The housing market has become increasingly competitive, with prospective homeowners facing challenges in acquiring their dream properties. In June 2023, for instance, the number of homes sold in Richmond dropped to 388 from 466 the previous year, while in Atlanta, the average home price surged by 5.8% compared to last year (source: Redfin). Despite these hurdles, if you are among the lucky few who managed to secure a new home in this demanding economy, heartfelt congratulations are in order!
However, it’s essential to recognize that your journey doesn’t end with the keys in your hand. There is still work to be done to ensure a smooth transition and turn your new house into a comfortable and secure home for the future. So read on as we explore the 6 most essential things you need to take care of after you move into your new home.
1. Inspect Thoroughly
Before you dive into the excitement of unpacking and settling into your new home, it’s essential to devote some time to thoroughly inspect the property. Be on the lookout for any damages, leaks, or potential issues needing immediate attention.
If you live in a city that experiences an abundance of sunny days, such as Atlanta, where approximately 217 sunny days occur annually, you really need to inspect your roof. The prolonged exposure to sunlight can take a toll on the roof materials, causing the oils within them to dry out. Consequently, wood may weaken, bleach, and develop cracks, while asphalt shingles may buckle and split. In such cases, seeking the assistance of a reputable roof repair company becomes paramount.
However, when you search Google for Atlanta Roofing Company near me, you’ll be met with over a hundred million search results. It’s crucial to choose wisely. Take your time to verify the experience and expertise of the roofing company. Check for customer reviews and testimonials to gauge their service quality and reliability. Moreover, try to find examples of their previous work in your area to ensure their competence and proficiency in handling roofing projects. Making a well-informed decision will ensure the longevity of your roof and provide you with peace of mind knowing that your home is in safe hands.
2. Update Your Address
If you didn’t already get around to changing your address before the moving process, you need to do so now to ensure a smooth transition to your new home. This includes notifying the postal service, banks, utilities, and other necessary institutions of your new address. Fortunately, many of these institutions offer online forms on their websites, making it convenient to make the required changes. If online options aren’t available, a quick phone call should suffice.
Aside from these essential services, don’t forget to update your address on all your online platforms, such as Amazon and Uber Eats. You wouldn’t want to go through an exhausting day of unpacking only to realize that the pizza you ordered is sitting cold at your old address.
3. Childproof Your Home
Over 2000 children tragically lose their lives yearly due to unintentional home injuries. So, whether you have kids or not, you must ensure your home is safe when families and their young ones visit your home.
Start by securing potentially harmful items out of reach. Keep medicines and cleaning products on higher shelves, away from curious little hands. As for sharp objects, like knives, forks, scissors, and nails, store them in locked drawers. Children are naturally curious and may mistake these items for toys.
Electrical outlets are another potential danger zone for children. Covering them with childproof outlet covers will prevent kids from inserting objects into them, reducing the risk of electrical shock.
4. Familiarize Yourself with Essential Functions
You don’t want to be in a frustrating situation where the power unexpectedly goes out, and you’re left stumbling in the dark, desperately searching for the circuit breaker. You should start off on the right foot as soon as you move into your new home. Take a moment to locate the circuit breaker, fuse box, and water valve, and make a note of their positions. Familiarize yourself with the switches and functions so that you know what to do in an emergency.
The circuit breaker or fuse box is typically in a utility room, basement, or garage. And the water shut-off valve can usually be found near the main water line entering your home or in proximity to your water heater.
5. Secure Your Home
The security of your new home should be a top priority, especially considering that over a million break-ins occur in the US every year. Freshly moved-in homes are often prime targets for burglars, as they are likely to contain valuable items like LCD TVs, laptops, and electronic—all things attractive to thieves.
As soon as you move in, take proactive steps to secure your home and protect your belongings. The first and most crucial action is replacing all entry doors’ locks. Doing so ensures that only you and your family can access the property.
Next, it’s essential to install window locks on all accessible windows. Windows are common entry points for burglars, and having secure locks can be a strong deterrent. Reinforcing these points of potential vulnerability will help fortify your home’s defenses.
And consider investing in a reliable home security system if your new home doesn’t have one already. Studies have shown that an alarm system would deter up to 60% of burglars looking for a potential target.
Modern home security systems have various features, including motion sensors, broken glass detection, door and window sensors, surveillance cameras, and even smart home integration. These components work together to provide comprehensive protection for your home, offering you peace of mind even when you are away.
6. Explore the Neighborhood
Exploring your new neighborhood is an exciting part of settling into your new home. Familiarize yourself with the surroundings and locate all the nearest essential services. Start by looking for hospitals, police stations, banks, and pharmacies within a short driving distance. Take the time to identify local stores, parks, community centers, and restaurants that will become your go-to spots for daily needs and leisure activities.
Meeting your neighbors is another essential aspect of exploring the neighborhood. It’s important to know the people living next door and to have friendly relations with them. When meeting your neighbors for the first time, bring a small gift as a goodwill gesture. A thoughtful token like flowers, baked cookies, chocolates, or wine can go a long way in creating a lasting impression and showing that you value their acquaintance.
Moving into a new home is a significant life event that requires careful planning and attention to detail. The tips mentioned above will ensure a smooth transition and a comfortable start to this exciting chapter in your life. Embrace the opportunity to create lasting memories and turn your new house into a loving home.