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Posted in: Buying a home

8 things to do when moving into a new home

changing the locks on a door

Key insights

  • Think security and safety first by changing locks and locating power, water and gas shut off valves and planning for emergencies.
  • Do a deep clean, including having carpets steam cleaned and changing the toilet seats.
  • Meet the neighbors and get acquainted with your new surroundings using tools like Nextdoor or Facebook community groups.

Once you’ve found your perfect house, packed up all your belongings and signed the closing documents, it’s finally time to move in. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, moving can be especially stressful. We’ve pulled together some tasks that are best done immediately upon taking possession of your new home in Minnesota or western Wisconsin.

Change the locks

You don’t know who may have had copies of keys to your home before you move in, so it’s safest to get new locks. You should also change the code for your garage door opener key pad and reprogram the openers. Here are some other good security measures you can take to keep your new home safe.

Find the utility shut-offs

Locate the breaker box, main water valve and gas shut off valve. We all hope it never happens, but being prepared for an emergency like burst water pipes can help minimalize damage. You don’t want to be searching for the shut-offs in a panic. While you’re at it, test the circuit breaker and ensure that each circuit is correctly and clearly labeled. If you’re moving in the winter in Minnesota or western Wisconsin, it’s also a good idea to check and make sure outdoor faucets have been winterized.

Do a deep clean

Before you move in your furniture, consider having the carpets steam cleaned. It will never be as easy as when you don’t have any furniture to move. You can rent one and do it yourself, or hire a pro.

Other cleaning that you should either do yourself or hire out before moving in all your belongings includes wiping out the cabinets, deep cleaning bathrooms, the kitchen and appliances.

Change the toilet seat

The people who lived here before you could be the cleanest people on earth, but some things are just better to be your own from day one, plus it will allow you to clean out under the bolts and hinges which are notoriously difficult to clean. You can’t go wrong with plain white, but if you’re feeling adventurous, check out these unique seats.

Change the furnace filter

You may not know when the filter was changed last, so it’s a good idea to get on a schedule from the get-go. A dirty filter can restrict airflow and keep your furnace from running efficiently. Take this opportunity to get to know your furnace. If it’s your first home, it’s likely the first time you’ve had to worry about furnace filters, so here’s a handy air filter buying guide.

Plan for emergencies

Now is a good time to test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, determine the best location to shelter during a tornado and designate an outdoor meeting place in case of fire. It’s also a good idea to map the nearest emergency room and program the non-emergency numbers for your police and fire departments into your phone.

Meet the neighbors

Getting off to a good start with neighbors can make it easier to love your new neighborhood. They can be a great source of information for everything from what the best schools are to the best place for a night out. Engaged neighbors also help keep each other safe. Ask if there is an online community like Nextdoor or a local Facebook group you can join to become part of the wider neighborhood, as well.

Throw a party

During the throes of moving, hosting a soiree may seem like the last thing you want to do, but schedule your housewarming party for a couple months after your move-in date. This will give you a deadline and motivation to get everything unpacked and in shape for entertainment. You can even start an online wish list on sites like Amazon for home items you may need.

Ready to get started?

If you’re ready to put this task list into action, our customer care team can connect you with a REALTOR® to get you started.

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