You’re a homeowner, now what? Sometimes the process of buying a home can be a bit overwhelming – so many documents to sign, inspections, appraisal, walkthrough and then closing. Now that you have the keys to your home, there are still a few things you should add to your list. Don’t worry, it’s nothing like what you have already done. The hard part is over! It’s time to start making memories. Whether that’s making magical tents in the family room, hosting dinner parties or a BBQ in the backyard – it’s your time to sit back and enjoy the place you now call home.
Here’s a shareable infographic with a few minor details you should consider.
No. 1. Homeowner Security
The first thing I always recommend to all of my homeowners is to change the locks! You have no idea how many people might have keys and access to your house. Likely friends, relatives, homewatch people and contractors have a key or keypad access. Protect your investment by changing the keys. I recently met a locksmith at a listing and to rekey the front door, including four copies, was only $140.00. I think your home is worth protecting.
- Schedule a locksmith to change all locks in the house. They usually can be keyed to all be the same.
- Change garage keypad code.
- If in a gated community, provide your contact information to security. Also make sure previous owner’s guest list and contractor list is no longer attached to your house.
No. 2. Update Your Address
Whether it’s online through the USPS, or by going to each website, it’s important that your address be updated as soon as possible. Make sure to update your address with;
- Financial institutions (banks, credit card companies…)
- Insurance companies (homeowners, car, health…)
- Utility companies (electric, gas, cable, water…)
- Update any autoship deliveries (Amazon & more)
- Schools & employers
No. 3. Start a Folder
As a homeowner, save time later by starting a folder containing important house information. When/if you decide to sell having all information in one place will be helpful. And, while you are living in the home, knowing where to look when you need a manual is a time-saver. I highly suggest you keep these documents in a fire-proof safe. Some suggested items to include;
- Closing documents (deed, survey, title…)
- Insurance policy
- Warranty information
- Receipts for work completed on home
No. 4. Buy a Storage Bin
A bin is a great way to keep all homeowner items related to the house that do not fit in a folder. It’s great to have any material swatches in case you renovate or update in the future. Taking a small piece of quartz to the paint store is much easier than going back and forth with small paint chips. Anytime you update something, ask for a sample. Most places, including flooring companies, will provide you with a sample. In the bin, organize items including;
- Owner’s manuals
- Cabinetry wood samples
- Granite/quartz samples
- Flooring smaples
- Drapery and upholstery swatches
- Paint chips
- Anything related to the house
No. 5. Homeowner BONUS
Whether you are buying or selling a home, there are a lot of moving parts. Here are some resources for you to bookmark for reference later.
Buying a home with smart devices? Make sure the previous owners either provide you with login information or return items to factory settings. It’s important that you have access to all devices that remained at home, including Ring doorbell, Lutron lighting controls and more.
Searching for a home and selling a home can be like trying to solve the Rubik’s Cube when you were twelve. But, with the help of some great real estate apps, it can be a puzzle you can solve. And, if you are a techy person, the apps can make the process actually fun. I know it sounds like an oxymoron. How can house hunting or home selling be fun unless you are on HGTV? Real estate apps certainly don’t make it as simple as it appears on television, but it really does help, if you are using the right apps.
As technology continues to advance it seems that criminals are right there for the ride. Unfortunately, they have also targeted the real estate world. As you know buying and selling a home can be an emotional and sometimes complicated process. Now we need to add securing our identity to the list. You can no longer cross your fingers and hope that you are not the target of a scam or identity theft online. With education, procedures and caution, you can minimize your risk. As a homeowner, it’s important to understand and minimize your risk.
Congratulations! I wish you many years of happiness in your new home.