As you transition into your new home, you get to enjoy the many new freedoms that homeownership brings. You get freedom from landlords, home decorating restrictions and paying for property that isn't yours. Instead, you get to enjoy your very own home for a lifetime.
To help make your transition into homeownership as smooth as possible, we've created a New Homeowner's Checklist. Be prepared for all that homeownership brings!
Setting Up Your Budget & Records
Getting your budget ready and all of your records organized will help ease your transition immensely. Some of the records that you'll want to keep organized and safely stored include:
Your homeowner's property inventory of valuables and items in your home
Your property records like property agreements and contracts
Your financial records like an annual credit report, your annual tax return and bank statements
Your personal identity records like your birth certificate, citizenship papers and social security card
Your personal protection records like home insurance, car insurance and medical insurance information
Your legal records as applicable like divorce papers, marriage certificate and will
Your personal health records like medical, dental, vision and school records
After you collect your personal records, focus in on your financial records and create your budget. Start with figuring out how much you'll be spending each month on items like groceries, home insurance, travel and if applicable, home or car financing you have.
You'll also need to figure out who is responsible for your annual hazard insurance premiums. Budget for these premiums as well as other annual costs people can accidentally forget like annual taxes on real and personal property.
You want to make sure that you and your family are safe in your new home. To do so, check the following!
Know your fire evacuation route
Know where will you go in case of tornado
Know how to remove your manufactured home windows in case of fire
Create an emergency/disaster kit
Check all your smoke detectors
If applicable, test your home's alarm or security system
Get to Know Your Home
In case of any emergencies, you'll want to locate certain key utilities in your home as soon as you move in.
Figure out where your water shutoff valves are
Figure out where your water heater is
Figure out where your circuit box with your breakers is
Ready to Entertain
Since you have the new freedom to entertain guests the way you wish, and likely have more space in your home, make sure you're prepared for friends and family.
Keep an extra set of sheets for a fold out couch or air mattress or extra bed
Keep extra clean towels for a guest
As you settle in, make sure to do the following to keep all of your personal business in order.
Alert the post office and the IRS of your new address
Update your address for any of your billing accounts like your credit card or bank accounts
Update your address for any mailing subscriptions you have
Set up your new utilities and internet and then alert these companies that you've moved in
Get a small safe or filing cabinet for storing important documents and paperwork
Although this checklist is not a comprehensive checklist for your transition into your new home, it should make the new adventure of homeownership easier! To help you as you transition, start creating your home inventory sheet so you can keep track of your valuables as you move and be prepared in case of any unexpected incidents.