How exciting! You found the home you want and got it under contract. The inspection is done, your financing is approved and the closing date is set. Now what? It can be overwhelming to think about the packing and moving, especially when there are some things to consider at the new home. Here is a list of 8 items to take care of before moving to make it a little easier.
1. Turn on your utilities
Contact the utilities providers (electricity, water, sewer, etc.) and schedule to have them placed in your name on the date of closing. Usually you will have to fill out an application and provide some form of security deposit. A Professional Real Estate Agent will make sure that the company handling the closing performs a Municipal Lien Search (MLC) prior to closing to ensure that all utilities are paid in full. The MLC can also identify open or expired permits, code violations, special assessments and more. Don’t forget about cable TV and internet. Having these things taken care of prior to closing really help make for a smoother transition into your new home.
2. Take care of any necessary repairs from the inspection
Your inspector may have found some items worth taking care of right away during the home inspection and depending on what the agreement is, you may need to fix them after closing on the house. Prior to moving in, try and fix as many of the big-ticket items as possible. This will be one less thing to deal with after you move in. This is especially true if the repairs have anything to do with plumbing, electrical, or roofing.
3. Deep clean the entire house
The sellers may have hired cleaners or attempted to clean the home themselves, but it is always best to deep clean the house. Some people may opt to do this themselves, but there’s nothing wrong with hiring a professional cleaning service. This will ultimately save a lot of time. Some areas of the home to pay close attention to are cabinets and closets, flooring, appliances, and bathrooms. Make sure that the floors inside of closets are thoroughly cleaned and that any shelving in closets, pantries, or cabinets is wiped down. When it comes to flooring, you’ll want to hire a professional carpet cleaning service and evaluate hardwood, laminate, or tile flooring to see if it needs any extra TLC. In addition to that, consider changing the toilet seats.
4. Add any additional storage, shelving, or built-in features you want
If you purchased the home knowing that you were going to want additional shelving, cabinets, or storage, it’s best to get all of these items added and built out before you move in. This means that when you do move, you’ll be able to put away all of your things instead of leaving boxes to get unpacked after your new shelves are complete. It’s much easier to have this type of construction handled before you move in and have to worry about convenient scheduling and potentially moving your personal belongings.
This particular point is also true for new home buyers. If you purchased a new home build but knew that there were custom design options the builder would not include, the best time to add them is before you move into your new home. This is also true of any flooring changes.
5. Complete all interior paint if necessary
If you are planning on changing or even just touching up the existing paint in your new home, it’s best to get this done prior to moving in all your furniture and possessions. It will make the process significantly easier for both you and the painters if they do not need to worry about moving and covering furniture. Make sure you do this after any additional construction, but before you put in new flooring or have the existing flooring cleaned.
6. Call in the exterminator
If you’re already aware of some type of pest problem it’s an especially good idea to call these guys before you move in, but even if you’re not, it’s never a bad idea to have pest control come out and spray your yard and home. If you have pets, it will be significantly easier to have them come before you move in, plus it gives their extermination methods a little time to start working before you move in.
7. Reset your garage door code
More than likely the previous owners of the house gave you all the garage door openers, but in my opinion, it never hurts to reset the code just to be extra sure that no unwanted visitors will be coming in through the garage.
This is also a good idea for new home build owners. Even if you’re putting a brand-new garage door opener in your garage, make sure to reset or change the code. Often the codes are not changed after the opener is installed and having the manufacturer default code is never the best security practice.
Finally (and probably the most important step):
8. Change your locks and keys
This is probably one of the most important things to do before you move into your new house, and it should be taken care of last on this list. During the home selling process, keys are given to many different people like handymen, inspectors, and real estate agents to name a few, and in addition, homeowners typically provide backup keys to either close friends and family or even neighbors or house sitters. So even though you were provided “all” copies of your new keys at closing, you never know who might still have an extra copy. After you have finished all necessary repairs, cleaning, and construction, hire a locksmith to change your locks to ensure that only you have a copy of your new house keys.
Check out our Moving Checklist to help keep you on track when packing up the home you are moving from.
My younger sister is moving to another house in a few weeks, and since she’ll be living alone for the first time, I want to help increase her house’s safety. I’m glad you elaborated on changing your house’s locks and keys to make sure no one else has a copy of your keys, so I’ll start looking for a locksmith right now. Thank you for the advice on what must be done before moving to another house.
Thanks for the kind response, Eli. We are grateful to be of service. Please feel free to contact us anytime with any questions. – Opey