Even move-in ready comes with a to-do list #730

#730 in a series of true experiences in real estate

You bought a house in “move-in condition”? Congratulations to you! No remodeling or repairs needed, not even painting or cleaning necessary, it’s sparkling and ready for you. But there are some things you should attend to.

You might still have a few items to move from your last place – garage items or contents of the refrigerator and freezer, for instance – so you should get those to your new house and then leave the old home clean for new occupants.

If you have children who will be changing schools, this is the highest priority of all. Go to the school in person and take with you whatever is required such as immunization records. If you will also need after-school care for your child, set that up now, too.

As soon as you are no longer responsible for the last place, call your insurance person and cancel your insurance. They’ll pro-rate back to the right date so you only pay for your time there. You’ve already settled insurance on your new house, right, and it’s the way you want to keep it for the time being?

While you are thinking about it, set up on your calendar or bank Bill Pay your new mortgage payment. Even if you don’t receive a bill, you are still responsible for paying it on time. Paying a little early is a good idea, it looks good on your record.

Your final closing papers will be mailed to you by the title company. Put them away now where you can find them next year at tax time.

Unless you are sure that you have all of the keys to the locks on your new house, it’s a very good idea to change the locks. You can have them all keyed to the same key for a little extra money.

Of course you will need to change your address with the post office which, these days, can be done online. But there are other providers you will need to contact by phone. Utilities should be changed to your name as quickly as possible – even before you move in – because if they are turned off, you’ll have to make an appointment for a service call.

If you have cable TV and a box that goes with it, you’ll need to arrange for service and set up the system. Or, with the Dish, still a call, and possibly new equipment, is needed. Don’t forget to plan ahead with your internet service provider. What about your phones? Sometimes they are “bundled” with other services, but not always.

If you brought appliances with you such as clothes washer and dryer, get them hooked up and running.

Change your delivery address for newspapers and magazine subscriptions. Look online for a single-change for all your magazines changed at once.

Register to vote at your new address.

Maybe the house came with window coverings all in place but if not, that’s going to be high on your list. You might want to take your time decorating, searching for just the right drapes and curtains over shades or blinds, but at least find now temporary ones and get them up for privacy and to control light.

Your driver’s license and car registration addresses should be changed – again, online – and quickly is good because it can take awhile to get new documents.

Don’t forget the outside of the house, the garden or lawn. Do you need a hose for watering? Put it on your list. Maybe you have automatic sprinklers. If so, check the watering schedule to see if it fits with the weather.

It always take some time to settle in to a new place, hopefully a joyful experience. You move your couch and chairs around in your living room to suit you best. Maybe you have room now to add a small table in the kitchen, good for feeding the kids or having a cup of tea in the morning. You unpack and you put things away in cupboards and closets. Getting squared away feels good.

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