After helping people buy houses and condos for over 20 years we have some ideas about things to do when moving into a new home. Below is our 10 things to do When Moving Into A New Home list. Some of the items will apply to you and some won’t.
1. Change the locks… Very Important for all new home buyers.
You may not have considered putting new locks on the doors, but 66 percent of burglaries happen in residential areas. The big issue is you never know who the previous homeowner gave keys. This also gives you an opportunity to make sure all the locks are working. If you are a bit of DYI person, just pull the old locks and take them to your local hardware store that offers this service. Make sure and label each lock’s location so you know where they go after the re-keying.
2. A little cleaning may be needed before you move in or shortly after.
If you’re new to your home, you’ve probably had movers come through your home, and they bring quite a bit of dirt and dust with them. To start fresh, you can hire a maid service for as little as $100. If you do it yourself, begin with a thorough cleaning of any hardwood, tile or carpet. Wash the baseboards, dust ceiling fan blades and vacuum your dryer vents.
3. Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Check every smoke and carbon monoxide alarm in your home and change all the batteries. Put a note in your calendar to check them again in about 1 year,
4. Check air filters and ducts.
Change the AC system filters. It’s not a bad idea to vacuum the inlet duct too. Experts say simple pleated air filters are best as they allow good air flow while catching dust. Some of the exotic filers may restrict air flow and limit the effectiveness of your air condition/heater. We also suggest you replace the battery in your thermostat if it has one. Most smart thermostats have batteries.
5. Have your AC/Heat system checked and serviced.
Having your AC system checked out is a good idea. This is especially important if you or the home seller bought a home warranty. Many home warranty companies deny claims for issues considered lack of maintenance. Having an invoice showing you had the system checked will help insure they cover your claims. If the service tech finds problems, use your home warranty company to make the repairs… that’s what they do.
6. Clean out the rain gutters and trim back overhanging branches.
This may be something you hire out or do yourself. Either way it is important to keep branches from rubbing your roof and clean gutters, if you have them, help keep water from damaging your roof and fascia.
7. Check off items from your home inspection that were not done by the Seller.
If you had a home inspector come and check out the home it’s a good idea to go through the report and fix items the Seller did not. The second part of the inspection report is a summary of items the inspector felt needed attention. Keeping a home well maintained pays for itself down the line. The old adage of “you can pay me now or pay me later” comes to mind.
8. Check the landscape watering system and timer.
Run each sprinkler valve and see what part of the yard it services. Label your timer so you know in the future. Make sure the sprinklers, valves, emitters and such are all functioning. This is especially important in the spring so you don’t lose plants when summer’s heat takes hold. We have a article from a landscaper that goes into more detail. If you need a great landscape person, his info is there. https://urbanconnectionrealty.com/2014/02/phoenix-springtime-landscaping-tips-real-pro/.
9. Read though your home warranty so you know what you can call them to fix.
Many people forget they received a home warranty when they bought their home. Look through the coverage brochure so you know what they will repair should a problem arise. Generally, they cover items including:
- AC/Heat systems
- Hot water heaters
- Garbage disposers
- Stoves, ovens, microwaves and dishwashers
- Garage door openers and springs
- Ceiling fans
- Interior electrical and plumbing
Many people in the Phoenix area buy homes with pools. You may be hiring someone to take care of it. This is often a good idea, especially in the beginning or if you are moving in during summer when pools can be tough to keep clean. Either way, learning how the various valves operate, how to back wash the filter, signs of a pool cleaner needing service and general water quality issues is advised.
We hope this info helps you to enjoy your home to its fullest. Home maintenance is simply part of home ownership and it is generally much less expensive to keep things in shape than fixing them after they break.
Gene Urban and Ron Urban
The Urban Team at Realty Executives
Connecting people to the perfect place for over 20 years