Congratulations on purchasing your new home! Before you start opening boxes and putting things away, we have some advice for new homebuyers and first time buyers – 10 Things To Do Before You Unpack.
These 10 items are often overlooked when moving into a new home. Checking off this short list of to-do’s, however, will give you piece of mind and a sense of security as well as putting you on the proper path to caring your your new home and protecting your investment.
1) CHANGE THE LOCKS: We recommend changing the locks on your new home immediately. Over the years homeowners may lend out keys and those keys aren’t returned. It’s just a good, safe practice to rekey the home as soon as possible, ensuring that you and your loved ones are the only ones with access to property.
2) REVIEW YOUR HOME INSPECTION REPORT: This is a very important document, homebuyers pay for it, and sadly rarely ever use it for more than negotiations. However, once you’ve signed on the dotted line, this report serves as your guide for any needed repairs or maintenance not handled during the transaction. It will provide any safety concerns as well as needed repairs/preventative home maintenance to protect your investment. Use it!
3) FIND YOUR CIRCUIT BREAKER: Circuit breakers prevent potential fires and other mayhem by cutting off power when the system senses an overload. Since circuit breakers are considered to be one of the most important safety features in your home, we recommend that new homeowners locate their Circuit Breaker or Fuse Box immediately upon moving in. If you need help locating yours, click here.
4) CHANGE HOME ALARM & SMOKE ALARM BATTERIES: If your new home has an alarm, you’ll want to replace the battery upon moving in. These batteries have an average life span of approximately 3-5 years.
5) CHANGE SMOKE ALARM BATTERIES: Low batteries will cause alarms to sound off systematically until the battery is replaced.Locate all smoke alarms throughout the home. Remove old batteries and replace with new. Be sure to test the system once you’ve finished.
6) REPLACE LIGHT BULBS: We recommend walking through the home and taking inventory of the lighting fixtures and what types of bulbs are required. Be sure to take note of the label on the light fixtures, which will indicate the proper wattage to be used. Odds are the sellers only replaced the bulbs that were out when they listed the home. Replacing all the bulbs upon moving in, isn’t a requirement for sure, just one of those things that saves you multiple trips to the home improvement store when they all go out separately at a later date. (You may even want to take one of each of the old bulbs with you when you purchase new bulbs.)
7) PLAN EMERGENCY EXITS: In the event of a fire or other emergency, you’ll want to plan out how each member of your family will evacuate the home in case of an emergency. For more information on emergency exit planning, click here.
8) CLEAN YOUR GUTTERS: It rains here in Middle Tennessee, a lot. Your gutters play a key role in protecting the siding, windows, doors, and foundations from water damage and flooding in basements. When it rains, gutters direct runoff from a very large surface—a home’s roof—to where it can drain away from the house. Gutters can get clogged with leaves and other debris. And because they are out of sight, they are often also out of mind for most homeowners until there’s a bigger problem. For information on cleaning out rain gutters, click here.
9) CAULK EVERYTHING: If you’re not handy or crazy about the world of DIY, you’ll want to find a handyman for this task. Over time, the caulk around sinks, tubs, etc wears and crumbles. Taking the time to caulk everything upon moving in will prevent leaks, water damage and one of the scariest words in the english language when it comes to buying or selling a home – MOLD.
10) SHARE YOUR CONTACT INFO: Meet a few of your neighbors. Introduce yourself and provide your contact information. In the event of any emergency or suspicious activity, your neighbors can quickly reach you. We know that this is one of those items some of you will back away from, and that’s okay. But think of it this way, you’ve just purchased a home in this neighborhood. You have chosen to live there. Don’t you want to invest in your community? Get to know those around you? Make an effort to set the tone for your relationships with your neighbors. Sharing contact information will help break the ice.
And that’s our list of the Top 10 Things To Do Before You Unpack. We hope you find them helpful. And as always, if you know anyone who is in the market to buy a home, sell a home or invest in real estate, we would appreciate it if you’d send them to The Spackman Group at Keller Williams. We promise to treat them like the VIPs that they are!
We’ve taken the liberty of adding a few local resources in the Franklin, TN – Brentwood, TN – Cool Springs area that our clients have used and had success with:
Cool Springs Lock & Key 460 Franklin Road Franklin, TN 37069. (615) 595-5744 http://locksmithfranklintn.com
Batteries Plus 1724 Carothers Parkway Brentwood, TN 37027 (615) 371-8151 https://www.batteriesplus.com
Tim Fettroll (615) 838-6582 Handyman
The Spackman Group at KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY (Franklin)
Each Office Is Independently Owned & Operated
9175 Carothers Parkway, Suite 110
Franklin, TN 37067
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