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What To Do After Closing
After you finish signing all the documents at the closing of your new home, you’ll get handed the keys and officially own it. However, there are some things every new homeowner needs to do to ensure your transition from your old home to your new one is smooth.
Your real estate agent can help you figure out what you need to do depending on the area where your new home is located, but every area is different. You’ll need to know what to do after closing, no matter where you move. Here’s a list of essential things to do after closing a home.
Call Pest Control
Did you know? According to Young and the Invested, millennials spend less on housing than previous generations. Unfortunately, when you choose to spend less on a home, you might be left with a fixer-upper with a pest problem you won’t know about until you move in. Even if you paid a premium price on your home, you should still call a pest control company to help you avoid any unwanted roommates.
Change Your Driver’s License
The laws vary depending on the state, but most states require you to change the address of your license within a few weeks of moving. If you’re moving to a new state, make sure you change your address just to be on the safe side. If you get pulled over, you don’t want to be issued a ticket because you didn’t follow this simple law.
Additionally, you also have to take a written exam to be licensed to drive in a new state. While you won’t need a new license if you’re going through a state, you might need to retake a state-specific driving exam if you plan to live in a new state, which might have different local laws regarding driving.
Keep Your Documents Safe
Your mortgage lender will issue you copies of the closing papers and other mortgage documents. If you don’t already have one, purchase a safe or put your paperwork in a safe deposit box at the local bank. You should keep all of these critical documents inside, along with your birth certificate, social security card, passport, and other official documents.
Call Your Car Insurance Company
Insurance companies might not operate in a new state, so you should check to ensure you’re covered at your new home if you’re moving across state lines. Insurance premiums also fluctuate depending on where you live, so if you move to a new city, call your insurance company to inform them of your change of address. Some states might also require you to have insurance from a state company. For example, Florida requires your car insurance to be issued from a Florida-based company.
Once you’ve officially changed your address, you can start moving in. If you’re moving from one house to another, you might have a ton of stuff to move. Hiring a moving company to move your stuff can help reduce some of the stress that comes with moving to a new home. They’ll take care of all of the heavy lifting so you can focus on organizing and designing the house.
Clean Your Gutters
Unless explicitly stated by the home sellers, you don’t know the last time the gutters were cleaned. However, you need clean gutters to prevent problems like water leaking into your home. While it’s not a pretty job, cleaning your gutters will ensure your home won’t get damaged in a big storm.
Meet the Neighbors
It’s always a good idea to meet your neighbors as soon as possible, especially if you have children. You can easily meet neighbors by knocking on their doors or catching them outside and introducing yourself, your spouse, or your children. Knowing your neighbors can make your life easier because you’ll be part of a community that helps care for one another. For example, you might have a neighbor with children the same age as yours, so playdates can be simple and easy. Not only that, but you could take turns babysitting and carpooling.
Change Your Furnace Filter
Always replace furnace and air conditioner filters as soon as you move in and every three months after. Changing your filters can help your appliances work more efficiently and allow you to breathe cleaner air, and it can also remove odors and prevent the growth of mold.
Change the Locks
Always schedule a locksmith to come by and change the locks on your home as soon as you move in. Changing your locks can help keep your family and your stuff safe because you never know who the old homeowners gave a key to. A locksmith will rekey your locks, or you can choose to get keyless locks. You should also reset the garage door keypad so nobody else will know the code.
Test Smoke Detectors
You should never assume that the smoke detectors in your new home are working properly. Instead of taking a risk, all you have to do is press the little test button on the smoke detector to ensure it’s working properly. Check all of the monitors as soon as you move into your home. You should also check any existing CO detectors and replace batteries if necessary.
It’s always a good idea to go through your new home and check for maintenance issues. You should note minor problems, including scratches and dings on the wall and larger problems, such as broken windows. As soon as you find a problem, begin making a maintenance list.
Once your maintenance list is complete, you can reorder the items by priority. Obviously, larger problems such as a broken water heater will be more important than a pinhole in the wall, but you should also give yourself a timeframe for when you should get things done. For example, you might choose to make a note to call a maintenance specialist as soon as possible.
Closing on a home isn’t the end of your adventure. Since you now officially own the home, you’ll be responsible for taking care of it and making repairs on your own dime. Always make sure to meet the neighbors and learn about your new neighborhood as soon as you move in so you can start making friends and become a part of the community.