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Moving into your new home is a very busy, and exciting time. There’s furniture to move in, walls and floors to decorate, big electronics to set up and much more. There are also, however, some tasks that need to be tackled by new homeowners that are decidedly less exciting. Boring, some might say. And yet they are just as essential to ensuring a smooth transition into your new place, and your new life. Here is a look at some of them.
Make Sure You Understand Your Mortgage Statement
You will find that there’s a lot of details to review when you receive your first mortgage statement. Although all of this is important, you will want to pay careful attention to the amount due, how to pay it and the due date, which will help you remain on track with on-time payments from the beginning. You can also find the contact details of your loan servicer on your statement-use this resource if you have questions related to your home loan.
Do Not Pay Attention to Refinance Offers
The rise in unsolicited mail you will receive after buying a home is one thing you will notice right away, as your information becomes a public record.
Specifically, you’re going to see a lot of refinance offers coming in, but beware of them, as they could end up being very costly for you. In the world of mortgage repayment, refinancing is usually not advantageous early on, especially as you will need to fork out closing costs again having only just paid them!
Some factors, including the opportunity to lower your interest rate, adjust the terms of your loan, or decrease the life of your loan, can make it worthwhile down the road, but usually not until you are several years into ownership of your new home.
Gather, Sort and Store Important Documentation
You will sign a stack of legal papers on closing day to formally complete the deal on your new home, and copies of all documents will be given to you.
It is important to hold on to this information, and store it somewhere safe, as when tax season comes around it be to your advantage to have all this stuff close to hand. That’s because homeownership gives you some pretty fantastic tax savings opportunities, and because your mortgage declaration at the end of the year does not reflect items you paid at closing, you will have the paperwork you need to claim your tax breaks right at your fingertips.
Make a Home Valuables Inventory
The day you sign the title to your new home, your home insurance will take effect, but there is still work to be done after closing day.
By means of a handwritten list or by taking pictures to store in an inventory app, you should create a formal record of the valuables in your house. Doing so will help tremendously in the event that your personal property is stolen, destroyed or lost and will help speed up the claim should you have to make one.
Change All the Locks
A lot of individuals have had their hands the keys to your new home as the selling process progressed, so one of the first things you should do is have a locksmith change all of your outside door locks. In order to ensure safety, although this step is often overlooked it’s one that you should not skip.
In fact, this may be a great time to up the smart level of your new home and invest in code based smart locks instead. These are less expensive – and easier to install – than many people know, and they dispense with the need for keys altogether, adding to both the level of security and ease of daily access for your family.
Plan a Deep Cleaning Session
You will probably find one thing, whether you are moving into a newly built home or a well-loved older one: it could use a good deep clean. After all, when it was on the market, a long list of individuals came through the door and tracked in dirt, from potential buyers to inspectors, contractors and more. Before you start moving your belongings in, schedule a floor-to – ceiling cleaning session. Trust us, it’s much easier to do it when the house is empty!
Review and Learn How All Your Home’s Systems Work
Your home inspector, your real estate broker – or the sellers themselves – may have given you a brief overview of the systems of your new home, but you might have lost track of the specifics by the time the move-in day arrives.
Familiarizing yourself with how it all works will help ensure proper use of all systems, which can help improve lifespan and effectiveness as well as your general enjoyment of the home, as there is nothing worse than not knowing how to, for example, turn on the heating when that first very cold day hits.
Develop a Formal Home Maintenance Plan
You’ll learn pretty quickly as a new homeowner that it takes a lot of effort to safeguard your biggest investment and keep it in tip-top shape.
There are a wide variety of items you will need to keep track of, from smaller tasks such as careful cleaning of wood floors or changing furnace air filters to bigger things such as cleaning gutters and power washing the exterior of your house. To help you keep on top of tasks that should be completed throughout the year, create an annual home maintenance schedule or checklist. With a bit of thought and planning, it is easy to start your homeownership journey on the right foot.