After you purchase a property, there are a number of steps that must be taken before you can settle into your new place. Read on to get a list of the main things that you’ll need to have done before moving into your new Hamptons home.
1. Things to do to get your home up and running
The last thing you want to do is reside in a home without an Internet connection. Before your home’s closing date, allocate time for a cable and/or Internet technician to wire the property. In doing this, you’ll avoid spending weeks without an Internet connection, especially since technicians are not always immediately available. You may need to be present when the technician comes to your home, so taking time off work for this may be necessary.
You’ll also need to change the electric, water, and gas bills and put them in your name. Get in touch with the appropriate companies in your area to determine what is required of you before any accounts are assigned to your name.
Next, you’ll want to ensure that the prior homeowners have all debts or bills cleared up with their utility companies before the account transfer. Depending on the neighborhood you live in, you may also need to cover the costs of recycling and trash pickup.
The prior homeowners (and/or a construction company) may not have cleaned up the home before vacating. Before you move in, spend several days cleaning and sanitizing everything. Consider hiring professional cleaners to get this done or use Humming Homes to manage service providers for you.
It’s especially important to clean the bathroom and kitchen meticulously. And don’t forget to inspect your carpets, chimney, dryer vents, flowerbeds (assuming you have them), backyard, and gutters too. If the carpet is in need of a deep clean, schedule a carpet cleaning company to handle this for you, ideally before you officially move in.
Some things that need cleaning may not be easily visible or obvious. For instance, there may be an abundance of dryer lint trapped inside the machine. Many cleaning services will provide top-to-bottom services to ensure that your new home is sparkling clean and ready for move-in.
Moving is an intensive process, and it can often take months before people find that they’ve unpacked all of their boxes, especially ones that contain less essential day-to-day items.
Hiring movers makes this process easier, as you can often have movers unpack your boxes for you. From there, you may choose to donate your empty boxes to somebody who is also moving. Alternatively, you can break the boxes up and recycle them. If movers were hired, it’s important to unpack sooner rather than later to be sure that you aren’t missing anything. If you notice something is missing, get in touch with the moving company to let them know as soon as possible.
2. Safety measures to take
Because you don’t know how many copies of your house keys exist, it’s prudent to have all door locks changed once you move in. You should make several spare keys. Hide one set in a location nobody will find near your home or secure a lockbox outside your door with a spare key inside. That way, if you find yourself locked out one day, you’ll be able to get back in without having to call a locksmith.
Reset Security Codes For Your Garage
You’ll need to have security codes for your garage reset. There should be tutorials available on the Internet if you don’t know where to start. If the garage has old-school locks, consider replacing it with a programmable one. They aren’t as expensive as you might think!
Purchase a Safe
This is the perfect time to purchase a safe, assuming you don’t currently own one. Look for a fireproof small documents safe, which will fit approximately 12 to 15 files inside of it.
In your safe, we recommend you store documents related to your home purchase, such as title company documentation, inspection reports, and closing documents. Inspect Smoke Detectors
Be sure to have smoke detector batteries changed, and ensure that each one of them is in working condition. Also, check that the warranty is still active.
Try to find out the age of the smoke detectors, as many of them are only effective for a decade or so. Additionally, if carbon monoxide detectors aren’t built into the home’s smoke detectors, we recommend you buy some and have them installed around your home.
3. Becoming a local
Have Your Mail Forwarded
Get in touch with the post office to have your mail forwarded from the old place to the new one. You should be able to do this on the Internet by filling out a form, and the process is fairly straightforward.
Be mindful, though, that the mail forwarding will eventually end (usually after 12 months or so).
Many different services and establishments will need to be notified when your address changes. You will need to make these changes on tax forms, among other essential documents.
Even your employers will require your new address. Don’t forget about your mobile device’s apps, as food could be delivered to your old house if you don’t update them!
Address changes will be needed for the following:
- Rideshare and delivery apps.
- Churches and religious institutions.
- E-commerce/online retailers.
- Doctors clinics.
- Your employer.
- Insurance companies.
- Loan servicers.
- Credit card companies.
- Investment accounts.
- Business and personal banks.
- Voter registration.
- The IRS (for form 8822).
- Drivers license (via the DMV).
Get To Know Your Neighbors
Sure, neighbors are the ones that traditionally introduce themselves once you move in. However, most people are just as busy as you are, and might not have time to say hello to you. Why not be proactive and greet someone after running into them in the driveway?
Introduce yourself to homeowners of several properties surrounding you. It pays off to establish relationships with the people in your community, particularly if you’re on vacation and need someone to watch out for your packages.
Find Out Where Things Are
This might sound like a no-brainer, but you would do well to find out where the things in your home are located.
Here are a few you should know more about:
- Find out if the prior homeowners labeled switches in the home’s circuit breaker.
- Locate valves to shut off the water.
- Find out how the attic door is opened.
- Determine where HVAC filters should be replaced.
These things might not be so easy to find, but familiarizing yourself with the home will allow for easier routine maintenance. Or you can have Humming Homes maintain your home for you!
4. Cover your bases
Buy Emergency Supplies
These items might be something you brought over from your old house. If you don’t have them, use this opportunity to purchase new emergency supplies. Keep flashlights in easy-to-find places in the event of a power outage.
Having a radio with fresh batteries will also be helpful in the event of an emergency. You should also get first-aid kits, bottled water, spare batteries, and power packs to charge up your mobile devices during a power outage.
Have Your Utilities And Mortgage Paid Automatically
New mortgage and utility payments go hand-in-hand with a brand-new house. It is prudent to have these bills paid automatically. Many financial institutions offer automatic payment options when it comes to mortgage payments.
The autopay feature will ensure that monthly payments are never missed. Don’t forget to cancel automatic payments of prior utility and mortgage accounts if they were active.
5. Start thinking about maintenance and care
Put Together A Maintenance/Cleaning Schedule
Keeping track of all the maintenance and cleaning schedules can be very overwhelming, especially if you’re not living in the property most of the year. Having a Hamptons property management service, like Humming Homes, can help with keeping up with this all year round so you don’t have to lift a finger. Learn more about how it works here.
Your new house will require ongoing maintenance, which entails things like:
- Pest inspections
- Home winterization
- Gutter cleaning
- Hot water heater emptying
- Air filter cleaning, and more.
Create a list that goes over each one of these items. Schedule times to tackle them throughout the year.
By keeping these things organized on a calendar, you’ll know when the hot water tank will need emptying, or when your gutters will need to be cleaned.
Review The Home Inspection Report
Once you have purchased a house and settled into it, review its inspection report. They will address necessary repairs that the prior homeowner did not fix, but made notes about.
Prioritize them from least to most important, then schedule a time to tend to these tasks. Set a timeline so that these things will get done sooner than later.
Throw A Party!
The best part about moving into a new home is the housewarming party you can throw after you’ve settled it!
Invite your family and friends over to see the place. If they can’t make it, consider hosting a virtual housewarming party!