As the rumble from the moving trucks fade into the distance, it's time to take care of your worldly possessions in a whole new way. Before you get too comfortable and go into a flurry of unpacking all those carefully labeled boxes, check out this list of things to do right after moving into a new place. It’ll set you up to be sitting pretty for years to come.
1. Take photos
For this item, I'd even recommend taking photos before your furniture and belongings enter the house. Perhaps you've never seen your new home not staged, or maybe it's just been a while since the last inspection, either way, if any damage occurred in the interim, document it. Also, before your movers begin their final leg of the job and scratch a previously pristine floor, document it. A gallery of pictures taken before your furniture makes it inside will be worth a thousand words and maybe more than a couple of bucks should you need to point out damage.
2. Check your belongings for breakage
If you hired movers to either pack or move your belongings, you will likely have a limited amount of time to report any suspected damage or missing items. Make sure that if a major appliance was moved such as a refrigerator, washer or dryer they still function as they should. Review your contract to determine liability coverage if you discover a problem.
3. Figure out when and where to leave your trash
As you unpack, you’ll be eager to get rid of the trash, so finding out from your realtor or neighbors when and where you can do that is key. You won’t want to miss pickup day when you’ve got piles of cardboard lying around, and you want to make a good impression on your neighbors by staying ahead of the trash man.
4. Change the locks
It’s your home now, but who else had the keys when the previous residents lived there? No one wants even the slightest question about safety lingering over a new home. This makes swapping out locks as soon as you can “one of the most important things homeowners can do when they are settling into a new property,” says Marty Hoffmann, vice president of marketing at Kwikset.
5. Register your car
Did you move from one state to another? If so, you’ll need to register your car within about 60 days. Each state’s requirements are slightly different, but penalties range from fines to impounding your vehicle if you fail to comply in a timely manner. You’ll also need to get a new driver’s license, usually within 30 days of your move.
6. Break out the drop cloth
Most people don’t have the luxury of painting prior to moving in, so, if possible, paint as soon as you regain your strength from the move. The longer you wait, the tougher it is to paint. Most people continue to collect and add furnishings, all of which make painting more difficult. Moving heavy furniture or working around furniture isn’t easy, especially smaller rooms. But with no obstructions besides neat, stackable boxes, painting is a breeze.
7. Check your credit reports
Your credit reports are usually accessed during a move, as everyone from new employers and landlords need to reference them for background checks. That’s why it’s important to request a copy of your credit report within six months of your relocation. Besides ensuring that your address change was recorded accurately, watch for inconsistencies that might indicate you’ve been a victim of fraud. During a move, a great deal of personal financial information is exchanged and forwarded via mail and email. It’s important to make sure your personal information wasn’t compromised.
8. Update your voting address
Whether it’s the upcoming election for president or your local school board, don’t forget to update your address so you can vote. Most states allow a 60-day grace period during which time you can use an old address at your new polling place. For elections beyond that, register at least two weeks prior so you don’t miss out on swaying any important issues. After all, what better way is there to plant a foot in your new neighborhood than exercising this all-American right?
Although responsibility is always part of the equation as a homeowner, you should also feel pride and comfort. So, check these tasks off the to-do list and then start planning that housewarming party with peace of mind.
It's still a great time to buy! Contact me to get more information on any of the homes we currently have listed. Homes are moving very fast in our current market, so if you see something you’d like to visit, please Contact Me to get started - Tracy Curtis, Coldwell Banker Realty firstname.lastname@example.org or call 415-910-0599.