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Moving into a new-to-you home comes with a lot of stressful but exciting changes. This is doubly true for first-time homeowners, who often don’t know what to expect when it comes to the many new responsibilities homeownership brings. We’ve pulled together a list of processes and ideas to help new homeowners come prepared when moving into a new home.
Before you even move in, you can start getting a feel for your new neighborhood. Learn about local schools, nearby shopping areas and where your nearest hospital is. This will help you feel more settled in if you have at least a rudimentary knowledge of what’s close by once you’re settled.
New homes come with quite a bit of paperwork. You likely already have a spot for stashing important documents, but add in a new folder specifically for documents related to your new home. This will make it easy to grab necessary documents at a glance without digging through unrelated paperwork.
In addition to your new documents folder, keep track of new ideas and improvements you’d like to see implemented in your space. Whether you’re a digital or paper person, keep up with your ideas wherever is most convenient–a designated notebook or your phone’s notetaking app will both work! What matters most is that it’s easily accessible to you whenever you’re speaking with professionals working on your home as well as available for you to add to whenever you get a new idea.
It might be tempting to start a lot of projects right when you move in, but don’t fall into this line of thinking. Redoing your kitchen, tearing up your yard and painting your living room means there’s a lot of space in your home that isn’t livable! Keep major renovations confined to one space at a time.
Holding off on starting multiple big projects also gives you time to settle in and decide which major renovations are true needs for your home. What may seem like a great idea on move-in day may prove to be unnecessary a year down the road. If you can satisfy what you’d like done with a smaller project, do that instead. Your wallet will thank you, and if you still want to do major renovations, that’s always an option later on.
Once you’ve moved in, you’ll likely have lighter pockets until you’ve settled into your new homeowner’s budget. However, it’s worth spending a little bit more money with an energy use professional to find out how much energy your home uses and, more importantly, how efficiently your home is making use of that energy. They may have ideas on how you can improve your home’s use of energy, which could influence your timeline on getting to different home projects. Even just replacing your windows could improve your home’s energy efficiency!
Your neighbors, in addition to being potential new friends, are your best source of information for good local services like electricians or contractors. Plus, they may not mind dropping by to water your plants or collect a package off your porch if you go out of town for a few days. Getting to know your new neighbors can make the process of settling into your new home much smoother!
Just as useful as your new neighbors is your new HOA. Figuring out your HOA bylaws and customs for changing your home’s exterior will be is useful from move-in day on. Beyond that, learning if there are any benefits provided by your new HOA, such as group rates for lawn care or pest control, is also great!
On move-in day or (better yet) earlier, take a few minutes to figure out where household essentials like the circuit breaker, hot water heater and attic openings are located. Being able to access these in an emergency is crucial, so you do not want to wait on learning your home inside and out.
Like we mentioned earlier, planning our your home improvement projects will let you space them out to keep at least portions of your home livable at all times. Settle in and see what actually needs to be done. You may change your mind with a little time. Though you may be tempted to get them all done in one fell swoop, patience pays off in the long run (and on your budget!).
When the time comes for home renovation, our team is ready to help you reach your home’s true potential. Whether you’re looking to replace your windows or siding, high-quality products can make a huge difference on your home’s look and feel–and even send monthly savings your way thanks to energy-efficient design. Whenever you’re ready to take the next steps on making your new house a home, we’ll be ready. Contact us today for a free estimate!