6 Things to Do When Moving Into a New House
It’s easy to get super excited about buying and moving into your new house. But for your own safety and security, be sure to cross these six tasks off your checklist before you call the house home and buy these home essentials.
Peace of mind starts with changing the locks. If you don’t do any other of the six things when moving into your new home, change the locks.
You really don’t know who else has keys to your home, so change the locks. That ensures you’re the only person who has access. Install new deadbolts yourself for as little as $11 per lock or call a locksmith. If you supply the new locks, locksmiths typically charge $50 to $100 per lock for labor. The full installation cost will vary depending on the type of lock you choose.
Tip #2 Check for Plumbing Leaks
Your home inspector should do this for you before closing, but it never hurts to double-check for leaks in your whole home.
Keep an eye out for dripping faucets and running toilets, and check your water heater for signs of a leak.
Here’s a neat trick: Check your water meter at the beginning and end of a two-hour window in which no water is being used in your house. If the reading is different, you have a leak.
Another option is to purchase a moisture meter if you suspect there is a small leak. Moisture meters run between $20 to about $100. A professional-grade moisture meter can run as much as $1500.
Tip #3 Steam Clean Carpets
If your home doesn’t have new carpeting, steam clean the carpets before you move your furniture into the home. You can pay for a professional carpet cleaning service. They’ll measure the length of the carpet before giving you an estimate. If the square footage falls below their minimum, they’ll likely charge a flat fee of $100 to $150.
You can rent steam cleaners to use yourself for $35 to $50. You’ll probably also need to buy detergent for stubborn stains, costing $15 to $25. Depending on the size of your home, it will take several hours to really clean it well.
Tip #4 Wipe Out Your Cabinets
This is another no-brainer before you move in your dishes and bathroom supplies, especially if the house has been vacant. It’s not uncommon for mice and other pests to move in quickly if the home has been left vacant for a number of weeks. Make sure to wipe inside and out, preferably with a non-toxic cleaner, and add shelf liners to help protect your dishwater.
And if you do find traces of unwanted roommates, take the next step.
Tip #5 Invest in Pest Control
That includes mice, rats, bats, termites, roaches, and any other uninvited guests. There are any number of DIY ways to get rid of pests, but if you need to bring in the big guns, an initial visit from a pest removal service will run you $150 to $300. After that, monthly visits will cost about $40 to $70 per visit, or quarterly visits, $100 to $300 each time.
Tip #5 Invest in Pest Control
That includes mice, rats, bats, termites, roaches, and any other uninvited guests. There are any number of DIY ways to get rid of pests, but if you need to bring in the big guns, an initial visit from a pest service will run you $150 to $300. After that, monthly visits will cost about $40 to $70 per visit, or quarterly visits, $100 to $300 each time.
Tip #6 Introduce Yourself to Your Circuit Breaker Box and Main Water Valve
It’s easier to do with two people: one to stand in the room where the power is supposed to go off and the other to trip the breakers or fuses and yell, “Did that work? How about now?” Once you determine where which breakers turn on and off in which areas of the home, label the breaker switches