What to Expect the First Year in Your New Home
You’ve signed and closed on your new home, so what’s next? While you may be very excited to embark on your new journey in a new place, you might be feeling anxious about all the responsibilities this new house will require within the first year. Whether it’s a new construction or a fixer upper, there’s always going to be some steps you need to take during the first year of living there to truly make your new home truly feel like home sweet home.
Changing the Keys or Locks
Receiving the keys to your new home signals the completion of your real estate transaction. It can be a very special feeling to unlock your home’s doors for the very first time. However, you should seriously consider either changing the locks or re-keying. Re-keying is when a locksmith replaces the working key of the lock but keeps the same original lock. Changing the lock is more self-explanatory: the locksmith changes out the locks completely with its own set of keys. Both services will have the same effect and keep you and your family safe from anyone trying to gain access with the old keys. Re-keying is usually cheaper than changing the locks because you only have to pay for the labor whereas changing the locks will require you to pay for labor and the parts. If you’re still unsure which option is best for you and your new home, check out our article “Should you Rekey or Change Locks?” If there’s a waiting period between the old and new locks for whatever reason, be sure to double check around the property for any spare keys hidden – you never know who the previous owner trusted with spare keys for those “just in case” moments. Also be sure to change the passwords or combinations for garage doors and other security systems.
There will be a great deal of maintenance tasks you’ll need to handle during the first year in your new home – this is especially true if your home is not brand new. Besides the obvious maintenance tasks that come with each season, there is some maintenance you should perform as soon as you move in, no matter the season. Start by locating all fire and carbon monoxide detectors to check if they are working properly and loaded with new batteries. Also, locate all flood lights, motion lights, spotlights, and any other security features to make sure they have working bulbs and are functioning properly. Another maintenance task that is often forgotten about and overlooked is cleaning out your dryer’s hose and vents. You can’t be too sure when the last homeowner performed this task, and its important because if left uncleaned, your new house could catch on fire! Similarly, be sure to clean out your HVAC ducts. The accumulation of dust and dirt inside ducts can cause your HVAC system to not run as efficiently and cost you money, as well as the danger of poor indoor air quality that can severely worsen allergies and asthma.
Meeting New People
Neighbors can be an incredible resource for discovering the ins and outs of the neighborhood. If you’re not a naturally outgoing person, you may be wondering how you can socialize with your new neighbors in an organic way that doesn’t seem too forced or uncomfortable. Take some time to wander around your new neighborhood (even better if you make this a family activity!), and explore what the whole neighborhood and surrounding areas have to offer. While out on your walks, say hello to neighbors that are outside or simply flash a welcoming smile towards them. Before no time, you’ll develop friendly rapports with neighbors and striking up a conversation will feel less awkward and more comfortable. Find out through your neighbors if your neighborhood holds any block parties, barbeques, or has a neighborhood watch so you can get involved and meet new people in your neighborhood. If none of the above options are working for you, consider holding your own party that invites neighbors to come by and to meet the new neighbors – aka YOU!
Something’s Going to Break – Get a Home Warranty!
Regardless if you are moving into a brand-new home, or a home that has had a previous owner, the eventual breakdowns of your home systems and appliances are inevitable. With a Choice Home Warranty, you can rest assured that all your covered major systems and appliances will be taken care of in a professional and timely manner.* If you’re closing on a home and don’t have a warranty included, speak to your agent about Choice Home Warranty or find your local representative here!
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