Buying your first house is exciting and may feel overwhelming at times. If you’ve recently purchased a home, you might have plans to paint the living room or remodel the kitchen. Take some time living in the house before making major and costly upgrades. In the meantime, here are a few tips for new homeowners to help you get familiar with your property and make it your own.
Change the Locks is One of the Most Helpful Tips for New Homeowners
Unless you purchased a newly built home, there is no way of knowing who has keys to your property. The former owners may have given keys to the petsitter, relatives, or neighbors. After moving in, the first improvement project to undertake is changing the locks on all exterior doors. Installing new locks is a project most people can handle themselves, and you’ll also be boosting security in your new home.
Learn the Location of the Water Shut-Off
You’ll need to know where to turn off the water in an emergency like a burst pipe. You may find the main water shut-off listed in your home inspection report. Otherwise, it’s up to you to locate it. Look for the shut-off valve along the outside walls of your home. It’s often on the side of the house that faces the street.
Tips for New Homeowners: Label the Breaker Box
It’s helpful to know which fuses control what areas of your house. When you need to turn off a circuit or reset a breaker, labels will inform you which breaker you need. Check the electrical panel for labels. If the previous owner labeled the box, test each breaker to verify it is labeled correctly. Have your partner or a friend turn the breakers off while you try the lights and appliances in the home. Make a map of the electrical panel and, using two-sided tape, adhere it to the inside of the breaker box.
Have the Home Cleaned
Before moving into your new home, hire a housekeeping service to have it professionally cleaned. Doing so will allow you to move your belongings in without dusting, vacuuming, or scrubbing appliances. Look for a cleaning company that offers a deep clean, including the windows. You’ll be able to focus on unpacking and setting up the house and won’t have to waste time cleaning your new space.
Find the Property Lines
To maintain your lawn, it’s necessary to know where the property lines are. Whether you’re mowing the grass, planting a flower bed, or planning to install a fence, knowing the boundaries of your property will help you avoid conflict with the neighbors.
Some counties have this information online; you simply search for your address to get information about the property lines. Often boundary markers are metal stakes that can be found with a metal detector.
After buying a new home, you’ll have plenty of things to do as you settle in. Learn about your property and take steps to boost security to be a better homeowner.