Congratulations, you've bought your home and it's move-in time. Wait! Before you move in, read on to get some practical and important tips.
Change the locks. You've closed escrow and the keys to your new home are yours.
The first thing you should do is change the locks. It's hard to say who may have access to your home. Anyone from real estate agents to the sellers or maintenance people: all could still have a set of keys to your home. Be safe and change the locks first thing.
If the home doesn't have deadbolts on the doors, install them. If the door has glass on it, be sure you install a deadbolt that uses a key to unlock from both sides.
If someone is breaking into your house and there is glass on the door, it can be shattered and the intruder can just reach through the broken glass and turn the deadbolt. Instead, use a key deadbolt and keep an extra key near the door but out of reach and out of sight from the outside.
Create an inventory of your belongings. Don't risk losing something that means a lot to you. Take an inventory of all your belongings. It's best if you can pack your items in clearly labeled and numbered boxes that are marked for particular rooms, such as kitchen or bathroom supplies.
Using an inventory sheet to detail what each box contains will make it so much easier to unpack and remember where things are. You may need to find something quickly before you're fully unpacked. If you're using movers or friends and family to help, the inventory sheet will also help you keep track of your stuff and make sure that it all ends up in your new home. You can find moving inventory sheets on the Web.
Repair and paint while the home is empty. It's a no-brainer but sometimes goes overlooked. If you have to make major repairs, try to do them before you move in. It's easier to take care of major maintenance or messy repair jobs when the home is empty.
So, give your new home a good look and mark down the maintenance needs, then try to plan your move-in dates for after the work is completed. Even if the work is being done in an entirely different room, it still helps to have the house empty. That way you can feel better about leaving workers in the home while you're not there because your home is empty.
Whole-House cleaning. It's maybe the only time you'll have this opportunity. Give the entire house a good top-to-bottom cleaning. It's a great way to start a new life in a fresh, clean home. Plus it's a lot easier to clean everything when nothing is inside to be moved around.
This is a good time to make sure things like smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are all functioning properly. Change the batteries on them so that you can track the need for new batteries with the anniversary of the home purchase.
Thinking ahead and taking a few extra steps will save you time and energy. It will simplify the move-in process and make your home a safe place to get good sleep on your first night.