Purchasing your first home is an exciting adventure and it can be stressful as well. Where to start and what to do next are questions every new homeowner runs into. From changing your address with the necessary parties to new locks on your home, there are many responsibilities that should be first on your list.
When you think you have finally found “the one”, now it is time for some recon work. Scout the neighborhood and see what you find. If yards are unkempt and there’s litter around, might not be the best place to buy your first home. Some home buyers say they will visit the neighborhood on different days of the week, speak with homeowners in the area, and just kind of get a feel for their possible new community. Another thing to do while looking is to contact the HOA, if there is one, and get a copy of their covenants. This will give you a good idea of what is expected of homeowners in the area.
Next up, check your appliances. Since this is a new-to-you home and the appliances usually are part of the deal, you’ll want to be certain they are in tip top shape! Hire a professional to come service each unit, so you don’t run into any unexpected costs. The person you hire will be able to tell when and if they have been serviced before, if any maintenance is required, and get you on a schedule to keep it safe and working. You don’t want your first winter in your new home to come and then you find out the furnace isn’t operational. Keep tabs on your major appliances to avoid surprises.
It would be a wise choice to make sure you have written verification of the home’s past. Require the sellers to give full disclosure on past damage, mold, or any other projects that the home may have seen. If you purchase a home and the seller was not upfront, you may have to take litigious action against them. This is a huge issue with buying a new home and the sellers just wanting to get it sold. Don’t be on the bad end of the deal.
Change all the locks in your new home. You never know who the old owners may have given a key to. If they had a neighbor house sit for them or a friend come check on the pets, there are probably keys out there. Change all locks and make sure your family has a copy. Some homeowners consider adding keypad locks on every door and this way you can’t forget your key, no one can enter unless they know the code, and you don’t have to worry about those old keys allowing unpermitted entrance to your home.
Simple tasks like the ones on this list are a smart way to start your new endeavor. Don’t forget to change your address with your employer, the post office, and your family. Make a checklist and see what is the most important to you when purchasing your new home.