New Homeowner Checklist: 9 Must Do Steps After Your Move

Hand holding house keys

Finally, you’ve secured the house of your dreams. Congrats on becoming a homeowner! At last, you can breathe a sigh of relief and relax…right? Not so fast. Becoming a homeowner is no small feat, a series of important tasks still awaits you. Luckily, we’ve created a checklist to help you settle into your new residence in no time.

Things to do

  • Replace your locks. Security is first and foremost. Although you're now the homeowner, there is no telling how many people possess the key to your house. Not only is it relatively inexpensive and fast to have a locksmith install new locks, but the payoff—your family’s safety—is invaluable.

  • Take care of the essentials. To be sure your house is livable upon your arrival, coordinate appliance, and furniture delivery in advance. You don’t want to be caught without a stove or a refrigerator—not to mention without electricity and running water. This is why it’s also crucial to immediately set up all of your utility accounts, including water, gas, television, phone, internet, trash, and so on.

  • Get to know the ins and outs. Right away, make a point to locate the main circuit breaker and water valve. You'll also want to locate and test the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Knowing where these crucial items are will save you time. Plus, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that everything functions properly.

  • Clean it up. You’ll thank us later—this task is much easier to carry out when your home is empty. Yes, even before the boxes are unpacked. With those hard-to-reach places readily accessible, you’ll be able to more efficiently scour the floors, windows, and other surfaces to remove the inevitable dust and dirt that come with moving. The space will already feel more welcoming once it is fresh, clean, and tidy. From there, you’ll be free to personalize it by painting the walls to match your unique taste and décor. The work you put in now will help you create an environment that feels inviting, comfortable, and all your own. You may even take it one step further -- one day -- and update appliances or curb appeal.

  • Change your mailing address. Make sure that your mail is being routed to the correct place. You don’t want bills and other important documents arriving at your old address. Fortunately, the process is simple and flexible with two different options: you can either change your address in person at the local post office or do it online via the USPS website.

People to talk to

  • Scope out the local schools. Whether you handle it before or after moving, finding a reputable school is crucial to ensuring your child receives the best possible education. To help narrow your search, ask for recommendations from friends and neighbors. Then, cross-reference their suggestions with your own online research. You can even call the school personally to arrange an in-person meeting. This way you can feel confident in knowing what to expect and rest assured that the school you ultimately select is the right fit.

  • Assemble your health care “dream team.” Take initiative to find local health care providers before you need them. Don’t wait until you’re sick or overdue for a check-up. Getting set up with a local dentist, primary care physician, and other specialty medical practitioners will save you time down the road. Plus, you'll have the best contact on hand when an appointment becomes necessary. During your search, bear in mind your specific medical needs. Choose someone experienced and with whom you are comfortable. Similar to finding the right school, you can find health care providers by asking around for recommendations, conducting an online search, and finally, arranging a face-to-face meeting.

  • Take advantage of the Homeowner’s Association (HOA). Reach out to the local HOA in your new community to learn their meeting schedule, along with any rules or regulations that you should be aware of. This will also help you to become more involved and connected to your community. Plus, most HOAs are a great resource for finding information on local restaurants, nightlife, social gatherings, gym memberships, and more.

  • Protect your children and pets. A lesser known, but potentially life-saving tip: visit your local fire station to obtain window stickers. Place them on your children's bedroom windows and on windows where pets sleep. Don't forget to keep at least one fire extinguisher on each floor of your home.

As you complete these new homeowner checklist items, we wish you luck every step of the way. Soon, you will experience the incomparable sense of accomplishment that comes with making a new house a home.