Congratulations, you’re the proud owner of a new Houston home! At Team Sadler Realtors, we understand how easy it is to get caught up in the stress of moving. To help you remember, we have put together a list of some of the most overlooked steps many homeowners make while making the transition into their new home. Your home inspection will have already covered some of the items mentioned on our checklist before you move in, such as water leaks, cracks, checking heating and cooling. Check out our helpful home inspections page to get a better understanding of what is covered in a regular home inspection. Whether you’re in the process of closing, ready to move in or at any other step of the home-buying process, we welcome you to use the checklist as a guide to ensure your new home is ready for you and your family.
Outside of the physical packing and moving of goods, there are several items that should be taken care of when moving into your new home:
Always make make a list of the boxes and items you’ve packed and where each box needs to go in your new home. By simply marking/labeling “kitchen or living room” on each box or item will be enough to let the movers know where to place the boxes. To keep things simple, VIEW and DOWNLOAD OUR MOVING CHECKLIST PDF. CLICK HERE!
Before Move-In – Set Up Utilities
Prior to moving in, it is important to have the basics (water, gas and electricity) already turned on. There are often several companies to choose from, so take the time to choose the best option for your budget and family. If you’re only moving across town, it may be as simple as transferring your current service to your new home.
If you are moving within the same city and will be using the same utility companies, see if you can transfer your account to a new address instead of canceling your old services and starting a new account. Some companies offer you the option of transferring your accounts online, while others you will need to call to speak with a representative directly.
Depending on where you move, you may be able to keep your existing telephone number. If you are moving outside of your exchange’s serviceable area, you will not be able to keep your same number. Your internet options will depend on the availability in the area that you are moving to.
Closing Your Utilities Accounts
If disconnecting your utilities for a move, have the companies do their final readings and request a copy. Pay any outstanding bills, and don’t forget to collect any deposits you placed for the account.
Even though you are filing a change of address with the post office, give utility companies your new forwarding address. This way, you can make sure that you receive any final bills on time and avoid paying late fees.
Disconnecting and Transferring Utilities
Avoid surprises and transfer your utilities long before beginning the moving process. Contacting your utility companies at least two weeks in advance will give you time to finalize bills and arrange service at your new home.
Call your new utility company to confirm your new account and be sure to schedule overlap in your utility services. Have your utilities at your old house disconnected the day after you move and have your utilities turned on in your new home the day before you arrive.
Internet – Television – Telephone
Find out which providers cater to your area and choose the plan that is right for you.
Change Your Locks
Changing the locks is for the safety of your family and should be changed as soon as possible. Even though the previous owners have provided you with all the keys, you can never be certain of who else has the same set of keys.
Test Heating and Cooling Systems
There’s nothing worse than a hot Texas summer with no air conditioning and no heat during an unexpected cold snap. These units should be inspected during your original home inspection, but it never hurts to test them yourself. Take the time to examine your vents and change your air filters if necessary. It is wise to have these units serviced on an annual basis.
Check for General Maintenance
Check your home thoroughly for water leaks, broken windows, squeaky doors, cracks and holes in the walls and other general repairs. Be sure to check doors, windows, the insulation in your attic and any open spaces where air can escape and cause a rise in utility expenses. Again, most of these checks are covered in your home inspection. By being proactive and taking care of potential problems early, you can save yourself even larger headaches in the future.
Test All Appliances
This includes your stove, oven, microwave, washer and dryer, especially if these items have never been used in your new home. File all the owner’s manuals and warranty information in case an appliance breaks down, needs a replacement part or a simple repair. Many of the owner’s manuals provide important manufacturers phone numbers should the need arise.
Test Smoke – Carbon Monoxide Detectors – Fire Extinguishers
Check or replace batteries in all of the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home are working properly. Replace any units that are not working correctly. If your home does not have any of these items, make it a priority to install them withing the first week of moving in. If you’re home doesn’t have any of these items, you can usually find one at your local home improvement store.
Create a First-Aid Kit and Emergency Contact List
Purchase a good first aid kit and keep it where it is easily accessible – such as the kitchen or bathroom.Make sure everyone in your home, especially children, knows the location of your first-aid kit in case of emergencies. Post a list of phone numbers to local emergency services and a list of family and friends to contact in case of an emergency.
Ask to your neighbors or call the local city services to find out what day your garbage is collected. Also ask about recycling services and which receptacles are required in your area. Ask if you can use black plastic garbage bags or are you required to you specified clear bags approved by the city that you can purchase at the local home improvement store.
Locate the Main Circuit Breaker – Water Shutoff Valve – Gas Meter Shutoff
In the event of an emergency situation knowing the location of these two master controls can make all the difference. Once you have located these controls it is best to label each one for easy identification. If you are having difficulty finding any of these, call your Realtor and ask him/her for help. Sometimes these items have been provided to your Realtor. You should maintain and check these controls periodically to keep them in good working order.
Change Your Address
Remember: If you haven’t already, pick up your FREE change of address at your US Postal Service Office (bonus coupons included). Set up forwarding services at the post office from your old address to your new one. Change your address with your credit cards, bank, driver’s license, vehicle registration, employer, voter registration, insurance providers, subscriptions and other important services. Don’t forget about any online services like PayPal, Ebay, Netflix and Amazon. You can also send out change of address postcards to your family and friends. This is all easy to do and assures you that your mail will continue to be delivered.
There are several ways you can notify the USPS of your change of address when moving:
- For a $1 fee, you can submit your change of address online or over the phone. Visit the online change-of-address form or call 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777).
- You can pick up and file your change of address form at your local post office.
- You can print a change of address form online and mail it in or hand it to your letter carrier.
Remember: it takes seven to ten days for your change of address to take effect. While standard mail will be forwarded for 12 months, periodicals will only be forwarded for 60 days so make sure to cancel any subscriptions or notify them of your change of address.
If there is anything we can do to help make your move easier or you just need some guidance please do not hesitate to give Team Sadler a call and we will be happy to help. If you prefer, fill out the form below and we will follow-up.