You have likely read articles online outlining the Do’s and Don’ts of the home-buying journey, but it’s important to follow a structured checklist while going through the process for yourself. Below you will find a guide that highlights the tips and tricks of home ownership, whether you are in residency or practice.
While connecting your utilities may seem like a simple task, it’s advisable to seek out your local providers (i.e; power and water services) at least one to two weeks prior to your move-in date. It is important that your provider is notified in advance to allow for greater scheduling flexibility on both ends.
Other services worth noting to schedule in advance include internet and cable services. While these are not “necessities” by means, they can incur the same potential scheduling conflicts that can be avoided if planned accordingly.
Since it’s nearly impossible to remember every personal account tied to your mailing address, it’s important to register your new mailing address with the post office online to ensure all mail gets forwarded to your new location. Once you have done this, you will still want to update your driver’s license, bank/investment accounts and insurance policies, as well as other accounts you have paper delivery set up on.
If you are moving into a previously owned home, you may want to consider securing your home with a new security system or rekeying your locks. You don’t know who may have had access to the keys of the external locks on your house or even your mailbox if it is in communal location. To ensure that only you and your family have access to unlock your home, it is best to hire a locksmith to rekey your home or change the locks completely.
It’s a good idea to have a drawer designated for your back up essentials, such as light bulbs, batteries and candles. Once this drawer has been filled, you will want to take a picture of the necessities to ensure you are purchasing the correct items at the store when restocking. Smoke detectors are vital for you and your families’ safety and they are likely battery powered, therefore make sure you have extra batteries to keep the smoke detector running.
Another household item that can be easily overlooked - but utilized every day - is the heating and air system. It’s important to change these filters regularly to avoid system failure and poor air quality. Since filters come in a variety of shapes and sizes, it can be difficult to remember which one your home requires. To avoid a potential mix-up, homeowners should consider auto-delivery– a delivery service that allows you to pick the correct filters online and have it delivered to your doorstep on a specific date.
Moving into a new home will likely cause your monthly expenses to change. Depending on your situation, you will want to take costs such as the mortgage, homeowner’s association fees and utilities into consideration. It’s important to keep a healthy credit score and missing payments could affect this greatly. Fortunately, most service providers allow for easy monthly payments by offering auto-draft payment options and billing management online.
Your new monthly expenses may also affect your budget - a guide that helps you develop healthy financial habits by increasing your awareness of your spending and how much you have left over. If you do not already have a budget plan in place, you will want to start one with your new monthly bills to be able to account for both the inflow and outflow of your money.
Although the idea of home ownership can seem stressful, it’s a huge milestone in one’s life and an accomplishment to feel very proud of. Remembering that organization and planning are key to a smooth experience, all the hard work you put into your new house will have it turned into a home in no time.
If you missed the first two blogs in this home buying series...
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