Posted in: Buying a home, Homeowner tips, First time homebuyer tips

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 — and you may be tempted to put off some important, but tedious to-dos.

We’ve pulled together some tasks that are best done immediately upon taking possession of your new home in Minnesota or western Wisconsin.

Do a deep clean

The most commonly-used purchase agreement in Minnesota merely requires the sellers to remove all debris and personal property, while in Wisconsin’s standard contract, the sellers must leave the home in “broom swept” condition. So many buyers may find their new house is less-than-sparkling upon move-in.

Plan in advance to:

  • Rent a steam cleaner for the carpets
  • Wipe out cabinets and closets
  • Deep clean bathrooms, kitchens and appliances
  • Tackle the seven (secretly) dirtiest areas of the home

You may also wish to hire carpet cleaners or a cleaning crew to come in before you move in your belongings.

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 keypad 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 minimize 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.

Change the toilet seat

This one needs no explanation. Some things are just better when they’re new to you! Plus, replacing the seat will allow you to clean out under the bolts and hinges, which are notoriously difficult to access.

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.

If it’s your first home or this is the first time you’ve had to worry about furnace filters, here’s a handy air filter buying guide.

Plan for emergencies

While it may seem a bit alarmist, now is the best time to:

  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Find a location for your fire extinguisher (think easy access).
  • Determine the best location to shelter during a tornado.
  • Designate an outdoor meeting place in case of fire.

Plus, take ten minutes to map the nearest emergency room and to 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 schools, to block history, to the best walking trails.

When you meet your new neighbors, ask if there is a local Facebook group you can join or an email list where they all keep in touch. You can also sign up for Nextdoor, a social media site that acts as a local online hub for different neighborhoods.

Throw a party

Hosting a soiree may seem like the last thing you want to do, but schedule your housewarming party — whether in person — once you’ve settled in. This will give you a deadline and motivation to get everything unpacked and in shape for entertaining.

Ready to get started?

To put this task list into action, Contact Edina Realty or your REALTOR®. We’ll get you the insights and guidance you need to find the right new home

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