It has been a long journey, but finally, you can claim victory – you’re officially a home owner! But just because you’ve completed closing and have made a home investment, that doesn’t mean the process is over. In fact, there are still some things you need to know and manage as you’re taking possession of your new abode. You’re going to want to manage some new home challenges: home cleaning, home protection, homeowner’s insurance and more.
Firstly, you’ll want to keep a close eye on all the documents you were given during closing. They’ll come in handy during tax season so your accountant can accurately detail your purchase for deductions. You’ll also want to have them available for the same reason if you sell the house in the future, as you might have to take care of estate taxes – and those documents can help you to determine how much.
Next, you’ll also want to figure out how to handle your new utility accounts – things like gas and water, sewage and trash service. Of course, the owners should take care of these costs up to your official closing date, but you’ll also want to make sure you’ve done the official transfer on each of those accounts into your name so that they’re officially yours.
And while most sellers will leave their home reasonably clean for your move-in, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be in tip top, sparkling clean shape. Consider hiring a cleaning crew to go in and get your new space ready for your arrival – and if you’re planning on painting, get that all squared away, too. That way your home will truly be move-in ready by the time you take the first box through your front door.
Later on, after a couple of weeks, get in touch with your local office that deals with property records to ensure your deed has been recorded.
Once you’ve secured your homeowner’s insurance and completely moved in, you’ll want to make a record of all your valuables just in case of emergency. It’s been suggested to take pictures or even record video of a walk-through so everything is carefully documented, but check with your insurance adjuster to see what’s best for them. In addition to homeowner’s insurance, make sure you also secure fire and liability insurance – and if necessary in the area you live in, insurance that covers floods, wind damage and other natural disasters. Your home is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make in your life, so you want to make sure it’s protected.
Now you’re ready to settle in and make the place your own. Enjoy the process of getting to know your new home!