You’ve purchased a home, and signed the mountain of paperwork making you the legal owner. The REALTOR® hands you the keys and the home is now yours! Congratulations! That moment is a great moment in peoples lives. It feels good doesn’t it? Now what? Now that you are the proud owner of your own home, there are a few things you should do:
Get To Know The Area
Once your purchased your home, you need to get to know the area. Make sure you know where the closest hospital and walk in clinic are. Find out what is around you such as local restaurants, banks, post office, coffee shops, convenience stores, grocery markets, and other places that are important to you. This may include schools if you have kids, veterinarians if you have pets, parks if you have either or both! Ask your new neighbors what their favorites are. This is a good way to start a conversation with them and introduce yourself.
Change the Locks
One of the first and foremost things you need to do is change the locks. You never know who has a key to your new home. The previous owners’ friends, family, home cleaners, babysitters, pet sitters and who knows else may have a key. You will want to contact a local locksmith in advance and let them know the day your home is closing so they can be scheduled. You don’t want to have to wait because you didn’t get on their schedule early enough.
Change Your Address
Once you have your new home address, make sure to let everyone know. First of all, you need to let the post office know. This can be done online if you don’t want to go into a physical office. Here is the link for you. Make sure to do this several weeks before you move. Make sure to include the local city hall. You want to make sure to get any important documents like your tax bill.
Ideally, you should make a list of all your subscriptions and companies you get mail from so you can contact them directly. This includes any financial institutions such as credit card companies and bank accounts, retirement, tax accountants, and the IRS. Remember to call any magazine companies you have subscriptions with as well. Make sure to purchase some change of address labels too.
Take Services Out of Your Name/Get Services Put In Your Name
Make sure to take the services out of your name where you left and have the services put in your name in your new home. Make sure that you contact the internet company, cable company, phone company, garbage, irrigation, electric, and water companies. Give them your move out date from where you are moving out of and the date when you will be taking occupancy in your new home. Double check your bills after you move out of your old home or apartment to verify it was done correctly. Then check your bills in your new home to make sure you weren’t billed for any time you weren’t legally the owner.
Another thing you need to do once you’ve purchased a home is to close your bank or credit union account if it is not available where you are moving to. Many banks require you to be at the physical location of the bank that you opened it at. So make sure you take care of this prior to leaving the area. If it is a national or regional bank they can assist you in transferring your account to a local one.
Make sure to get a copy of your medical records from your physicians so that you can take them with you to your new doctor. That way you are not waiting for records to be transferred if they are not on the same system. This can save you a lot of wait time when transferring. Also, make sure that your prescriptions are up to date so you can transfer them to a new pharmacy in your new location. Make sure that you have enough medication to get you through the move.
Organize and Keep Paperwork
Make sure to keep your paperwork in a safe location for tax time. You will want proof of the expenses you had when buying the home. You will need these for tax deductions and in case you are ever audited. The tax laws are always changing so you want to make sure you have all your records in one place.
Home Improvement Records
Now that you have purchased a home and are a homeowner, you will also want to keep track of any home improvements that you make. You will need documentation to claim this. Repairs are considered general maintenance and can’t be included. Improvements are things that add value to the home.
Review Your Settlement Statement
Take the time to go over your settlement statement. Don’t be rushed. Mistakes can happen so you want to double check it. Speak with the closing agent or your realtor if you have any questions and they can explain them to you.
These are just a few items to take care of once you have purchased a home. We hope this helps you in the process and congratulations once more on purchasing your new home.
As always, thanks for reading and we welcome any additional information or comments you may have.
1920 N. Pittsburgh St., Suite A
Kennewick, WA 99336