The day has finally arrived! You leave the closing table with the keys to your new house and you’re officially a homeowner. You’re ready to take a few pictures in front of the sold sign, pop open a bottle of champagne to celebrate, prepare to unload a truck full of boxes, and eventually order a pizza to refuel from the busy day. It’s going to be an exciting time but before you get settled in for a Netflix binge, make a list and tackle these few things first!
TEST YOUR SMOKE & CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS: This should be one of the very first things you do to protect your home and your family. Pick up extra batteries to keep on hand or consider updating these to smart devices for extra safety. The smart smoke detectors such as the Nest will allow you to integrate the device to an app that will alert you when smoke is detected. They’re more expensive than your typical smoke detector but well worth the extra cost. While you’re at it, purchase fire extinguishes for your home and know how to use them in case of emergency.
CHANGE THE LOCKS: Changing the locks on a new home is a standard safety measure to take but can’t be done until after closing. Swing by your local hardware store to pick up new locks before the big moving day so that you are sure to get them taken care of right away. Sometimes the simplest things can get buried to the bottom of our to do lists when we don’t prepare in advance!
GET TO KNOW YOUR HOUSE: Before you move in, you’ll have had a Home Inspection which is a fantastic way to learn about your new home. You’ll want to know where major things are located such as the circuit breaker box and the main water shut off valve. Keep a copy of your Home Inspection report so you can refer back to it if you are just learning about how all of these mechanicals work.
FORWARD YOUR MAIL: I know this sounds like common sense but the US Postal Service will actually stop forwarding mail 6 months after you move. In order to be sure that you are receiving everything you need, go online and get this taken care of first thing on the day of closing to get it out of the way.
DO A DEEP CLEAN AND TACKLE LARGER PAINTING PROJECTS: This one can be done while watching your favorite Netflix show if you want! The best time to do a deep clean is when the house is empty and free from large furniture. If you’re moving in the day you close, you could wait to unpack boxes for rooms that are harder to clean such as the kitchen and bathrooms. You could even hire a professional cleaning service to do one big clean before you move in so you don’t have to worry about it and instead focus on unpacking!
Painting is one of the first projects new homeowners tackle when moving into a new house. Everyone has different taste so its unlikely that you’ll love all of the paint colors that the previous owner chose. Consider picking out the colors you like and painting before moving your furniture in. It makes the process a whole lot easier and you can even invite your friends to help. It’s called a painting party – all you have to do is provide them with pizza and beverages and people always seem more than happy to help!
Time to start tackling this list so you are ready to go when closing day arrives. You’ll be able to sleep safe and sound knowing you took care of these things before the sold sign goes up! If you’re not in the middle of a home buying purchase but want to learn more about the process, reach out to Sophia and Scott and they’ll be happy to set up a time to chat!
Thank you to our site sponsors, Sophia Leece and Scott Boudreaux with LAH Real Estate for sponsoring this guide. For more information on what’s happening in the Birmingham Housing Market, or to schedule a free home buyer/seller consultation, you can reach them: