If you’ve just purchased your first home, congratulations! While a special time, it can also be a stressful one full of long lists of to-dos and panic in the form of forgotten tasks. We’ve rounded up a few tips to help get you started with both short- and long-term to-dos for your new journey as a brand-new homeowner.
1. Clean, Clean, Clean
Unless your newly acquired home is brand new (and even then), you’ll want to put a deep clean at the top of your list before moving in. You can consult a professional cleaning service to be extra thorough as they usually offer a move-in/move-out cleaning package specifically for new homeowners. You can also try out RICs house survey.
Or, you can take some time, maybe invite some generous friends, and deep-clean the parts of the home that prior owners may have neglected. These less conspicuous areas include baseboards, inside cupboards, blinds, vents, dishwashers, and carpets. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try working room by room, top to bottom.
2. Don’t Forget the Smaller Things
There are a few things that, in the hustle and bustle of moving, you might skip over as you focus on unpacking, but neglecting these things can mean big problems later. These simpler actions can make a world of difference in the end.
- Change the Locks – For an added layer of safety, it’s important that you change your home’s locks so that old renters and homeowners are not able to access the home with their keys. Even if keys were handed over during the move, anyone at any point could’ve made a copy. Be sure to consult a locksmith for an inexpensive switch.
- Change the Garage Door Code – Similar to locks, you’ll want to change the garage door code if your home comes with one. This is another way for former residents to access the home, as anyone with the code can open the garage and subsequently break into the home. While it may seem unlikely, the added layer of safety means protecting what matters most.
- Forward Your Mail – In addition to switching your address over with individual businesses you receive mail from, you can also do a blanket post office mail forwarding. This way, there is no lost mail while you make your move, even if you forget to notify one business, and all new mail will come to you in the end.
3. Opt for Life Insurance
While purchasing a home is a joyous time, you also need to prepare for the unexpected. It’s important to consider how you will pay for the home in the case of you or a partner dying.
There are two primary choices most homeowners have. The first option is mortgage protection insurance, which in the case of a death, the sum of your mortgage would be paid by the insurance company directly to the loan servicer. Your loved ones will not profit from this benefit and will never see the insurance money, and the benefit will decrease as you pay off your mortgage — while your premiums stay flat.
The second option to protect your home is term life insurance. With this, your dependents will be directly paid the amount of the policy you’ve purchased. This option is more flexible as dependents can use the term life insurance payout to pay off the mortgage or, if you’ve paid more of it off, use it towards other debts or investments. Term life insurance is a more flexible option that can have the same benefits as mortgage protection insurance without the restrictions, and term life insurance quotes can be equally affordable.
It’s important when purchasing your first home to think of the present and worst-case scenarios. You will also want to pay adequate attention to both the big and small tasks as they are all important for the longevity of your home and its outcome. Preparing for the things you know are coming and the things you least expect will set you and your loved ones up for a long and happy future in the new home.