10 Things To Do When you Move Into Your New Home

Home Inspector with US Inspect

Couple relaxing among moving boxes in new home

Congratulations! You’ve purchased a new home and are all moved in! There’s been a lot to take care of, like emptying boxes, loading up cabinets and drawers, and maybe even painting and decorating, but here are 10 around-the-house tasks you may not have thought of that are essential to starting things off on the right foot when it comes to caring for your new home.

The secret to a well maintained home is to start your maintenance early, ahem, that means now. Now, don't get nervous, it's not all work, work, work. Doing your home maintenance bit by bit is a great way to accomplish it all, but over time so that there's plenty of room for relaxing too. Also, preventative maintenance now, will reduce the liklihood of unwlecome (many times costly) surprises down the road.

Here are ten great things to do when you first move in!

  1. Change the locks, reprogram garage door opener codes, and check that all window locks operate properly. If there's a security system, learn how it operates and sign up for any maintenance or monitoring plans that that yours requires.
  2. Locate emergency shut offs. Know how to shut off the power, water, and gas in your home. Also, know the location of your main and any sub electrical panel boxes. 
  3. Create a "fix it" kit. If you don't have one already, buy a toolbox and stock it with all your frequently used home repair tools and supplies. Click here for ideas about what you should include in your kit. Not only is it a good idea to have tools gathered together for home repairs, but it's also important to have first aid supplies on hand too. We think it's a great idea to combine the two and have a small first aid kit within your toolbox--that way, if injuries do occur, you won't have far to go in order to properly tend to them.
  4. Service smoke alarms and CO monitors. Smoke alarms and CO monitors need fresh batteries twice annually and full replacement regularly in order to function properly. (Replace smoke alarms, minimum every 8-10 years, and CO monitors minimum every 5 years) Since you may not know the exact age of the devices and batteries in your new home, it's a great idea to start fresh. Learn more about how often batteries and devices should be change (as well as some additional fire prevention tips) here.
  5. Perform necessary seasonal maintenance. Winter, spring, summer, or fall, there are tasks around the home that, when completed, help the whole season run more smoothly. Get your checklists here, and be off to a great start no matter what time of year you move.
  6. Change filters in your HVAC system. This will not only help clear out all the dust that’s been kicked up during the move, but a clean filter also helps your system function more efficiently and extends its lifespan.
  7. Check pilot lights. Check pilot lights on stove, water heater, gas fireplace, and furnace.
  8. Be sure that hazardous items are stowed away safely (that includes cans of paint). Flammable substances should be kept away from pilot lights, stoves, or water heaters (don’t forget gas dryers). Also, be sure that you are aware of and have identified any substances left behind by the previous owner.
  9. Learn how to operate and properly maintain any items in the home that are new to you like appliances, fireplaces, the septic tank, garbage disposal, hot tub, etc. You may be unaware of vitally important operation or care instructions that are necessary for proper function and safety. If you don’t have manufacturer owner’s manuals, look them up. Virtually any product manual out there can be downloaded right from the Internet.
  10. Address the items mentioned in your home inspection report. You may have already addressed big issues, but did your inspector mention any necessary maintenance or smaller repairs that would be necessary upon moving in? That's now! Remember that proactively caring for your home with maintenance and service is the primary way to prevent unwelcome surprises down the road. Reread your report and don’t hesitate to call your inspector to clarify his recommendations or to answer any questions you may have.
Posted By: Chrissy Doremus, U.S Inspect Blog

Re-Blogged 6 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. David Popoff 04/23/2012 04:38 AM
  2. Wendy Remley 04/23/2012 09:02 AM
  3. Bob Crane 04/23/2012 05:02 PM
  4. Catarina Bannier 04/24/2012 03:45 AM
  5. Cheryl Ritchie 04/25/2012 08:50 PM
  6. Joy Daniels 01/01/2013 08:24 AM
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Iris Stuart
none - Santa Rosa, CA

Chrissy, this is a great list!  Thank you for sharing - bookmarked!

Apr 23, 2012 04:22 PM #17
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Chrissy - You have created a great library of fliers and are kind to offer their use to others.

Apr 23, 2012 04:27 PM #18
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

thank you Chrissy, what a thoughtful and useful gift to give your new owners or tenants, I will use this also.

Apr 23, 2012 04:55 PM #19
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

These are good tips. I will share it with buyers. Nice flyer.

Apr 23, 2012 08:51 PM #21
Michelle Francis
Tim Francis Realty LLC - Atlanta, GA
Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease


Love this list.  These all need to be done when one buys a new home.  However, folks have so much on their minds, it's FABULOUS to have a list!

All the best, Michelle


Apr 23, 2012 09:21 PM #22
Sandy Acevedo
951-290-8588 - Chino Hills, CA
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale

HI Chrissy, this a very good reminder list of some important things. Everyone has lists of things to do right up to the moment of sale, but this goes one step further.

Apr 24, 2012 12:41 AM #23
Teri Clardy
Colorado Premier Staging, LLC - Littleton, CO
APSD Certified Home Stager Pro

Chrissy, thanks for sharing your hard work and actually putting together something that others can use.

Apr 24, 2012 01:47 AM #24
Fred Carver Personal Real Estate Corporation
RE/MAX Camosun Victoria BC Real Estate - Victoria, BC
Accredited Real Estate Consultant

Hi Chrissy...Congratulations on your feature. Great idea to send Just Sold Buyers a check list..Well Done!

Apr 24, 2012 01:50 AM #25
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Chrissy, Thank You for sharing the list with us. Congratualations in Feature.

Apr 24, 2012 04:04 AM #26
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi CHrissy,  Terrific reminder of " to do's " for new owners.  Also helps when the seller leaves all pertinent manuals, etc for the new owner.

Apr 24, 2012 06:28 AM #27
clara Hahn
AgentOwned Realty - Mount Pleasant, SC

Great list, thank you for letting me print this.

Apr 24, 2012 10:17 AM #28
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

Thisis a great idea for a follow up with buyers.. Thanks for sharing this idea... I think it is of great value to our clients.

Apr 24, 2012 12:05 PM #29
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Every point on this list is right on!  Changing the locks is an important task that many people do not think about, in the excitement/stress of a move.

Apr 24, 2012 02:23 PM #30
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

Chrissy, that's what I love about AR. Free help just when I need it. Thank you.

Apr 24, 2012 03:54 PM #31
Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County

I'm liking your print library. Just visited it. Thanks so much for sharing. 

Apr 25, 2012 12:17 AM #32
Kevin A. Guttman-Author, Reverse Mortgage Advisor
NMLS#384936 - Colorado Springs, CO


Great info here.

Thank you!


Apr 25, 2012 08:01 AM #33
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566
This is my favorite post of the morning so you are my reblog winner of the day! Let me go bookmark and check out your library, too!
Apr 25, 2012 08:46 PM #34
Chrissy Doremus ~ US Inspect ~
US Inspect - Chantilly, VA
Residential Property Inspections

thanks Cheryl!!!

Apr 25, 2012 10:15 PM #35
Dan Derito
Success! Real Estate - Brockton, MA

Thank you Chrissy.  it's saved into my docs until I get my Logo and contact info uploaded.  Very thoughtful of you.

Apr 30, 2012 01:07 AM #36
Patty Mortara REALTOR CRS | Hunterdon County (NJ)
Hunterdon County Homes - Flemington, NJ

Great information in the print library. I look forward to some "light reading" there :-) Thanks for posting!

May 02, 2012 04:01 AM #37
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