New home checklist: what to do when you move into a new house
You’ve saved, sacrificed, and finally succeeded - congratulations, you’re the proud owner of a new home! The wait is finally over, and you have the house keys in your hands. But, after months of anticipation and excitement, you may be wondering where you should focus your attention now.
Don’t worry; we’ve put together a new home checklist brimming with all the essentials you’ll need to consider when moving into a new house.
Let’s dive in.
Plan your budget - and see it through
They say there’s no better investment than bricks and mortar - and in the long term, owning a home can be very financially rewarding, but you’ll need to smartly manage your investment to really reap any rewards.
So, when’s a better time to get your finances in order than when you move house?
You likely will have compiled details of your outgoings for your mortgage application, so creating a spreadsheet of your monthly costs with predicted figures agreed upon with utility suppliers might be worthwhile.
Things to include in your budgeting list:
Cell phone, cable, internet, and landline costs
Car payments, including repayments and insurance
Buildings, contents, pet, life, and health insurance costs
Any other debts or loan payments
Some people have a separate household account to pay money into each month for household expenses.
This makes monitoring what you spend each month much easier and enables you to adjust when needed.
Get the essentials ready for your first night
Before you wave goodbye to your old home, think about your first night at the new property, and get the essentials on your new home checklist.
Ensure these particular items are easily accessible - and most should travel with you in your car rather than the moving truck. Packing an overnight bag with all your essentials is a good rule of thumb. This will save you time and effort digging through boxes to find your toothbrush.
Similarly, if there is anything especially valuable or fragile, it will also be a good idea to take it in your car too.
Don’t forget cleaning products to give the house a quick once over before the moving trucks arrive. A clean house will be a happy house on your first night.
Get the locks changed as soon as possible
There’s no way of knowing how many previous residents have keys to your property, so for added security, it’s a good idea to get a locksmith to change the locks when you first move it. You won’t want unwanted visitors after all.
If you have them, replace your window locks as you won’t know when they were last changed. It may be an additional cost, but the extra peace of mind will help make your move as smooth and pleasant as possible.
If your new property is in a communal building, ask the management company when the front door lock was last changed. The chances are it hasn’t been done recently, and with so many potential key holders, it’s important to get it updated as soon as possible.
Get appropriate insurance cover
To ensure the full value of your belongings is covered in case of theft or damage, you will need to have appropriate contents insurance.
From the date of exchange, you’ll likely need some form of building insurance, and it’s very easy to forget to add a contents policy at the completion of the purchase, so bear this in mind.
Also, remember that as you buy new things for your new home ahead of the move, you’ll need to add them to your policy alongside existing belongings so they’re covered too.
But it’s not just personal belongings and furniture that fall under this umbrella - be sure to take your curtains, carpets, and white goods into account too.
You can seek advice from your insurance company or broker if you are in doubt.
Provide utility meter readings
Upon purchasing your new home, take pictures of your old and new home's gas, electricity, and water meter readings.
As you will have alerted the utility companies about your move, call them to give them the relevant readings or log into the online account you’ve already set up with the utility company following any email correspondence.
The latter option will save you a lot of waiting time too.
Switch energy providers or banks
Moving home is the best time to switch energy providers as you may find a better deal in your local area.
Similarly, many banks offer switching rewards - so why not take advantage before you move to a new address?
File and retain legal paperwork
There’s no better time to get the legalities of your life in order than when you move home.
If this is the first home you’ve purchased, think about making a will to ensure your assets are distributed how you’d want them to be if something ever happens to you.
And ahead of the move, it will be worth filing paperwork associated with the purchase safely and securely away as it will need to be available promptly for reference when the time comes to sell the property.
Additionally, if you undertake any renovations at the property, keep the paperwork related to these adjustments safely filed away too.
Change of address checklist
You’ll also need to update your address wherever it’s held on file, whether for identification purposes, with your primary care physician, or with companies you’re a customer.
Here's a checklist of services for which you will need to update your address when you move:
The U.S. Postal Service
Social Security Administration
Banks and insurers
Home and car insurance
Council tax and electoral roll
Purchasing a new home is undoubtedly a very exciting time, but it can also be stressful, and you might feel like you have an insurmountable list of things to do to ensure it all goes smoothly.
Seeking advice from a financial adviser can help you ensure you’re prepared for the move, and they will support you with planning for the future in your new home.
Senior Content Writer
Rachel is a Senior Content Writer at Unbiased. She has nearly a decade of experience writing and producing content across a range of different sectors.