Moving from Renting to Owning
So, the time has come to move from renting to owning! This can be exciting, a little scary as there is more than just the actual move to plan for.
There’s nothing like the feeling you get when you step through the doors of a home of your own! The day you leave “the old apartment” behind and you walk through the front door of your home is one that you will always remember. You can make any changes you want here. You pick the paint colors, remodel any room you wish, decorate to your own taste and furnish as you see fit. You can have a garden, man-cave, playground, barbecue pit and outside kitchen. But along with this purchase comes a few extra responsibilities that you should be aware of.
Here is a list of some important items you may want to address as a new home owner.
Before you move into your new home
You no longer have a landlord or property manager to call when you move from renting to owning. Consider some of the projects you need to do that are easier when the home is empty. First to consider include walls, floors, bathrooms, ceilings. If you need to clean the walls /ceiling or apply a fresh coat of paint it is easier to do with no furniture in the space. Flooring is another project that is best handled when the home is empty. Should you choose to give the floors a solid cleaning or waxing, replace carpet, install tile or hardwood floors or even have the grout cleaned – setting a date to complete before you move is best. Removing those dated popcorn ceilings is a messy job, and changing out toilet, sinks, tub or shower enclosures is MUCH easier when they’re not in use.
Protect your investment
Change the locks. This is a must-do. You have no idea who had keys to the property before you. If you do not want to invest in new locks, a locksmith can come and rekey all of your locks usually for a lower overall cost. While the locksmith is there, we suggest requesting a couple extra sets of keys. These can be used by your children, pet sitter or maid-service, if you have one. Each will need a key for the home and any outbuildings they may need to access. Make a list in advance so you remember everyone. Last, but not least, keep a spare for yourself in-case you get locked out. You wouldn’t be the first or last new homeowner to do it.
Get to know your new home
You are now the king or queen of your domain, but homeownership can be far from glamorous. You need to know your way around. There are things you may need to learn; Maybe the previous owners left you a list in the kitchen drawer, which would help. You will now need to know about the systems in your house that make it livable, such as:
HVAC – HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. HVAC refers to the different systems used for moving air between indoor and outdoor areas, along with heating and cooling. You may have separate systems or an all-in-one unit. They can run on electric or gas – you need to know what you have in your home. It is best to start a journal and list all the information about each unit such as manufacturer, model number & age of unit. Having all this information in one place is handy and will help you if there is a failure. You can also add your preferred repairman/maintenance company for each.
Electrical System – You need to know where your breaker box(es) are as well as the main power shutoff. Make sure all your breakers are properly labeled so that you can cut power to specific rooms or areas if the need arises. Labeling at the Electrical box is also handy if you need to replace a fuse. Always keep a few extra fuses handy in case of an emergency.
Plumbing – Know where the main water supply cut off is located as well as for each bathroom and kitchen, hot water heater, washer/dryer hookups and pool. Outdoor faucets and yard irrigation also will have to be learned and a well pump if you are moving to a rural location. If you live in an area that experiences hard freezes you may have to inspect/insulate any outdoor plumbing and faucets annually.
Cable/ Internet/ Telephone/Security – Some homes are wired for entertainment services such as internet, speakers, and intercoms. Some internet providers are all wireless and some telecom services are hard wires. You may have a home server installed to handle your family or business digital files. Many homes today have alarm systems either on-site or managed in the cloud that has a base unit that monitors cameras and triggers throughout the house. Getting to know these systems will help you manage any issues that may arise.
Appliances – If you’re keeping a journal as stated above include makes, modes, etc of each of your appliances. It is easy to gather this information before they are full or in use. This information will come in handy if you need to call in for a repair and you will not have to empty a fridge to pull it out for the serial number on the back. You will already have this information handy. By noting the manufacture date you will be able to plan for a replacement near the expected end of life of the unit.
Keeping records, saving receipts and having all this information in one location will help you keep track of your investments, repairs, and maintenance. You will also have great record to provide when you upgrade to your next home.
Plan for Regular Home Maintenance
There are many items that will need regular maintenance in your new home. For example, your hot water heater should be flushed annually, you will want to also have your vents cleaned to ensure indoor air quality and reduce dust. Annual service to your HVAC units will prolong their life and reduce emergency repairs. Your roof and gutters should be inspected annually as well and the roofing may need to be replaced based on the life of the materials used every 15-20 years. You may also need to arrange for pest control/termite inspections, fireplace/chimney cleaning and pool maintenance. Many choose to refresh the interior paint every 2 years and exterior paint every 5-10 years. This is just a couple of the items you will need to budget for in addition to your monthly mortgage payment, and or HOA Fees. Inspections are a great way to catch an issue before it becomes an expensive problem. If you plan ahead and know what needs to be done you can budget properly overtime to not be hit with a large expense unaware and unprepared. Put a little away each month so that you have funds available for that unexpected appliance replacement, broken window, or home repair.
Review Your Homeowners Insurance
Once you’re familiar with your home, yard, outbuilding and neighborhood – and you have all your valuables, etc. moved into your new home, you’ll want to take another look at your homeowner’s insurance coverage to make sure that everything is covered at the desired and that you are comfortable with the deductibles. If you moved in any fine art, instruments, special collections, high value tools, etc. be certain to share that information with your insurance provider. It’s also wise to discuss and understand the difference between insuring “value vs. replacement”.
Meet & Greet – Get to know your new neighbors
Your new neighbors want to know they’re getting good neighbors, too! You do NOT have to be “besties” on the first visit but take a few minutes to introduce yourself and your family. Your neighbors can provide you with a lot of information you may not expect. From items as simple as when the garbage service runs to how often the power goes out in the area. They may be a great source of referrals for pool and lawn service, repair persons, bus and school stops and schedules, retail stores, parks, dog parks, vets and libraries. It is also good to know them and to look out for each other. You may notice a strange car in their drive or see a package left on the porch unattended. If you can give them a courtesy call, they may also return the favor and look out for your place as well.
Enjoy your new home and all the joys that home ownership brings! Take the time to be prepared for the unexpected, know the systems that keep your home running smoothing and have fun making the space your own!
Moving with The Liberty Group
We know that most residential moving services start with you! Whether you’re moving from an apartment to a townhome, moving from your starter home to a bigger place or even downsizing for seniors. Every service begins with someone who needs help and wants a moving company they can trust with their belongings.
Moving is an exciting, stress-filled, time. You look forward to living in a new location, and getting a fresh start in a new environment—but actually getting all your possessions to your new place can be a daunting challenge. In this critical time, you need a partner who understands the process, and can take on much of the burden on your behalf. Give us a call today and let The Liberty Group help you move into your new home – 800-524-0567.