Many people focus on informing themselves about the tasks that need to be completed during the home purchase process. However, a fewer percent of people take the time to research what needs to be done after closing on a new home.
You need to keep in mind that the work doesn’t stop after you close escrow and are handed the keys to your new house (congrats by the way!); the work has only really begun. Grab a pen and paper to make a checklist of the following tasks to complete after closing on a new home.
Change the Locks or Re-Key Them
This task is the most common to do for most buyers that just finished closing on a new home. Although the seller is obligated to hand over the keys of the house, per one of the contingencies in a real estate purchase offer, you can never be quite sure if they hand over all the copies they have.
Yes, you just made the biggest purchase of your life, but don’t be stingy with your money. Spend the money needed to change the locks. It shouldn’t amount to more than a couple hundred dollars depending on how many locks that need to be changed. This is chump change compared to the amount of losses you could face if you weren’t the only one with a set of keys to your house. You want to have peace of mind that you are the only one that has access to your newly purchased home…take the right course of action!
Update Any Keypads
This should go hand in hand with the task mentioned above. Garage keypads have been around for decades now and should be updated after closing on a new home. Keep in mind that more homes are becoming equipped with smart home technology features these days due to the rise of the appeal and popularity of being a smart home owner.
With more smart homes on the rise, this brings forth an increase in keypad door locks. After closing on a new home, make sure to update and change the codes on these as well. The home seller should provide you with instructions on how to change the keypad codes, if not, you can easily find instructions online.
Make Copies of all Important Documents and Store in a Safe Place
It is important that you get all copies from the buying and closing process of your home. Store these in a safe place away from toddlers and kids. It is also a good idea to upload them online to a cloud based website…you can never be too safe these days.
You might be asking yourself why you will need these documents in the future. Well for example, if you plan on making modifications to your home, such as building an additional room for an office, you will more than likely be asked to provide a survey map of your property prior to receiving the proper approval and permits from the city to move forth with this addition to your home.
Create a Home Maintenance List
Although this task doesn’t seem very important at all, if followed through with, it could end up greatly reducing the number of costly repairs that need to be done if maintenance on the house had otherwise been deferred or simply forgotten about.
It is a good idea if you start working on this maintenance list soon after the closing on a new home. Whether you plan on working on the repairs yourself or plan to hire a professional, the sooner you get this done, the better off you will be.
Check the Water Heater and HVAC System
After the closing on a new home, make sure to check the water heater temperature and water pressure. We all have our different preferences regarding the pressure and temperature of water so you may have to adjust these accordingly to meet your needs.
Energy.gov provides you with tips and instructions on how to adjust water temperatures. Keep in mind that a lower temperature of your water heater will save you energy and money.
The procedure to adjust the water pressure is fairly simple; it involves adjusting the water pressure reducing valve. Read these steps to familiarize yourself with the process.
What you also want to do after the closing on a new home is to have a professional service the home’s HVAC if this wasn’t done while it was in escrow. It is recommended that the furnace and central air is cleaned once a year to maximize the life of them. Also make sure to have a new filter in place in the HVAC system. This will also help with the overall efficiency of the HVAC system.
You Finally Moved! Let Important People and Businesses Know
You finally finished signing thousands of documents, or so it seemed, and the house is finally yours. In all the excitement, you may forget to let others that need to be in the loop know about your move. For instance, it may sound obvious but I’m here to remind you to let your United States Postal Service know about your address change. The easiest and fastest way to do so is to submit your address change online.
Here are a couple more people and/or businesses you should give a heads up to:
- Financial institutions
- Medical offices
- Phone, cable and internet companies
- Relatives and friends
Closing on a New Home Means Deep Cleaning
You want to feel comfortable knowing that your newly bought home is as clean as it can be. Deep cleaning should be on top of your list after closing on a new home. Hiring a professional cleaning company is the easiest way to go, but if you decide to take on this task yourself, keep in mind the differences between general house cleaning vs. deep cleaning.
Throw a Fantastic Housewarming Get-together
Okay now this may not be the most necessary thing of all…I lie, it’s not necessary at all, but who doesn’t love having a good time with friends and family (and getting a few gifts in the process!). It’s your chance to show off your house while having good company, food, and drinks. Worried that you won’t have enough money to feed your guests? Make it a potluck!
Follow these 8 tasks and you are on your way to becoming a happy home owner after closing on a new home. Keep in mind that this is just a small guideline of things you should consider. There are plenty of other tasks that can be done, such as updating the interior walls of your house with a fresh coat of paint. And with that, I leave you a little more knowledgeable and with a handy checklist of tasks to complete after closing on a new home.