making other improvements than before it’s filled with furniture and other items. Scrub everything down so that you can move into a nice, clean home, and take note of any repairs that need to be made. Some, like bad plumbing or broken locks, should be fixed immediately to avoid bigger problems later. The rest can be done at your convenience, but you might want to take advantage of the empty space and finish as much as possible before you settle in.
4. Pack it Up
Packing is truly an art form, and it is not an easy one to master. Set aside plenty of time for this process, particularly if you have a large amount of glassware and other delicate items that will need to be wrapped up before transferring. You can save some money by scooping up boxes from local retailers and grocery stores, who will likely be glad to have them taken off their hands. Label or color coordinate your boxes to make sure they all end up in the right room, and keep all of your essentials (like medication, shampoo, and other things you can’t live without) in an easy to access, clearly-labeled “open first” box. Use this time to clean out unwanted or unused items.
5. Get the Lay of the Land
Do you know where your shut off valves are located? What about the circuit breaker? Identifying where important elements of your home’s systems are stored will help you confidently deal with blackouts, broken pipes, and more. Test out your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors or pop in some fresh batteries, just to be safe, and review your HVAC system before it gets too hot or too cold to bear any malfunctions. Make sure the stove, dishwasher, and other appliances are in working order, too. Understanding these basic elements of your new home means that you’ll be able to handle regular maintenance while keeping yourself safe and comfortable as soon as you arrive.
6. Stock the Kitchen
Whether you’re in the process of moving in or are almost finished, you are likely going to get hungry at some point. Stock your kitchen with easy meals and snacks like cereal, frozen pizza, granola bars, fruit, and other items that require little to no cooking. You’ll be glad to pause for some quick fuel while you’re dragging in boxes, and any friends or family who are helping out will appreciate it too.
7. Secure Title Insurance
Many homeowners have never heard of this important checklist item, but it can go a long way in protecting their homes. Title insurance helps you maintain ownership of your home if another party claims ownership instead. When issuing a title insurance policy, title companies will research public records to determine if there are any undisclosed liens, heirs, mistakes in the deed, or other issues that may put your home ownership in jeopardy. The company will then help you address any concerns and provide you with financial support should additional claims arise in the future.
Purchasing Title Insurance
Speak to Mathis Title Company for more information about title insurance and to acquire your own title insurance policy. Founder Robin Mathis has extensive experience in both the legal and real estate fields, allowing her to provide detailed guidance and support throughout your home buying process. The company can assist with refinancing, mechanics liens, and contract preparation and review, in addition to title insurance, allowing you to make just one stop for your home-related concerns. Mathis also oversees each closing herself, giving her clients personalized attention throughout the entire process. Contact Mathis Title Company today to learn more!