I work with a lot of first time home buyers here in Seattle. So much so, that I put together a comprehensive checklist around the steps of buying a house. But what should you look out for as soon as you move in? I came across this great article at HouseLogic that really spelled out what first time home buyers need to know, and thought I’d share it.
(Article by Courtney Craig) 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:
#1 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.
#2 Check for Plumbing Leaks
Your home inspector should do this for you before closing, but it never hurts to double-check. 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.
#3 Steam Clean Carpets
Do this before you move your furniture in, and your new home life will be off to a fresh start. You can pay a professional carpet cleaning service — you’ll pay about $50 per room; most services require a minimum of about $100 before they’ll come out — or you can rent a steam cleaner for about $30 per day and do the work yourself.
The advice for checking for plumbing leaks could also save you 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.