8 Things to Do When Moving in to a New House
Moving can be both an incredibly stressful and incredibly rewarding experience. Once you are finally moved in, you may feel a combination of relief and exhaustion, and the last thing you want to hear is that the work is not over. There are things you have to do before you fully settle in, however, and it is best to do them quickly to be protect yourself, your finances, and your new home.
Keep reading to find the 8 things you should do when you are moving in to your new home.
1.Update insurance policies for your new address
As soon as you make the move to a new home, it’s important to remember to update your homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance policy with information about your new home. You’ll also want to update your info with your car insurance company because rates vary by states and region.
If you pay for a home warranty or service plan, you’ll need to update that policy as well. Depending on what kind of home you have to moved into and where, you may actually end up seeing your rate decrease.
2.Take pictures of your new residence
This is true primarily for renters. Right when you move in, even before you start actually moving your stuff in, take pictures of rooms and any damage you find. This is extremely important because you could lose your deposit when you move out if there’s damage to the property. Proof of existing issues makes it clear that you were not the person to cause the damage. Take several photos of anything that you find damaged or not in new condition.
Even if you are buying, you should still take pictures of any damage that wasn’t there before before or wasn’t documented in the home inspection paperwork. After that, contact the seller, tenant, or moving company responsible for the damage and ask them to fix the damage or provide you with equivalent compensation. Be sure to take notes during your conversations with them, if they do not agree to make it right, you may decide to take them to small claims court.
3.Change the locks
Not many Americans take this step however it is a useful one to do. If you’ve purchased a new home, make sure the change the locks on all the doors as soon as you move in. You never know who has copies of keys to the old locks and new locks will help give you peace of mind.
If you are renting, you may want to see if your lease prohibits you from changing the locks. Even if it does, you may want to ask the landlord if she or he will change the locks for you at your own expense or provide evidence that they did so after the previous tenant vacated the premises.
4.Check for leaks
Water damage can cause severe and lasting damage to your new house that can cost a lot to repair. You want to make sure that before you move in, a thorough inspection has been done. Start with a basic visual inspection of the areas under your sinks and around your toilets. Run the water, flush toilets, and watch nearby pipes for leaks.
To find hidden leaks in unseen pipes, turn of all the faucet in your house and make sure the dishwasher isn’t running. Then, check the water meter. If the dial is moving then it is likely that you have a large leak. If you have a slow leak, it will take a while for the water meter dial to change, so wait a few hours and check the dial meter again to make sure.
5.Find your fuse box
When you move in, make sure the find the fuse box in your house. You should always check the fuse box first if your power goes out to rule out any problems with your house before you call the electric company.
If your fuse box is outside your house, lock it to prevent anyone from tamper with your power. If your fuse box is inside, leave a flashlight or a battery powered light nearby. It will come in handy if you ever need to the fuse box when the electricity goes out.
6.Set up your utilities
This one is pretty obvious, especially in 2018, but it is still important to mention that you should set up the services you need – ideally before you even move in. You may need to set up any or all of the following: water, natural gas, electricity, internet, satellite or cable, trash services, and security services. It can take a week or more for a utilities provider to set up your services, so contact the company with your move-in date as early as you can.
7.Change your address and register to vote
Now more than ever it is important that Americans vote. If you haven’t already completed a change of address form with the United States postal service, you can pick one up at the post office to ensure that all mail sent to your old address is forwarded to your new one.
You should also update your voter registration as soon as you can. If there’s an election within 60 days of your move, you can use your old polling place or mail in an absentee vote. Other elections require you to register at least two weeks before the voting date.
8.Get a new license and registration
No matter where you move, if you drive you’re required to get a new driver’s license with an updated address. Most states require you to do this within 30 days of your move.
If you move to a new state, you’ll also need to register your vehicle in that state. You may have up to 60 days to complete the new registration.
If you are yet to purchase a home and looking for help in finding one, check out our guide on best house hunting sites.