Most Buyers, when they stand up and walk away from the closing table, feel a tremendous sense of relief: the deal is done, the house is yours, the keys are in your hand – they can’t change their minds now!! What a wonderful feeling.
Depending on the relative level of ease you encountered over the course of your purchase, you may have a residual sense of angst about the transaction. If getting to the closing table was a struggle and there were setbacks along the way, it can be hard to turn off the anxiety that arose with each new challenge. You may be asking yourself, “Now what? We’ve come this far – what should we do next?”
I’m here to help! Let’s talk about some logical next steps to take after you close on your home purchase.
- Put your closing documents in a safe deposit box. It’s not unheard of to lose items of this nature during a move – and if you tuck them away in a very safe place to begin with, you won’t misplace them. If you have an attorney, you may also want to make copies of your closing documents to keep on file with their office.
- Change the locks. If you intend to change the locks, do it right off the bat. For a minor investment at your local hardware or big box store, you can update the locks on all your doors to ensure the former owner, or anyone who had access to the property while it was listed, has a key. While you’re at it, double check that all doors and windows are locked and that you have keys for any ancillary doors, such as a garage door.
- Check the temp on your water heater. If your home has been vacant, is new construction, or even if the former owner had different preferences than you, you may want to adjust the setting on your water heater to accommodate your own needs. The Department of Energy recommends a setting of 120 degrees for most people, but you may prefer a few notches above that if you take long hot showers, or run the dishwasher or washing machine often.
- Cover your windows. Whether you pick up temporary paper shades until you can choose the perfect stylish window treatments or you plan to order custom blinds right off the bat, have a plan in place for window treatments. There’s nothing quite like headed for bed in your new house and realizing there isn’t a thing on the windows! If nothing else, have a roll of duct tape and some extra sheets handy and keep them in the car with you when you move for moments like this. You don’t want to be known as “those neighbors who put on a free show.”
- Speaking of neighbors, introduce yourself to your immediate neighbors within 48 hours of moving in. Take along a notebook to make a chart of the homes (or townhomes or condo units) around you so you remember all the details later. Share your contact information, and if you think they’d be comfortable, ask for an email address or phone number. Ask them what they like best about the neighborhood, or how long they’ve lived there. You can learn a lot about your new ‘hood by asking open ended questions, and most neighbors are happy to tell you a little about themselves and the area.
- Put important new numbers in your phone ASAP. Your homeowner’s insurance provider. Your mortgage servicer. A locksmith. Your home warranty company (if you have one.) It’ll make life easier if/when you need to call any of these places to have the number handy in your phone.
- Double check smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Before you move everything in and get cozy and neglect to replace the battery in one or more of these life-saving devices, take the time to ensure your family’s safety and make sure that every alarm in the home has a functioning battery and is operating properly. Even if the home inspector tested them just a couple of months before – check them again. If an issue arises, you’ll be glad you took a few minutes to do this.
- Transfer utilities. In some cases, the title company will take care of transferring utilities into your name at the time of the closing. If there are any utilities not automatically transferred, take care of this right away. Make sure trash, gas, electrical, cable, telephone, satellite, water and any other services are transferred into your name and that anything in need of a physical transfer, like cable service, is scheduled for the soonest date possible.
- Stock the house with tp and paper towels. Whether you are moving today, in a few weeks or even in a couple of months, stock every bathroom in the house with toilet paper and paper towels as soon as possible after closing. That way on moving day, or any time you pop by the house for repairs or a friendly visit before you move in, you’ll have the minimum basics you need to use the facilities. Maybe drop off a garbage can and a few extra liners while you’re at it.
- Change your address with the post office. You may have already taken care of this detail, but many Buyers wait until the deal is really, truly done to change their address. Save time and do it online.
Now – sit back and relax! The house is all yours, and it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Are you ready to start the search for your new home, next home or latest investment property? Call the Meyers Group. I am a Colorado native with over 21 years of experience and a proven track record of helping Buyers & Sellers achieve their goals.
The Meyers Group