What First Time Home Buyers Need to Know

[Article by COURTNEY CRAIG – an Atlanta-based writer and editor]

When I bought my first house, my timing couldn’t have been better: The house closing was two weeks before the lease was up on my apartment. That meant I could take my time packing and moving, and I could get to know the new place before moving in.

I recruited family and friends to help me move (in exchange for a beer-and-pizza picnic on the floor) and, as a bonus, I got to pick their brains about what first-time homeowners should know.

Their help was one of the best housewarming presents I could have gotten. And thanks to their expertise and a little Googling, here’s what I learned about what to do before moving in.

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 $10 per lock, or call a locksmith — if you supply the new locks, they typically charge about $20 to $30 per lock for labor.

Real estate investors could benefit from reading this article as well.  You never know how many people have a key and could possibly get into a home you are working on and swipe tools or new appliances.  The section for checking for plumbing leaks could also save a lot of money and problem solving later. Whether you are fixing up the home to resell or are going to rent the home after repairs or updating, the new buyers or tenants will want to feel comfortable that there are no leaks or pests in the home.