Closing day is a monumental event worth celebrating. The home buying process is hard work, and all parties invest a lot of time and effort just to get to the closing table. Once closing day is complete and you’re handed the keys, the home is officially yours. But before you get too excited about moving in, there are some things you should do to make the transition to your new address go as smoothly as possible. So, whether this is your first home or fifth, here are some of our do’s and don’ts of what to do after closing on a house.
Rack up Credit Card Debt
A new home means new furniture, right? Not necessarily. While some purchases may be justified, please do not go overboard and rack up hundreds or even thousands of dollars in credit card debt. We recommend creating a budget for your post-closing spending so you don’t get in trouble before that first mortgage payment is due.
Forget Tax Breaks
One of the greatest benefits of homeownership is the tax breaks that come along with it including the homestead exemption. The amount you receive will vary by your state. Some counties also offer tax exemptions for homeowners, so be sure to confirm with your county’s assessor’s office whether you’re eligible.
Begin Renovation Projects…Yet
The home inspection report you received before closing will list all the potential problem areas within the home that the prior owner did not address. From resealing windows and cleaning gutters to painting walls and replacing flooring, the list of renovations and issues to fix can be overwhelming. Instead of jumping into a renovation project as soon as you walk in the door, determine the priority items of what should be completed first.
Throw Away Mail
Changing your address after you move can be a headache. If you receive the previous owner’s mail, do not throw it away; just call USPS to let them know and they will help you sort things out.
Ignore Your Neighbors
Introduce yourself to your neighbors when you move in! Keeping your landscape tidy, decorating for the holidays, and showing others that you’re friendly is a good first step in familiarizing yourself with the neighborhood.
Keep your landscape tidy to make a good first impression with your neighbors.
Must Do’s After Closing on a House
Store Documents in a Secure Place
Along with your birth certificate, social security card, passport and other official papers, your closing documents should be added to your fireproof safe for safekeeping. These documents can also be stored on a secure cloud-based website or software such as Google Drive or Dropbox.
Change Locks and Update Keypad Codes
We highly recommend changing your locks and updating garage keypad codes for security purposes. While one of the contingencies at closing is to return all keys to the buyer, it could be possible that there is a key out there that is unaccounted for. Changing your locks and updating the keypad codes provides peace of mind in knowing that you have the only keys that can access your new home!
Deep Clean Before Moving in
The home should be clean upon closing, but in some cases a deep clean may be required. You can either hire a professional cleaning company to come in or you can do it yourself. Some tasks to consider include:
- Steam clean carpets
- Clean included appliances
- Scrub tile grout
- Wash all windows, inside and out.
- Clean and polish wood floors
Check Utility Systems including the HVAC and Water Heater
Familiarize yourself with your home’s utility systems so you know how they all work. Replace the furnace and AC filters to save money, improve air quality, and eliminate any odors. Ensuring that your vents are clean and both systems are running properly so they’re ready when you need them. You can also take the time to drain your water heater and adjust the settings to extend the water heater’s life and improve your energy bill.
Celebrate, of Course!
Homeownership is a milestone worth celebrating and while there are things to do, even after closing, the tasks above are very important and will improve the overall experience for you and your family. So, while you will probably see your to-do list grow over the years, owning a home is an investment worth making. To learn more about the home buying process and Millennial Title’s escrow and title services, contact our team. We are licensed to close in more than 20 states across the country and can help you make homeownership a reality.