Buying and moving into a new home is an exciting time! Whether you’re moving into your new home by yourself, with a partner, or with family there’s plenty to get done during this transitional period. Having some guidance along the way will help you as you get comfortable in your new home. Follow these tips to help you get situated in your new home as quickly as possible and appreciate the benefits of homeownership.
One of the biggest things that’ll help you feel more comfortable in your new home is unpacking. It sounds so simple but anyone who has moved knows it isn’t as easy as it sounds. One of the best ways you can be organized while unpacking is by being organized while you pack. Make sure you label all the boxes so when you’re moving them out of the car or a moving truck they end up in the right room from the start. From there, prioritize certain rooms to unpack first, based on your immediate needs. Some people like to start with the kitchen, but if you feel comfortable eating out or ordering take out for a day or two, start with the bedroom and bathroom so you’ll have a comfortable place to sleep at night and get ready in the morning. If you need to work, set up your home office as soon as possible, focus on the spaces you’ll do the most living in, then work your way to the other areas like a guest room.
While you’re unpacking you might discover things that you need to purchase. Maybe you moved from an apartment to a house for the first time and discovered things that were supplied before you now need to purchase. Make a running list, either physical or digital, of the things you need to buy. If you need a break from unpacking, run to the store and get a few things from your list. Alternatively, if you want to power through the unpacking as quickly as possible you can order these items for delivery.
Make Any Updates You Want
With quickly changing design trends there are probably a few updates you’ll want to make immediately unless your home is a new build. When going through the buying process, make notes of the things that you want to update in those first few months. As soon as you’re able to get some contractors in for quotes and dates, do it. The longer you wait to do these high-priority items, the longer it’ll take for you to feel like you’re settled into your new home. Consider anything that would make moving in more difficult, such as fumes that come with new flooring or painting the interior. If these are some of the projects you’re considering, be sure to delay your move-in and have a plan on where you’ll be living during that interim period. Additionally, make a note of things that come up during the home inspection that might be an issue in the future, and consider starting some of these projects now so they don’t surprise you later.
Budget for Monthly Costs
Now that you’re a homeowner, you’ll soon need to begin making your monthly mortgage payments. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to you but you should look at your budget and make any necessary adjustments. If you lived in an apartment previously, your monthly payments could be different as this’ll be your first time paying annual property taxes. Be sure to incorporate those into your budget so you aren’t caught by surprise. Your mortgage payment will be the price of the home plus your interest rate, minus your down payment divided by the number of months you’ll be paying. Your mortgage is a fixed expense and will not change month to month unless you try to refinance it later on. This means you can very easily slide into your budget without worrying about it fluctuating. Make sure to take a peek at your current spending to make sure you can comfortably afford your mortgage. If you need more money per month for other expenses or are having trouble affording the cost, consider a 30-year mortgage payment. This is a great option for individuals who anticipate remaining in the home for a long time and want to keep payments low. Additionally, with a fixed mortgage your interest rate is locked in, so it will never increase later during your time in the home.
During the moving process, you might experience increased expenses for the first few months as you purchase new things for the home and start new services but you should see your spending come down shortly after. Be sure to keep in mind other monthly expenses you might have related to your home as well such as wifi, water, electricity, HOA fees, and cable. You’ll also want to include any elective services you use as well, like a lawn service or cleaning help. It can be easy to forget about these payments as they’re not included in your mortgage and can change at times based on your usage or the time of year. Including these items in your budget will help you anticipate your spending each month and how to adjust if needed.
Get to Know Your Home
Of course, before buying a home you probably would have toured it at least once. However, there’s likely still a lot to explore in your home to make you feel more comfortable. Getting acquainted with the systems in your home is a great place to start. One of the first things you will want to do is test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Typically they’ll be left by the previous owners so you don’t need to install new ones. This is especially important if you’re making home improvements because sometimes the power tools can overheat and catch fire. With all the dust and debris from moving, a fire could spread quickly. Don’t delay in doing this, as it could save your life.
Some other home systems you should check out include your HVAC system, your circuit breaker, and your turn-off valves. Your HVAC system for the sake of your comfort during the summer and winter months, it’s best inspected as soon as possible. That way you can make sure your heating and cooling systems are working properly before you desperately need them. While doing this also check your windows, insulation, and your overall ventilation as these factors contribute to how efficiently your system runs.
Next, inspect your circuit breaker. Make sure each unit is properly labeled, as this will make it much easier for you to restore power should you need to in the future. Finally, make sure you familiarize yourself with your turn-off valves for water and gas. This is an important step for any renovation to avoid damage to your home. You’ll want to locate these as soon as possible so you know where they are in case of an emergency. Sometimes there can be one inside and outside the home so be sure to locate all the valves before beginning any work.
Explore Your New Area
A huge part of moving into a new home is getting to know the area outside of the home. A good way to get to know your neighborhood is to simply walk around introducing yourself to your neighbors. That can be daunting in this digital age so if you prefer an online approach download the neighbor’s app. This is an online forum where you can talk to neighbors, share security reports, and make announcements about fun events happening in the area. No matter your method, getting to know your neighbors is always a good idea, they can let you know the best things to do in the area and they can also be a helping hand in case of emergency.
Beyond getting to know your neighborhood you’ll want to get to know the larger community as well. If you have young kids looking at the schooling options will need to be a priority. You should also check out where your favorite grocery stores are located, and highly recommended restaurants. Make a list of some of the highest priority things you want to do in your new area, and consider yourself a tourist. Then one-by-one when you have free time start checking things off your list.
All these steps can be time-consuming and expensive but also very exciting. Once they’re completed you’re well on your way to feeling more comfortable in your home. For more information on moving or buying a home check out our blog home page.