9 Quick and Easy Ways to Settle Into Your New Home
Once you purchase your first home, you won’t want to waste a minute getting settled after the closing. Here are nine tips from the top real estate agents Bellevue, WA home buyers trust to help you feel at home in your new castle right away.
Secure Your Home
Now that you’re officially the owners of your home, you want to make it as secure as possible. Since the previous owners may have given other people keys to the house, it’s a good idea to change the locks using a locksmith.
If the home is already equipped with a security system, don’t forget to change the codes there too. You may want to install a security system if there is none, which these days can be controlled via your mobile phone for extra convenience.
Unpack and Arrange
Unpack your belongings as soon as possible and store or recycle your moving boxes. Follow these tips to make unpacking and arranging your belongings super easy:
• If you’re packing your belongings yourself when you leave your previous residence, label every box meticulously in large letters. Indicate which room it goes in, and what’s inside, e.g., “kitchen utensils” or “books.” You can even color code the boxes with duct tape.
• At the new address, ask the movers to kindly place the boxes in the rooms that match the labels on your boxes.
• Keep one box for move-in night essentials: toilet tissue, paper towels, scissors, light bulbs, soap, a few basic kitchen items, and the like. Include anything you will need right away. Keep this box with you instead of putting it on the moving truck. You may want a second box for bedding or other vitals, like pet needs.
• Unpack one room at a time rather than jumping around. Work from one corner around the room until your items are put away. Most homeowners like to start with the kitchen and bathroom, followed by the bedrooms and living room.
Locate the Home’s Utility Centers
If you haven’t already done so, make sure you know where your home’s utilities are managed. Locate the main water valve inside, the circuit panel for electricity, thermostats, and any knobs that control gas. In case of emergency, you’ll be able to shut utilities off quickly.
File a Change of Address Form
Make sure your mail gets forwarded to you by filing a change of address form. Don’t forget to tell your employer, children’s schools, and other important places about your move. Also, make certain your bank, credit card companies, insurance carriers, and any other financial institutions have the new address on file
Get to Know the Area
When you were looking for homes for sale in Bellevue, WA, you probably checked out your new neighborhood. But now you have the opportunity to do a deeper dive. You can drive around, but if the area is pedestrian friendly, you’ll learn more on foot. Try out a few restaurants and collect take-out menus. See what’s happening at the community center or public library. Shop at some of the mom-and-pop businesses to get a feel for the neighborhood.
Decorate with Flair
Once you get your boxes unpacked, you can add more personal touches to your home with decor like artwork, plants, and photographs. You may have more rooms to fill than in your previous home, so plan to spend a weekend or two shopping for furniture as needed and doing a few upgrades. Before putting things in their final places, try living in your new place for a week or two so you get a sense of the flow in the space.
Review HOA Rules
If you are living in a condominium or gated community, you may have HOA (homeowners association) rules. Be sure to get a copy of the rules so you’re not in violation, and make sure any kids in the household are aware of the rules too
Meet the Neighbors
As you settle in, you’ll find yourself running into neighbors, whether out for a jog or planting flowers in the garden. Don’t be shy about introducing yourself; you might meet some of your best friends that way. If you have children who are bashful, set up playdates to get them acquainted with new buddies.
Host New Friends
A great way to get to know new friends better and show off your new place is to hold an open house celebration. Put out a spread of food and invite everyone to stop by for a visit. There’s no reason the new folks on the block can’t be the hosts!
Settling into a new house makes everything worthwhile--all the hours spent looking for a new home and the time invested in moving. Congratulations! You did it!