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Moving into a new house

Moving Hacks to Make Your Transition Toward Homeownership That Much Easier

By HOM Editorial Team
January 2020

You did it—you bought a house! As new homeowner Kashif Khan shares, “When you’re creating a dream home for your family it has to be perfect—nothing less will do.” After the extensive process of finding the perfect dream home, now you’re finally ready for the big move.

Taking that huge step towards homeownership is the toughest part, although the transition and moving in itself isn’t always the easiest process, either. With these moving hacks, you’ll seamlessly ease into being a homeowner and become comfortable in your new city and home in no time at all.

1. Update Your Address

Surprisingly, this step gets overlooked often. It’s hard enough to remember to scribble your new address on upcoming paperwork rather than your old one, but it’s also important to set up mail forwarding at your local post office. Between important bills and subscriptions, it’s essential that companies and people you trust can find you when they need to. You can pop into the post office to grab a small form to fill out, or you can even head over to the website here to set yourself up for mail forwarding in just a few easy steps. You can even pick the date you wish to begin receiving mail at your new address, so no need to remember this on the first of the month when you have enough tasks on your plate.

2. Take Photos of Connected Electronics and Assembled Furniture

Taking apart each of your electronics and pieces of intricate modern furniture is a chore itself, but remember how tough it was to connect and set them up in the first place? To save yourself some time (and sanity), snap a few photos of your connected electronics as well as assembled furniture to help give yourself a visual to work towards when setting them in your new home. It’s unlikely you hung onto the manuals, and even so, doubtful that they will successfully survive the move.

3. Schedule Home Repairs And/Or Improvements

As a new homeowner, there are a variety of repairs and home improvements that are best taken care of prior to moving all of your trinkets into place. Whether you have a leaky window or would just prefer a softer shade on the wall, scheduling these appointments to take place either before you arrive or within the first week will save you a lot of time and effort in the long run. Ideally, the move-in day will just involve moving your items into your home, and not electricians in and out of your backdoor with their tools scattered about.

4. Set Up Utilities

Another often forgotten task: canceling and/or transferring utilities from your former home. If you were previously living in an apartment with utilities included in your monthly rent, setting up new accounts for your water, gas, and electricity could easily slip your mind. If you handled the utility bills at your last home, it can only take a few minutes to transfer your accounts to your new address. As the beginning of the month is the most popular time for moving, giving utility companies a call in advance will help you avoid days without hot water.

5. Take Inventory of Your Valuables

Whether you’re moving down the street or across the country, packing up all your beloved possessions can cause some anxiety. A great way to keep track of all your valuables is to take inventory of your belongings. This doesn’t need to be a grueling process. Taking some photos of each item with quick descriptions will suffice. On the off chance something gets lost or broken in the move, this allows you to be aware of what the item was, the original condition, and the next steps to take regarding insurance.

6. Research Local Resources in Your Area

With a new city comes a long list of exciting places to explore. Upon arrival, or perhaps in the weeks leading up to the move, take some time to research nearby businesses, health professionals, public transportation, restaurants, and markets so you’re not a complete stranger when you settle into your new street. If you’re moving to a quaint town, this probably won’t take too long as there is most likely one go-to for each category, but if you’re in a more populated region, this research could take some more digging. In addition to jotting down the necessities, take note of local groups as a great way to get to know your community. This can set you up for success in your new location and you might just find some of your new go-to spots soon after moving in!

7. Set Up a Spare Key

If you’ve lived in apartments or condos for the majority of your life, you’ve had the advantage of being let in by a friendly next-door neighbor if you misplaced your keys. Now that you’re a homeowner, you no longer have that option. We all get locked out every now and then, and rather than waiting for the elusive locksmith to arrive or hoisting yourself into the window (alerting nearby neighbors), position a lockbox on your gate or near your door to safely keep a spare key.

8. Test Your HVAC System and Detectors

Another new factor to take into consideration as you enter the life of homeownership is ensuring that all your smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, furnace, and A/C if you have it, are in working order. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are imperative to keeping you and your family safe, so be sure to check they have new batteries and are working well as soon as you begin settling into your new home. Just popping in some batteries won’t be a true test, so perhaps try lighting a match near the detector to double-check it is working. The same goes for your HVAC system. Considering these units are quite possibly the most expensive feature of your home, you’ll want to be well aware of any issues prior to moving into your house.

9. Keep Up with Home Maintenance

Without a landlord to be handling standard maintenance, you’ll want to organize a way to keep up with any issues and updates on a regular basis. Especially with the change of seasons, you’ll need to keep up with tasks such as shoveling snow, cleaning out gutters, plumbing issues, landscaping, etc. You can either handle these tasks on your own or hire a professional to get the job done for you. Either way, keeping an organized checklist of what needs to be done on a weekly, monthly, or annual basis will ensure you have the right resources at your disposal after a big storm and seasonally, too.

10. Find Your Elected Officials

As you get settled into a new community, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the city council and your local representatives. Looking into town meetings is a great way to get acquainted with your new community and become a part of potential solutions, but you can also find your new representatives easily by heading here. This website, Common Cause, will help you find your state and local elected officials, how to contact them, committees they serve on, specific bills they have introduced, and more.

While moving is stressful, it is also very exciting! With these simple tips, you’ll avoid dozens of headaches and ensure you have a smooth transition into homeownership.

Amongst getting situated in a new neighborhood, maneuvering the new title of homeowner, and the endless unpacking, you’ll most likely feel like your head isn’t screwed on straight, at least for a little while. But if you utilize these few tricks and take a couple of deep breaths, you’ll be settling in and hosting your housewarming party in no time!


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