Moving from an Apartment to a House Checklist
One of life’s biggest moments is getting the keys to your first home, and there’s a lot to love about moving into a house. It’s yours to decorate, paint and renovate as you wish, and that swimming pool or chandelier you’ve been thinking about is one step closer to happening. But going from being a renter to a homeowner brings new responsibilities.
Here’s a checklist of some to-do’s for new homeowners moving from an apartment to a house:
1. Make a list of pre-move projects. Some things, like refinishing the floors or painting the walls, are easier before you move in. If you include these costs into your moving budget, then you won’t have to do it after the move in.
2. Change the locks and make spare keys. It’s relatively inexpensive to have new keys and locks made for your home. The previous owner may have shared spare keys with others like neighbors or repair people. You can also have a spare key made and leave it in a secret location or with someone you trust in case you lock yourself out.
3. Get to know your house. It’s important to get acquainted with your home’s heating and electrical systems. Make sure the breakers in your electrical box are properly labeled so you know which one to reset if a fuse is blown.
4. Meet the neighbors. Take some time to meet your new neighbors. If possible, exchange contact information. Besides being neighborly, you may be able to help one another if either of you is out of town. You can also look out for unfamiliar cars in the driveways, an important part of helping to prevent burglaries and break-ins.
5. Learn how to shut off the main water valve. Water damage caused by household appliances can be costly. As a homeowner, you’ll want to make sure you know how to shut off the water in your house.
6. Save for that rainy day. Owning a home can present some unexpected expenses. It’s a good idea to save for a broken appliance or a leaky ceiling, which might require you to spend money immediately.
7. Schedule your preventive maintenance. Similar to a car, your home needs regular tune-ups. Whether it’s in the form of yearly inspections of the furnace to routine checks of the condition of the hot water heater, being proactive about preventive maintenance can save you much more costly and inconvenient emergency repairs in the future.
8. Gather recommendations for professionals. Before you need them is the best time to ask friends, family and neighbors to recommend plumbers, electricians, appliance repair people and other professionals so you don’t have to hunt around in an emergency.
9. Keep records. Improvements to your home can increase its resale value. Keep track of paperwork for that new central air installation or dishwasher so you can document it for a future buyer – or in case anything should happen to it down the road. Having the paperwork can be helpful in case something breaks or if there is a product recall.
10. Check that your home is fully covered. Make sure your home insurance policy covers everything you need it to. If you have any jewelry or special collections, like fine art or musical instruments, you might need a jewelry and valuable items coverage.