9 Things To Do Immediately When You Move Into A New Home | Bankrate (2023)

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If you’ve just bought a new home, congratulations are in order. Closing on a house in today’s crazy market is certainly something to be proud of. Now that you’ve made it through making the offer, the home inspection, the mortgage process and the closing, you might think it’s time to kick back, relax and enjoy your new place.

Don’t get too complacent, though. Moving into a new home means you’ll need to take some immediate action to make sure you’ll be a successful homeowner now and in the years to come. Here are some of the first things to do when you buy a new home.

1. Secure your home

One of the first things you should do when you buy a house is to change the locks and garage codes. Lior Rachmany, CEO and founder of Dumbo Moving and Storage in Brooklyn, New York, recommends taking care of these security-related tasks before you move in. “You don’t want the previous homeowners to have the ability to enter your home,” he says.

The cost to change locks can vary based on the level of security, complexity of the lock and whether you choose to hire a professional locksmith or do it yourself. If your home comes with an alarm system, you’ll likely need to pay to reconnect service — or choose a new provider. Ask for the instruction manuals and codes for any electronic systems, like home alarms and garage codes, and make it a priority to change the codes to new configurations that only you will know. If the manuals are not available, you might be able to find reprogramming instructions online.

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Pro tip

“If you are putting off changing your locks, take a good look around the area of your house to see if you find hidden spare keys,” says Rachmany. Homeowners often hide them somewhere and then forget about them. “They can be under large rocks or in the door frame.”

2. Purchase or review your home warranty

Some homebuyers receive a home warranty purchased by the seller to cover the home’s major systems or appliances. After all, the last thing a buyer wants to deal with is a broken dishwasher or HVAC unit. If you received a home warranty, it’s a good time to review the specifics, so you’ll know what’s covered and how to file a claim. If you don’t have one, consider purchasing one, even after closing.

“There are many home warranty companies in the marketplace that cover a variety of items,” says Sergio Gonzalez, a Realtor who leads the SG Associates brokerage in Westlake Village, California. “Be sure to select all the items that are most likely to break down and are expensive to replace.”

Pro tip

Gonzalez recommends shopping around for the best deal on a home warranty, and finding one that’s tailored to your needs. For example, you might want to get coverage on big-ticket items, such as the water heater, furnace, air conditioning unit and kitchen appliances. “The price of these plans will vary based on the size of the home and the plan selected,” he says. Home warranties range in cost from about $350 to $600, depending on coverage and the length of the contract.

3. Connect the utilities

It’s smart to connect all of your must-have utilities — like water, gas and electricity — before you move in. This will help pave the way for a smooth move-in process and ensure you have the essential necessities as you’re getting settled in.

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Pro tip

Plan ahead! Depending on your neighborhood and local service providers, there can be hoops to jump through to connect utilities. Check with your local providers to determine the process, what type of ownership or residence verification you need, and how far in advance you should schedule turn-on.

4. Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

To help ensure you and your family are safe in your new home, make sure all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working condition. This may include installing fresh batteries or replacing entire units. “Smoke detectors should ideally be placed in a hallway leading to your bedrooms,” Rachmany says. “Fires are most likely to start from your kitchen or your laundry room, so it’s a good idea to place smoke detectors there too. If you live in a home with multiple floors, make sure there’s at least one smoke detector on each floor.”

Pro tip

Most home safety experts recommend checking and changing the batteries in your detectors every six months. If you keep a family calendar, it’s easy to set a reminder. Check with your local fire department for help, too; some offer free inspections and testing if you call the non-emergency line to schedule an appointment.

5. Use your inspection report as a to-do list for maintenance

After you buy a house, address any issues that were flagged on the home inspection report that the seller didn’t fix, Gonzalez says. Using the home inspection report as a guide, make a list of things to repair, update or maintain for the future, ranking them from most to least urgent. You’ll want to address items that can potentially cause problems later, such as dirty gutters, leaky pipes or doors and windows that need to be resealed.

Pro tip

Regular maintenance is critical to keeping any home running in tip-top shape. Putting in the sweat equity to maintain your home — or paying a pro to do it for you — prevents costly repair headaches later on. A well-maintained home can also command a higher sale price when you’re ready to sell.

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6. Refresh the paint

One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to make a house your home is to give the interior a fresh coat of paint. The best part: No one can dictate your color palette or timeline; it’s all on your terms. If you get the painting done (either DIY or with help from a professional) before moving your furniture in, you won’t have to move pieces around again and worry about splatter getting on your valuables.

Pro tip

If you’re hiring a professional painter, ask if they’ll give you a discount for having empty rooms. Since they can simply lay a dropcloth flat on the floor, rather than having to carefully cover furniture, the job may go faster for them — and cost less for you.

7. Refresh the flooring

Just like refreshing the walls with new paint, refreshing or refinishing floors is cheaper and easier to do when your home is still empty. Flooring can make a huge difference in a home’s appearance. If yours are in less-than-pristine condition, consider replacing old carpets or refinishing existing hardwoods before you move in.

Pro tip

If the sellers didn’t have the floors steam-cleaned before you bought the property, have them professionally cleaned before you move in. Even decades-old tile can take on a brand new appearance after a thorough professional cleaning.

8. Find the circuit box, review emergency shut-offs and appliance manuals

Even if your new home isn’t brand new, it’s new to you! So it’s vital to understand how things work. One of the first things to do when you buy a house is to find the emergency shut-offs and the circuit-breaker box. If the box isn’t labeled, add labels to the individual circuits so you know which ones go to which room or appliance. Finally, gather up all the appliance manuals, so you know how everything works.

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Pro tip

Come up with a filing system for manuals and documentation for your appliances and home systems — that way, if something goes wrong, you won’t have to scramble to find them. If some of your new home’s appliances don’t have manuals passed along from the previous homeowners, do a quick online search. Most companies publish manuals on their websites for easy access.

9. Create a maintenance schedule

Think of maintaining your new home as a marathon rather than a sprint. Instead of trying to tackle all of the maintenance tasks immediately, be thoughtful about the things that need to be done over time. This may include replacing air filters, cleaning the gutters, pressure washing the exterior and more.

Pro tip

Create a home maintenance checklist that’s realistic for your household. Budget for those tasks each year, as well as unexpected repairs. The general rule of thumb is to save a minimum of 1 percent of the home’s purchase price each year for repairs. You might decide to hire pros to handle some of these tasks, so factor that into your budget, too.

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What are the first things to bring into a new home? ›

Here are 30 items you should definitely bring for the first days in your new home:
  • Keys. Don't laugh — we forget the obvious all the time, and you'll be in real trouble without these.
  • A basic first-aid kit. ...
  • Chargers. ...
  • A portable alarm clock. ...
  • Spare batteries. ...
  • Sheets and a pillow. ...
  • Extra changes of clothing. ...
  • Toiletries.

What are the most important things in a new home? ›

Here's what to look for when buying a home.
  • The Location. They say the three most important things to think about when buying a home are location, location, location. ...
  • The Neighborhood. ...
  • The Size and the Floor Plan. ...
  • The Kitchen. ...
  • The Closets and Storage. ...
  • The Windows and Lighting.
Jul 19, 2022

How do you move into a new house? ›

So in the spirit of first things first, our first 10 tips focus on preparation.
  1. Change your mailing address with the USPS. ...
  2. Change your address online. ...
  3. Send a moving announcement. ...
  4. Start packing early. ...
  5. Have a garage sale. ...
  6. Register your vehicles. ...
  7. Register to vote. ...
  8. Find new care providers (if necessary)
Jul 22, 2020

What should you not do after buying a house? ›

Read on so you're not blind-sided just before closing.
  1. Don't change jobs, quit your job, or become self-employed just before or during the loan process. ...
  2. Don't lie on your loan application. ...
  3. Don't buy a car. ...
  4. Don't lease a new car. ...
  5. Don't change banks. ...
  6. Don't get credit card happy. ...
  7. Don't apply for a new credit card.
Feb 11, 2017

What not to do after closing on a house? ›

What Not To Do While Closing On a House
  1. Avoid Big Charges on a Credit Card. Do not rack up credit card debt. ...
  2. Be Careful with Trends. ...
  3. Do Not Neglect Your Neighbors. ...
  4. Don't Miss Tax Breaks. ...
  5. Keep Your Real Estate Agent Close. ...
  6. Save That Mail. ...
  7. Celebrate!
Feb 26, 2021

What is the luckiest day to move house? ›

Move into your new home on a Thursday, considered by some to be the luckiest day. That is, unless everyone else is moving on a Thursday, which will make getting a van pretty difficult.

What first time homeowners should know? ›

Preparing to buy tips
  • Start saving early.
  • Decide how much home you can afford.
  • Check and strengthen your credit.
  • Explore mortgage options.
  • Research first-time home buyer assistance programs.
  • Compare mortgage rates and fees.
  • Get a preapproval letter.
  • Choose a real estate agent carefully.
Aug 14, 2020

What do you need in a house checklist? ›

Wants Vs Needs Checklist
  • Specific carpeting, paint, exterior color.
  • Pool.
  • Jacuzzi.
  • Hardwood floors, tile, carpet.
  • Bay windows.
  • Built-in entertainment center.
  • Brass lighting fixtures.
  • Skylights.

What should I unpack first after moving? ›

In terms of the order in which you unpack, you'll want to start with your bedrooms first. After the move, you'll likely be exhausted and want to head to bed fairly early. This way, your bed will be waiting for you. Next, you should tackle the kitchen, followed by your main living space.

Is there a checklist for moving? ›

Pack all non-essentials first. These include items you won't need in the weeks leading up to the move, including books, home decor items and electronics. Pack essentials last. These include kitchen items, dinnerware, clothing, toiletries and any other items you'll need in the days leading up to the move.

What should I not tell an estate agent? ›

10 Things You Should Never Say to a Real Estate Agent
  • “I want to buy a home, but I don't want to commit to one agent.” ...
  • “Don't show my home unless I'm available.” ...
  • “But Zillow said…” ...
  • “I'll get pre-approved for a mortgage later.” ...
  • “I don't want to bother my Realtor®. ...
  • “Real-a-tor” ...
  • “Oh, you sell real estate?

What is the most stressful part of buying a house? ›

Negotiating your home's price is often the single most stressful part of buying a home. It can be tempting to fall into a bidding war with other buyers and continue to up your offer.

How long does it take to adjust to a new home? ›

It is a good idea to plan a year to 18 months for this major life transition. This does not mean that you will be feeling lost for the entire 18 months, but it's good to give yourself the expectation that it may take that long before your new place truly feels like home.

What to wear to house closing? ›

It doesn't matter how you dress, whatever makes you comfortable. All the buyer wants is your money (you most likely won't even see him) and the lender only cares that your credit is good.

What is a closing checklist? ›

A list of things to be done and items to be delivered before a transaction can be closed. Responsibility for each item is typically allocated among the parties on the checklist. The status of each item is updated periodically and circulated to the parties in preparation for closing.

Does closing on a house mean you get the keys? ›

Buyers often wonder: “Do you get the keys to the house at closing?” You signed all the paperwork. So, you get the keys right away, right? Not so fast. Signing your documents is just one part of a closing.

Which animal means good luck? ›

Bulls are known for bringing luck to a variety of cultures. Greek, Celtic, Egyptian and East Indian people all see the animal as a powerful force.

Which animal statue is good for home? ›

The elephant figure has its own importance, according to Feng Shui, as well as Vastu Shastra. Elephants, in Feng Shui, symbolise power, wisdom, good luck and fertility. People often include statues and paintings of elephants, to bring positivity to a home.

What should be placed in front of main door? ›

Nameplate according to Vastu

Installing a nameplate is one of the most important Vastu tips. It is believed that having a nameplate on the main door or in the front of the entrance invites good health, wealth, and prosperity.

Which Colour is lucky for kitchen? ›

White is the best colour for kitchen as per vastu. That's because it disseminates positive energy and is the ideal kitchen colour for walls and floors. If your kitchen faces the north-west direction, choosing white kitchen colour as per vastu will work especially well to increase beneficial vibes.

What is the luckiest object? ›

Here are some of the most well-known signs of good luck:
  • 1) Elephants.
  • 2) Horseshoes.
  • 3) Four Leaf Clovers.
  • 4) Keys.
  • 5) Shooting Stars.

Is 2022 a good year to move house? ›

2022 will remain a strong sellers' market

If you do decide to sell your home this year, your chances of a finding a buyer are very high, as we're still seeing huge levels of buyer demand, and not enough homes available. Despite this month's seasonal price fall, we expect asking prices to rise by another 5% in 2022.

When should you throw pineapple in a new house? ›

Good luck begins on day one – once you've gotten your keys, it's time to welcome wealth and prosperity into your new home. Before you step in, roll a pineapple into the house while saying “huat ah!” Take note of where the pineapple stops – this is said to be your “fortune position”.

What is the tradition of bringing bread and salt to a new home? ›


Bread and salt, in Russian Jewish tradition, represent hospitality. They should be the first things to be brought into the home; bread, so the owners never experience hunger, and salt, so their life will be full of flavour.

What to do after you have bought a house? ›

There are still a few important steps you need to take immediately after buying your house.
You can even download our checklist to help you get organized.
  1. Hook up Your Utilities. ...
  2. Do a Deep Clean. ...
  3. Change Your Locks. ...
  4. Reset Your Garage Security Code. ...
  5. Forward Your Old Mail. ...
  6. Change Your Address. ...
  7. Unpack Your Boxes. ...
  8. Buy a Safe.
Feb 18, 2020

What are the 5 steps in the home buying process? ›

5 steps to buy a house, for first-time home buyers
  1. Pay off all your existing debts.
  2. Invest in multiple assets.
  3. Track your spending.
  4. Standing instructions for automatic transfer of money.
  5. Maintaining a balance between rent and EMIs.
Jan 19, 2020

How much should you spend on a house? ›

As a general rule, you shouldn't spend more than about 33% of your monthly gross income on housing.

What are five good features of an ideal house? ›

The Top 7 Qualities of An Ideal House Built By The Good Real Estate Developers
  • The home should be airy and well-ventilated. ...
  • The design of the interiors should be ergonomic. ...
  • The material used in construction should be of good quality. ...
  • The height of the ceilings should be between 10-12 feet.
Mar 21, 2018

What are amenities in a home? ›

Defined as a desirable or useful feature of a building or place, amenities look to provide comfort and convenience for tenants occupying the property. Amenities encompass additions that are in excess of the basic needs of an individual, and usually include features such as pools, workout facilities, and internet.

What a modern house should have? ›

  • LARGE WINDOWS. The large windows of modern homes are designed to let in as much natural light as possible.
  • METAL. ...
  • CONCRETE. ...
  • WOOD + STONE. ...
  • ASYMMETRY. ...

What every modern house should have? ›

10 Must-Have Pieces Every Home Needs
  • A Pair of Lamps. Some things are better in pairs than they are on their own. ...
  • An Occasional Chair. ...
  • A Well-Made, Comfortable Couch. ...
  • A Piece of Artwork You Love. ...
  • A Great Mattress. ...
  • A Heavenly Set of Sheets. ...
  • A Pair of Side Chairs. ...
  • Something Living.

What are the 10 household materials? ›

10 Household Products & Home Items Never To Cheap Out On (PHOTOS)
  • Sheets. ...
  • Dishwasher Detergent. ...
  • Air Fresheners. ...
  • Paper Towels. ...
  • Toilet Paper. ...
  • Bath Towels. ...
  • Paint. ...
  • Light Bulbs.
Aug 7, 2013

What should I unpack first after moving? ›

In terms of the order in which you unpack, you'll want to start with your bedrooms first. After the move, you'll likely be exhausted and want to head to bed fairly early. This way, your bed will be waiting for you. Next, you should tackle the kitchen, followed by your main living space.

What do you need to do once you move? ›

Moving-In Checklist: What to Do After You Move
  1. 01 of 10. Clean Your New Space Before You Unpack. ...
  2. 02 of 10. Arrange the Furniture. ...
  3. 03 of 10. Start Unpacking! ...
  4. 04 of 10. Organize Your Closets. ...
  5. 05 of 10. Set Up Utilities and Services. ...
  6. 06 of 10. Make a List of Emergency Numbers. ...
  7. 07 of 10. Collect Your Moving Receipts. ...
  8. 08 of 10.
Jul 19, 2020


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