Buying a brand-new home is an exciting adventure, and you are probably trying to do everything right, from double-checking that you can afford the mortgage to maintaining the home from the very start. Whether this is your first time owning a home or you are an old pro at it, you might miss some of these essential first tasks to do when owning a home.
#1. Be sure to change the locks.
You have no idea how many people might have keys to your house. One of the first things you should always do is change the locks on any doors that might have a key floating around somewhere. This is an inexpensive thing to do and it’s something you can probably do yourself.
#2. Adjust slowly to the energy change.
If you’ve only moved across town and you’ve moved into a similar sized home, you may not have a lot of adjustments to your energy bills. But, if you’ve moved from a smaller apartment into a larger home or utilities have changed, such as you used to have electricity and now you have natural gas or oil, energy bills could change. A good way to adjust slowly to those changes is to close off any rooms that you find yourself not using within the first couple of weeks. Perhaps it’s an extra bedroom, office, or downstairs bathroom that simply doesn’t get used. This is a good way to adjust to your utilities because you’re not heating the entire house or using electricity in those rooms.
#3. Meet your neighbors.
I know this can be a little awkward sometimes, but one of the best ways to casually meet your neighbors is by going for a walk through your neighborhood. You can either walk the dog or simply take an evening stroll. You might see people out in their driveways, washing their cars, playing in their yards, or painting their house. It’s a good time to stop, say hi, and let them know you’ve moved in.
[Read More: The Trending Neighborhoods in Northern Virginia]
#4. Sign up for the Nextdoor website.
Though community website Or is a great place to meet your neighbors, share local information, talk about issues that the community might be having or gather recommendations for restaurants in the area, babysitters or handyman.
#5. Clean the carpets.
If this wasn’t done before moving in or the previous homeowner didn’t have the carpets cleaned when they moved out, it’s a good first step before moving furniture in. In some cases, the contract may actually require previous homeowners to clean the carpets before you move in. Regardless, having them cleaned can extend their life, improve air quality and remove allergens. Plus, you’ll probably be sitting on the carpet, maybe even playing or rolling around on the carpet, so you wanted to be as clean as possible.
#6. Replace batteries and filters.
Go through the house and replace all the batteries in smoke detectors, CO detectors, and replace filters above the range and in the furnace.
#7. Wipe out all cabinets, drawers, and cupboards.
These are the places that often get forgotten. You might find old crumbs, a sticky or greasy residue, or even items left behind drawers that got shoved back there unbeknownst to the previous homeowner. We have found a lot of items behind drawers that the previous owner didn’t have a clue were back there.
Moving into a new house can be fun, but you’ll also want to protect yourself with a good cleaning, get to know the neighborhood, change the locks and feel secure about your new home.
Ready to buy a home in Northern Virginia or surrounding communities, towns and counties? Give one of our agents a call today. We specialize in helping people buy and sell throughout this area and would love to help you meet your real estate needs today.