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You’re a homeowner; now what?

Here’s tips to get off to a smooth start in your new home

By Paul F.P. Pogue, Ask Angi
Published: May 11, 2024, 5:08am

Congratulations! You’re the proud owner of a new home — or at the very least, new to you. You’ve probably gone through months of paperwork, loan forms, a complicated closing process, and all the not-fun stuff of homebuying, but you’ve at last arrived at that point where you turn the key, close the door behind you, and say with a smile “I’m home.”

So … NOW what? You’ve only taken your first step into the larger world of making this house into your home. And while moving in and decorating can often be the fun parts, you need to handle a lot of small jobs along the way as well. The sooner you get these logistics taken care of, the better; these can get very annoying very quickly if not handled smoothly.

But never fear; we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re just moving into a new place or you want to get to know your home better, our next three editions will feature our checklist for moving into a new home. This week starts with the basics, then we’ll turn to the exterior and interior.

Get to know your (new) home

Transfer or turn on all utilities and services. These usually include:

  • Change the locks: This one is self-explanatory. Hire a locksmith pro to get this work done as soon as possible.
  • Set up your security system: Obviously, this needs to be one of your earliest tasks. If there’s an existing system, determine what kind of security system you have, whether you want to keep it, and whatever changes you might want to make. If not, decide what kind of protection you want by calling a security pro for guidance. Keep in mind that your security system and any future home automation will probably be closely integrated, so think about that when you make your selection.

Update your documentation

  • Find your standard professionals: You want to find, interview and hire these basic pros, at the very least, before you need them for an emergency. They can perform the initial inspections to tell you what might need to be fixed, and you’ll definitely want to have an existing relationship with them before you call them with a major problem at 2 a.m.
  • Don’t forget to talk to your insurance agent, either. As you make changes in the early days of your home experience, you might make improvements that lower your premiums, or create value that increases them to cover it. Either way, you want your agent’s knowledge to accurately reflect what you actually have.
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