You've signed the papers and have the keys to your new home - Congrats! Now what...
Working towards closing on a new home is a process in itself. First you learn about different ways to finance your home, then you go through the labor of negotiating on a home, and then you work your way to the closing table. But your job isn't done then! Sure you have your movers scheduled and your utilities set up, but there are some other things that you should have on your to-do list in the hours and days after closing.
1. Safely Store Closing & Mortgage Documents
When you leave closing, you'll have a copy of the mortgage, title insurance, survey, and many other documents that you signed or are simply pertinent to your ownership of the home. Take a minute to store them in a safe place in case you ever want to look back on anything for reference. Much of this material will be beneficial when you go to sell your house as well.
2. Change Door Locks
You truly never know who had a key to the home that you purchased, so it is always a good idea to spend the small amount of money on replacing and entry locks. This is something that shouldn't wait more than a few days after closing on your new home.
3. Set Up a Home Maintenance Check-List
Do a quick search for weekly, monthly, and annual maintenance points, and set up a routine for you to look after your appliances and fixtures to ensure everything is in proper working condition. When the time comes to sell your Treasure Coast home, you don't want the buyer of your home to have a home inspection and find a surprise. This step will save you thousands while you own the home and when you decide to sell the property.
4. Paint & Clean BEFORE Moving In
If you plan to paint any walls or replace any carpet (both great ideas), it is wise to do it before you start moving furniture into your new home. I know you think you will get to it eventually, but my experience had told me that if you don't do it before moving in, it will stay on the to-do list for years. Also, much of the smell inside of a home is in the paint and flooring, so replacing, touching up, or cleaning those will allow you to start from scratch with your own scent in your new home.
5. Inform Friends & Colleagues of Your Move
Within a day or two of closing, you'll want to notify the USPS of your new address so they can forward any mail that goes to your previous home. Many home buyers also send out cards to friends, relatives, and work colleagues to alert them of the move. Other parties to think about include banks (and credit cards), schools your children attend, and any subscriptions for newspapers and magazines. When you buy a home, you'll naturally set up internet, phone, and cable, so that should work itself out.
6. Meet the Neighborhoods
Why wait on meeting the people around you? Host a house-warming and neighborhood welcoming party at your house and meet the people you will be sharing many smiles and waves with the next few years. The best means of security in a neighborhood are watchful neighbors, and they double as an emergency contact if anything goes wrong.
7. Update Important Documents
Now that your permanent address has changed, you'll want to update that on your driver's license, vehicle registration, voter ID card, etc. If you are filing for homestead exemption, you'll want to get this done before you apply.