Your homeownership journey doesn’t end with closing—it’s really just 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.
Save your closing packet. Make sure you keep all your closing documents together and file for safekeeping. This includes: closing disclosure, promissory note, mortgage and deed.
Change the exterior locks. In addition to the previous owners, real estate agents, contractors and who knows who else may have keys to your home. You can install new locks yourself or call a locksmith.
Deep clean. Depending on how the previous owners left the home, this may be a quick afternoon job—or a multi-day cleanse. Wipe down walls, counters, floors and fixtures, and vacuum and mop all floors. If time is tight, or the job is overwhelming, consider a cleaning service.
Paint walls and ceilings. It’ll be much easier before furniture and rugs arrive. Again, this is a great DIY job if you have time, or hire professionals to take care of it.
Replace worn accessories. Take an inventory of electrical plug covers, switch plates, doorknobs, vent covers and light fixtures, noting what needs replacing or upgrading. You can swap out many items yourself, but hire a professional to replace wired light fixtures.
Review your homeowners insurance. Does it provide the coverage you need? Additionally, there may be discounts available for bundling with other policies or for making safety upgrades.
Change your address. Make sure to update with your financial institution, car insurance company, employer, cellphone carrier, health/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.
Transfer utilities. Ensure that you have service for utilities like electricity, water, gas and trash collection. This should be planned in advance and, if you’ve only rented previously, may require you to apply for accounts. Ask the seller to discontinue service the day after closing and begin your service on the day of closing to prevent an interruption in service.
Clean and service heating and cooling systems. Clean vents and well-running systems will provide efficient performance and likely keep you from calling for service in the middle of a heat wave or cold snap.
Review and update your household budget. Adjust for your new mortgage amount and account for new expenses like Homeowners’ Association fees or property taxes and insurance. Use automatic transfers into a savings account to make it easy to set aside money each month for emergency repairs.
Now that you have a clear picture of your new financial outlook, plan for expenses that will go toward upgrading your new home. Some one-time costs might include new flooring, replacement windows, blinds or appliances. You may consider applying for a credit card with rewards to cover these initial expenses, working a monthly payment into your budget as well. Download our new-home budgeting template to get started, and create your dream home today.