Moving into a new house can be overwhelming. On the one hand, you’re excited about starting fresh, but on the other, there’s a whole list of things you need to do.
If you thought packing was the least of your problems, you’re in for a surprise. But worry not. We’ve assembled a definitive list of things to look out for before moving into your new house. Follow these to the T, and you should have a seamless relocation.
1. Do a walkthrough
There’s no better time to do a complete walkthrough of your new house than when it’s empty. We’d recommend taking a look around at least a few weeks before you plan on moving.
Ensure that the previous owner has made all repairs before you move in. Also, ensure that all outlets, switches, and fixtures are in working order. Unfortunately, if there are details that are not included in your contract, you’ll have to deal with them yourself. It’s a good idea to have a complete picture of any potential repairs and upgrades well before you plan on moving so that you do not come across any surprises when you move in.
2. Check for water damage
Water can not only damage floors and walls, but it can also cause permanent structural damage to your house. You should inspect your new home for water damage before moving to avoid potential damage to your furniture and belongings. Also, it would help to avoid additional repair costs down the road.
An apparent telltale sign of water damage is water stains. Stains or slight discolorations on the walls or ceiling without any evident reason are most likely undetected water leaks in your roof or walls. Similarly, swollen or cracked drywall, warped floors, or the odor of dampness may all point towards water seepage.
You should thoroughly inspect the kitchen, bathrooms, and basement since these areas are the most prone to water damage. If you do notice signs of water damage, seek out professional help at the earliest. Contact a water damage advisor to determine the source of any leaks and mitigate any potential damage to your new house.
3. Locate the circuit breaker and water valves
The circuit breaker and water shutoff valves are two things that you don’t want to end up looking for when you really need them. We’d recommend familiarizing yourself with these right when you move in. You don’t want to be searching through the dark to find your circuit breaker if a fuse blows or if there’s a power outage. Similarly, a leak can quickly turn into a flooding disaster if you can’t locate the water valves and cut off the water supply to your house.
As a rule of thumb, your circuit breaker will probably be in your basement or garage, and you’ll usually find the water shutoff valves located somewhere along the perimeter of your house.
4. Change the locks
It’s always a good practice to change the locks on your new home since you never know who might have a spare key. The previous owners may have given a key to the neighbors, relatives, or workers. Therefore, changing the locks will provide you with peace of mind. Whether you schedule a locksmith to come by or change the locks yourself, it’s a simple task. Take the time to update any passwords on the security system while you’re at it. You’re better safe than sorry.
5. Look for signs of pests
The previous owners may have left behind some unwelcome guests. Pests such as cockroaches, rats, and mice carry health risks, and carpenter ants and termites can destroy your furniture. You’ll want to inspect every nook and cranny of your new house to get rid of these little buggers.
You can spot a pest infestation by looking for red or brown spots near corners, the kitchen, and the store. Dead insects and rodents also produce strong odors. If you notice any wood shavings near the woodwork and windows, you’re likely dealing with carpenter bugs. Similarly, fine wood powder is a surefire sign of a termite infestation. Ensure to shine a flashlight in dark places like cabinets and floorboards and check for pest droppings. Rodents like rats and mice leave evident pellet droppings.
A pest infestation should be taken very seriously, and you should immediately contact a professional exterminator or pest control services. If you can identify any unwanted guests in your new house and prevent them from multiplying, you’ll have fewer problems down the road.
6. Check the drainage situation
Check the drainage system in your new house within the first week after you move in. If your home has a sump, you’ll want to ensure that the sump pump is operational. You can test it by pouring a bucket or two of water. Similarly, examine any exterior drains and clear them if required.
7. Ensure that your utilities are operational
Assuming you’ve already made arrangements for your utilities to be up and running before moving into your new house, it’s a good idea to ensure that everything is ready to go. Before moving in, check your electricity, gas, and water supplies.
You’ll likely be paying a small fortune for heating and cooling. Therefore you must examine the HVAC system for any potential faults. Take the time to inspect your heating and cooling units, insulation, and ducts for any warning signs that something is off. It would be best if you also replace your HVAC’s air filters to ensure maximum energy efficiency. This is also very important if someone in your house is allergic to dust or animal hair.
8. Test your smoke and CO detectors
The smoke detectors in your new house could have old batteries or be faulty. Smoke alarms are the cheapest and most effective way of protecting your family and your home from a fire, but you must take the time to test them regularly. Consider replacing the batteries in all your smoke detectors as soon as you move in.
The same rule applies to your CO (carbon monoxide) detectors too. If they are more than five years old, consider replacing them.
Owning a home comes with a lot of responsibility, and you might come across an unending to-do list during the first couple of weeks. The effort, however, is worth it. The only way to ensure years of satisfaction and contentment is by dealing with any potential problems in your new house as soon as you move in. Hopefully, the list above has given you an excellent place to start.