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Bottom Line Up Front

  • New homeowners have a fresh checklist to complete once they finish closing.
  • You’ll want to clean, paint and complete upgrades before moving furniture in.
  • Review your homeowners insurance and home budget to plan for the future.

Time to Read

3 minutes

October 3, 2022

Your homeownership journey doesn’t end with closing. Really, it’s just the beginning! You may be eager to move in, but before you start to unpack boxes, here’s a list of 10 things you’ll want to do first. 

  1. Designate a space to save your closing packet. Make sure you keep all your closing documents together and file them away for safekeeping. Your closing packet should include the closing disclosure, promissory note, mortgage and deed. 
  2. Change the exterior locks. In addition to the previous owners, real estate agents, contractors and a number of other people may have keys to your home. Replace the old locks immediately for security. You can install new locks yourself or call a locksmith.
  3. Transfer utilities. Ensure that you have service for utilities like electricity, water, gas and trash collection. Ideally, you’ll want to have planned for this in advance. If you’ve only rented before, providers may require you to apply for new accounts. Ask your home’s seller to discontinue service the day after closing so you can begin your service on that day to prevent any service interruptions. 
  4. Deep clean. Depending on how the previous owners left the home, cleaning may be a quick afternoon job or a multi-day cleanse. Wipe down the walls, counters and fixtures and vacuum and mop all floors. If time is tight or the job is overwhelming, consider hiring a cleaning service.
  5. Paint walls and ceilings. Painting is much easier to do before furniture and rugs arrive! Again, this is a great DIY job if you have time. Otherwise, hire professionals to take care of it.
  6. Replace worn accessories. Take inventory of the home’s electrical plug covers, switch plates, doorknobs, vent covers and light fixtures and note what needs replacing or upgrading. You can swap out many items yourself, but hire a professional to replace wired light fixtures. Don’t forget to check and replace the batteries in the carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, too!
  7. Clean and service heating and cooling systems. Replace the air filters in your furnace and make sure your air conditioning unit is clear. Clean vents and well-running systems will provide efficient performance and can help prevent you from calling for service in the middle of a heat wave or cold snap. 
  8. Review your homeowners insurance. Does your homeowners insurance policy provide the coverage you need? Review your policy to ensure you have the best coverage. There may be discounts available if you bundle with other policies or make safety upgrades around your home. 
  9. Change your address. Make sure to update your home address with your financial institution, car insurance company, employer, cellphone carrier, health and life insurance, other creditors and, of course, the U.S. Postal Service. Also remember to notify the Department of Motor Vehicles and apply for a replacement driver’s license with your new address.
  10. Review and update your household budget. Adjust your budget to account for your new mortgage and expenses like Homeowners Association fees or property taxes and insurance. Use automatic transfers into a savings account to easily set aside money each month for emergency repairs. Once you have a clear picture of your new financial outlook, plan for expenses that will go toward upgrading your home. Some one-time costs might include new flooring, replacement windows, new blinds or appliances. You might consider applying for a credit card with rewards or a home improvement loan to cover these initial expenses. Make sure you work this monthly payment into your budget, as well!

Manage Your Home With Ease

Navy Federal Credit Union is here to support new homeowners with financial tools and resources well after the closing date. Explore our Homeowner Resources page for more tips on managing your mortgage and owning a home.

Next Steps Next Steps

  1. Get clear on your closing and move-in dates by so you can schedule your pre-move-in tasks. 
  2. Before you move furniture in, make lists of what needs cleaning, upgrading or replacing, and organize your next steps.  
  3. Explore our lines of credit or home improvement loans once you’re ready to tackle your first major home upgrade. If you need extra help reconfiguring your budget, try our monthly spending calculator


This content is intended to provide general information and shouldn't be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.