New homeowner checklist and helpful tips

Direct Energy, December 26, 2023

4 minute read

New homeowner checklist and helpful tips

Direct Energy, December 26, 2023

4 minute read

Congratulations! You closed on your new home and moving day is quickly approaching. You’ve checked everything off your moving checklist, like purchasing packing supplies, hiring movers and submitting your change of address, but there's still plenty to do before – and after – moving day. The following tips will provide information every new homeowner should know before settling into a new home.

Happy couple sitting with a laptop amongst moving boxes in their new home.
Happy couple sitting with a laptop amongst moving boxes in their new home.
Happy couple sitting with a laptop amongst moving boxes in their new home.

New homeowner checklist

Follow this checklist and these tips to make moving into your first home a breeze.

File your important documents

Invest in a filing cabinet or small safe if you do not already have one. You'll need one to file all your important items like paperwork from the closing, receipts, insurance, property tax bills and even instruction manuals for any new appliances you buy. These can be hidden away in your closet or office, but ensure that everyone in your family knows where it is and how to access it, just in case.

Set up your utility services

When you’re a new homeowner, utilities may be the last thing on your mind. At least one month before your moving date, arrange to have your basic utilities turned on, including electricity, gas and water.

Having power and water when you arrive will make settling in much easier. You’ll be able to adjust the climate in your home while unpacking, and you’ll have running water to clean and use the bathroom. It's ideal to have cable, internet, home security system and other utilities turned on before the move, but these items can also be activated once you move in. 

Clean up and de-bug

Don’t assume your new home will be cleaned before you move into it. Purchase cleaning products and supplies to clean your home before (if necessary) and after everything has been unpacked. If you're short on time and your budget allows it, hire a professional cleaning service to give your new home the polished and refreshed look it deserves. If the seller hasn't done so already, arrange for a pest control service to exterminate the entire house and inspect inside and outside the home for any issues like a termite or rodent infestation.

Change the locks

One of the first things many new homeowners do is change the locks, especially when purchasing a previously lived-in home. There may be extra copies of keys floating around, so it’s best to ensure that only you and your family have access to your home. While you’re at it, make extra copies of your new key and give them to someone you trust in an emergency.   

Inspect your new home for HVAC and plumbing issues

If possible, do any home improvement or repairs before moving in. In addition to changing the locks, check to see if smoke detectors are installed in every room and that they're working properly. Provide at least one functional fire extinguisher per floor and, if you feel that you need one, this is also an appropriate time to have a home security system installed.

Before you move in, check for plumbing leaks, dripping faucets and running toilets. To ensure there are no signs of water leaks, record the readings on your water meter at the start and end of a period of several hours when no water was used. If the two readings differ, it’s a sure sign you have a water leak. You can also check the walls with a thermal gun to see if any cold or hot spots stand out. If your budget allows, hiring a plumber is always a good option. 

Get familiar with the layout of your home. Make sure you know where your circuit breaker box, water main and gas valves are in case of emergencies, or if you’re going to make electrical or plumbing repairs that require cutting off the electricity or water supply.

As a new homeowner, you should replace air filters upon move-in, even if they look clean. Also, have your furnace or boiler, AC unit and water heater inspected by a professional. If your technician recommends maintenance, have it done and ask them to show you where the shutoff switches for each system are in case you need to turn off your home utility valves during an emergency. 

Use your home inspection report to plan for any future upgrades to your systems and structural parts of your home. Developing a home maintenance checklist will extend the life of almost everything in your home, saving you money over time.

Reliable services during a stressful time

Direct Energy understands that your new home is your most valuable investment. That’s why we offer more than lights – we also provide reliable services to protect and preserve your home. In addition to plumbing, HVAC and electrical services, we also offer home protection plans to safeguard your home’s vital systems and shield your budget from unexpected home repair costs.

By following these simple tips, you'll be prepared to have a less stressful, more organized moving day and be able to settle into your new home with ease.

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