As you may or may not know I have left the corporate world and I am now the calling all the shots as CEO of my own Real Estate business. As a Real Estate agent of over 10 years I have worked with many different buyers and sellers.
The home buying process can be a lot to process and is often overwhelming to buyers. At the beginning of every transaction I talk about process and what to expect. I even type up a list of things and provide pamphlets on what first-time homeowners should know. Here are a few things I remind my buyers to do before moving into their new home and what they should do to keep themselves and their family safe!
1. Change the Locks
You really don’t know who else has keys to your home, so change the locks. That ensures you’re the only person who has access. Install new deadbolts yourself for as little as $10 per lock, or call a locksmith — if you supply the new locks, they typically charge about $20 to $30 per lock for labor.
2. Check for Plumbing Leaks
Your home inspector should do this for you before closing, but it never hurts to double-check. I didn’t have any plumbing leaks to fix, but when checking my kitchen sink, I did discover the sink sprayer was broken. I replaced it for under $20.
Keep an eye out for dripping faucets and running toilets, and check your water heater for signs of a leak. You don’t want to end up with an enormous water bill.
Here’s a neat trick: Check your water meter at the beginning and end of a two-hour window in which no water is being used in your house. If the reading is different, you have a leak.
3. Steam Clean Carpets
Do this before you move your furniture in, and your new home life will be off to a fresh start. You can pay a professional carpet cleaning service — you’ll pay about $50 per room; most services require a minimum of about $100 before they’ll come out — or you can rent a steam cleaner for about $30 per day and do the work yourself. I was able to save some money by borrowing a steam cleaner from a friend.
Image: Premier Surfaces
4. Wipe Everything Down
Another no-brainer before you move in your dishes and bathroom supplies. Make sure to wipe inside and out, preferably with a non-toxic cleaner, and replace contact paper if necessary.
I basically just clean and wipe down everything, especially my kitchen countertops! When we moved in our last home, we had gorgeous countertops that were marble which made me wonder if they were from Premier Surfaces. They are a local to Atlanta one stop shop for everything you need for your countertop needs! They offer a variety of options to choose from including wood, limestone, granite, eco, tile and more! Their customer service is the top of the line, only gathering the best to help answer all your questions and make the transition from gathering your materials to installing your countertops effectively and seamlessly into your home.
When I cleaned my kitchen cabinets, I found an unpleasant surprise: dead roaches. Which leads me to my next tip …
5. Give Critters the Heave-Ho
That includes mice, rats, bats, termites, roaches, and any other uninvited guests. There are any number of DIY ways to get rid of pests, but if you need to bring out the big guns, an initial visit from a pest removal service will run you $100 to $300, followed by monthly or quarterly visits at about $50 each time.
I believe it can’t hurt to have a pest company come out and treat just for GP and peace of mind.
6. Introduce Yourself to Your Circuit Breaker Box and Main Water Valve
It’s a good idea to figure out which fuses control what parts of your house and label them accordingly. This will take two people: One to stand in the room where the power is supposed to go off, the other to trip the fuses and yell, “Did that work? How about now?
You’ll want to know how to turn off your main water valve if you have a plumbing emergency, if a hurricane or tornado is headed your way, or if you’re going out of town. Just locate the valve — it could be inside or outside your house — and turn the knob until it’s off. Test it by turning on any faucet in the house; no water should come out. I had to learn the hard way after have such an emergency and having part of my downstairs flood due to not knowing where main valve was.
There are several other things to do before you begin your new life in your new home but I think these are the most basic and ones you should probably jump on right away! Are there any things you’d add to the list yourself?