7 To-Dos for the New Homeowner

Moving into a new house is one of the big events in life. Once you get all the boxes inside, you'll probably be super eager to set up your furniture and nestle in. However, there are a few necessary tasks you should complete first. So as soon as you turn that key for the first time, consider this list of to-dos you should complete immediately when you move into a new house. They'll save you a lot of hassle down the road.

1. Change the Locks

Making sure your home is secure is an important step you shouldn't skip. Of course, you'll need to get the set of keys from the real estate agent to enter your new house, but once you're in, it's time to change the locks. Although the old owners are expected to get rid of their keys, it's not a guarantee. On top of that, they may have given out extra sets to family members and neighbors, maintenance workers, or even past realtors. The best way to make sure that nobody has a key to your house is to get the locks changed immediately.

2. Replace Filters

A faucet aerator.

Most houses have a lot of different filters throughout. Since having clean filters is important for your health and safety, don't rely on the last owners to have changed them recently. Instead, go around and change each filter, even if you think you don't have to. That way, you'll know for a fact they're new and you'll be able to keep track of when to change them next. You will want to change a few different filters, including the heating and air conditioning unit, the aeration filters in the bathroom and kitchen, and the vent filter above the stove.

3. Conduct a Thorough Inspection

Chances are you already hired a house inspector during the purchasing process, but it never hurts to have another look. Really go through your new house while it's still empty and look for visible signs of damage such as plumbing leaks and leaky faucets. Also check for signs of water or fire damage. A good time to do this is during your deep cleaning. You should also inspect the yard and the outside of your house for any damage or potential problems. Fix anything that you find as soon as possible to prevent worse damage.

4. Do a Deep Clean

A woman power washing windows on a brick house.

A lot of new houses will already be pretty clean when you move in. Even still, you should go throughout the house and do a deep cleaning before you bring over your belongings. It will be easier to access every nook and corner while the place is still empty. Make sure you wash all the windows, but pay special attention to the floors. While the house is still bare, you can easily steam clean carpets and buff and seal hardwood floors.

5. Check for Pests

Before you move any of your belongings into the house, take the time to pest-proof the structure. Even if it's just for annoying pests like flies or the random centipede, it's easier to have an exterminator come in and spray the house while it's still empty and you aren't living there yet. And once you move any furniture in the house, it will be that much harder to find and exterminate any creepy crawlies that might choose to nest in your stuff.

6. Examine the Fuse Box and Main Water Valve

A hand flipping a switch on a fuse box.

While exploring your new house, make sure you locate the fuse box and main water valve, just in case there's ever an emergency. You should familiarize yourself with the fuse box and learn which fuse controls which area of the house if they aren't labelled. Even if they are labelled, check that it's correct. Once identified, label them yourself.

It's also a good idea to make sure the main water valve is in good shape and learn how it works. Check to see if there is any running water after the valve has been turned off. If there is, you should get it replaced right away.

7. Paint

Another thing you should immediately do when you move in is paint any walls or ceilings you want to change before you fully move in. It's a lot easier to paint an empty house than a full one. Painting every surface can be a time-consuming task, but it will be easier if you don't have to move furniture out of the way and cover everything up. If you aren't up for the task, you can always hire someone or have friends and family come by and help out.