Few can compare to that feeling of finally stepping into your new home after a long and stressful process of home buying. You hang your frames in the living room, place your toothbrush in the bath, perhaps even buy new linens for your new bedroom.
It’s exciting to think of all the possibilities that you can do now that you have your own personal space, but behind all that excitement comes real work. And that entails far more than just changing your address in the mailbox.
With a new home come new responsibilities. And some of them require more urgent attention than others. While you can predict some of your future responsibilities as a homeowner, like paying your monthly bills, there are certain things that you will have to do first simply because you wouldn’t want to deal with all the unpredictable hassle that can come out of their neglect in the future.
These responsibilities range from the simple (like changing your home locks) to the complex (like shopping for insurance) and are familiar stumbling points among first-time homeowners. Learn these responsibilities to mitigate potential costly issues in the future.
Deep-Clean Your Home
Regardless of whether the home you bought is newly built or previously owned, deep cleaning is a must-do not only for the sake of prepping up the space for the furniture and fixtures but also for ensuring that the environment is healthy for its new owners.
You can always opt to do the task yourself, but in case you need help, there are plenty of cleaning services you can ask assistance from either locally or through an online search.
Make sure every square inch of space is scrubbed clean, especially in intimate places like the bathroom. Inspect for the presence of termites or home-dwelling pests. If possible, call the help of an exterminator or the pest control services for a more thorough inspection and treatment.
According to Thumbtack, the national price average cost for house cleaners is around $130 to $160. Home cleaning service costs can be calculated hourly or by square footage, while others advertise flat rates that can range anywhere between $130 and $160. When looking for potential home cleaners, see if you can ask for a quote to compare your options and save on cost.
Replace Your Home Locks
You don’t know who else has keys to your new home. This is worth some thought especially if your house had a previous owner. It’s possible that they may have hired a helper or sitter who’s been given extra copies of the home keys. Knowing that some strangers around town can let themselves into your home anytime can be a bit unsettling.
For this safety-related reason, it’s smart to replace all the locks around the house. If you don’t have a very good knowledge about locksmithing, hiring a professional locksmith is the wiser option.
Set Up Your Own Home Security System
Home invasions and robberies happen all the time, and perpetrators can enter your home in many different ways. These home invaders use tools as simple as a crowbar to more aggressive devices to instantly unlock your doors. Better to be safe than sorry.
A good home-security system ensures that the things you love are protected from harm. Fortunately, home security tools these days have gone far and way cheaper compared to their bulky and more expensive predecessors. You also have more diversity in your options. These include the following:
- Home security cameras you can integrate into your doorbell
- Home security apps you can easily access via your mobile phone
- Carbon monoxide sensors
- Freezing water pipe sensors
- Smoke detector sensors
- Security alarm sounders
You can also test the security of your locks by buying a set of lockpicking tools. If your locks are easily picked, then it’s time to change them.
Inspect Your Home’s Central Systems
Upkeep is one of the primary responsibilities of a homeowner. And having just moved in does not excuse you from attending to this responsibility as soon as possible. Start right away, or you’ll run the risk of forgetting it until it’s way too late.
Home systems that you need to inspect include your boiler room appliances, your HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning) system, water heater, and humidifier if the home is equipped with one. The inspection should not be limited only to what you see.
You may also need to have the home’s plumbing system inspected to mitigate any leaks. Make sure your solid waste materials are handled well by using reliable and high-quality sewage grinder pumps. And while you’re at it, take note of where your home’s shutoff switches and valves are located. This is critical information in case emergencies occur at home.
Update Your Mailing Address
Don’t let your debts and bills accumulate just because you forgot to change your address. Inform lenders, credit card companies, insurance companies, subscription deliveries, and online delivery services about the change.
The US Postal Service makes this easy for you by simply filling out this change of address form.
Shop for Homeowner’s Insurance
A standard homeowner’s insurance policy pays for the repair and rebuilding of your home in case of damage caused by natural disasters such as fires, hurricane, hail, and lightning, among others. Specifically, it carries protection for these:
- The structures inside your home
- The structures within the property but not necessarily located inside your home
- Your personal possessions
- Liability cost incurred when someone is injured while in your home or property
It’s important to note, however, that your typical home insurance policy does not cover the damages caused by flooding or earthquakes. For these, you have to purchase separate policies, especially if your location is prone to said risks.
It’s easy to get lost in the excitement of having a new home. But now that you’re a bona fide homeowner, your responsibility also extends beyond having a presentable living room. Start your journey with peace of mind, knowing you’re well-prepared for whatever comes ahead.