If there’s one thing I can guarantee during the process of buying a home, it’s that you’ll walk away from the closing table with a sore wrist.
The volume of documents you’ll sign is boggles the mind!
Yet as you walk away from the closing table with keys in your hands, please know that there is still work to be done. This is the fun part of the process though. Now that you have the keys to your new home, now starts the process of getting it in move-in condition.
Now there are some things that should be done before closing.
Transferring utilities into your name
This is something you’ll want to do in advance of closing. I like to typically remind my clients to make the call to transfer utilities at least two weeks prior to closing on the new home so that on the day of closing they are in your name!
This would include electricity, water, gas and/or propane, sewer, trash collection, security service (if the home has one and you want to continue service), cable, and internet. This would also include trash service.
If you’ll be transferring other services into your name at the new address, such as landscaping and pool cleaning, do those at the same time.
File a change of address
Go online to moversguide.usps.com. Click on the blue “Get Started” button. Answer all the questions on the new page and use the “Next” buttons to navigate through the rest of the process.
Determine the quickest route to school and the best commute route to work
This is something most people I’ve found will do while in the midst of house hunting, but in the event you haven’t determined your best route to work and school, definitely would go ahead and plan this because in all the excitement of moving into the new home, Monday will roll around before you know it.
Now if you want to do it “old school,” I’d encourage you to make those drives during the morning commute time (not on a weekend), so that you can get a realistic picture of the time required so that on the Monday after closing you can relax and know that nobody in the family will be late for school or work.
Re-key the locks
This task, of course, will need to wait until the home is actually yours after closing. Call a locksmith or if you’re the DIY type, re-key the locks yourself.
You might consider one of the new smart locks. Especially handy for large families and those who have a tendency of losing keys. PC Magazine has a great list of the best smart locks of 2019 at pcmag.com.
It’s rare, that after a move out by a previous owner that a home couldn’t use a fresh coat of paint on the walls. Just after closing and before your move in is the best time to slap some paint on to give it a fresh look and feel! You could wait until you’ve moved in, but then you’ll need to cover or move furniture out of each room prior to painting.
If you’ll also be replacing flooring, the added bonus is that you can be as messy as you want with the paint without having to worry about protecting the floors!
Speaking of replacing the flooring, get that put down after painting and before moving in.
The previous owners of your new home were very likely told by their real estate agent that they were expected to leave the home in “swept out” condition at closing.
There is really no one definition for this term, but at the very least, the floors should be swept and vacuumed and all personal belongings removed from the home. One thing you can most likely depend on is that the home won’t be professionally deep cleaned as it would with a professional home cleaning service.
Prior to your move in if you take the time to do this, or hire someone to do it for you, when you do move in you won’t have to lift a finger to be able to enjoy your new place!
Before your turn your “pet friends” loose in their new back yard, it’s a good idea to scout the perimeter of the home to ensure the fencing doesn’t include gaps wide enough to allow your pet to get out. If your dog or cat will spend time in the basement, make sure anything hazardous to their health is stored up high, out of their reach.
Finally, don’t forget to notify the vet or the microchip company directly of your new contact information so that if your pup does get loose and someone finds her, you can be found quickly. Don’t forget hat your veterinarian can help you find the company contact information for the particular chip implanted in your pet.
Welcome to your new home!