New Home Checklist: First Things to Do When Moving Into a New Home

New Home Checklist: First Things to Do When Moving Into a New Home

Getting ready to move into your new home? Congratulations, this is a really exciting time! However, as well as packing your stuff ready for the big moving day, there are some other important things to sort out before taking residence in your new home.

Run through the guide below to make sure everything is in place for a hassle-free move and avoid any last-minute panics.

Have a Walk-Through Before Closing

We get it: you want to get those keys in your hand as soon as possible, but having a walk-through a day or two before closing is vital. Check everything is working (such as light switches, taps, doors, and windows), and present as per the agreement - this is your last chance to raise something if it’s not right.

Some of the key things to check on a walk-through include:

  • Repairs that the seller agreed to have undertaken.
  • The presence of items to be included in the sale.
  • Signs of pests.
  • The presence of mold, mildew, or other signs of dampness.

If you do identify an issue during a walk-through, it’s best to postpone closing until repairs have been made to address the problem (where relevant). Alternatively, you may wish to undertake any necessary repairs yourself after closing. If this is the case, you should communicate your plans to the seller and find out whether he/she is prepared to reimburse you for this cost. As a last resort, you always have the option to walk away from the property, although this is undesirable for all parties and, in the majority of cases, the seller will be keen to make the necessary repairs in order to close the sale.

Take Out Home Insurance

Before moving into your lovely new home, make sure you have homeowners insurance. As well as often being a mortgage lender's requirement, homeowners insurance provides several vital protections, giving you peace of mind. This includes cover for the repair of structural damages and protection for your personal possessions. As well as this, homeowners insurance provides a liability element (meaning that you’re indemnified if a visitor to your home suffers an accident or injury) and often covers your expenses should you need to move out of the property due to damage caused by a covered threat, such as a hurricane or fire.

Set Up Utilities

Moving into a new home without power or an internet connection isn’t pleasant. So get on top of things early and set up the utilities before taking residence of your property. And don’t forget to arrange to have your final bills from your old house emailed to you or mailed to your new one.

If you’re moving from out of town, your agent will likely be happy to help you get your utilities up and running, so do ask for assistance with this if you need to.

Update Everyone with Your New Address

As well as letting your friends and family members know your new address, don’t forget to advise your bank, credit card provider, subscription provider, and other important contacts. During such a busy time, it’s easy for something to get missed, so it’s advisable to complete a mail redirection form to make sure any important post reaches you. You can find one of these forms on the USPS website or pick one up at your local post office.

Register Your Vehicle

If you are moving to a different state, you may need to register your vehicle there - get in touch with the local DMV to find out if this is the case and, if so, how to do it. It’s also a good idea to find out if a residential parking permit is required at your new home. The last thing you want is to be hit with a fine on moving day.

Get Securing

Before taking residence of your new home, you may wish to get a security system in place, so you can move in knowing that your property and your stuff are protected. Many new homeowners also choose to change the locks before getting settled in, just to be totally sure that no one else can gain access to their home. Changing locks is a fairly simple DIY task - or you can always hire a locksmith to do it for you.

Register to Vote!

Here’s a gentle reminder to register. It doesn’t take long, but first-time or intermittent voters might be fuzzy about the process.

There are a few ways to register in California, with different deadlines:

  • Online registration must be done 15 days before Election Day.
  • Mailed registration must be postmarked 15 days before Election Day.
  • In-person registration can happen on any day before or on Election Day.

The election date has been set for November 5, 2024, meaning your online and mail-in registration deadline is October 21, 2024 (but hopefully you complete the process sooner).

Who Can Register to Vote in California? 

Voter turnout in the 2018, 2020, and 2022 elections was the highest in recent history. Still, a massive chunk of the U.S. population doesn’t get involved.

A study by political scientists found that between 1920 and 2012, an average of 42% of voters didn’t have their say. Make sure your’s count toward the country’s future, by registering before the deadline and casting a ballot.

To register, you must:

  • Be a United States citizen.
  • Be a California resident.
  • Be 18 years old on Election Day at minimum.
  • Not serving a state or federal prison sentence for a felony.
  • Not currently deemed mentally incompetent by a court.

For those who want to pre-register before they have reached 18 years old, you can apply on the California Secretary of State website.

How Do You Register to Vote in California?

You can register to vote in California in a few main ways.

Online:

This is probably the fastest and most convenient way to register. You can visit RegisterToVote.ca.gov and fill out your details, then check the status of your registration afterward. This is also where you can get pre-registration.

By Mail:

If you choose to register by mail in California, you’ll first need to collect the registration form. Find your copy at an elections office, library, DMV office, or U.S. post office. Calling (800) 345-VOTE(8683) or emailing the Division Staff is another way to get your paper registration form.

Once it's filled out and signed properly, bring it to your county elections office. This mail-in registration must be postmarked or hand-delivered at least 15 days before the election.

In Person:

If the registration deadlines for other methods have passed, you can still turn up in person to the County Elections Office and register. Same Day Registration is a safety net that protects those who weren’t able to register, for whatever reason.

To find out more about the process, including voting while abroad and voting anonymously, visit the official California government website.

Other useful links and contact information:

Final Thoughts

Getting ready to move into a new home is an exciting - and extremely busy - time. It’s easy to miss something and move into the property only to realize that a repair you’d agreed the seller would complete hasn’t been done or that you’ve forgotten to transfer your internet connection - doh! Use the guide above to get organized and ensure that taking residence in your new home is a smooth and pleasant experience.

More Questions? Follow-up With Us!

If you have more questions about what to expect from the markets around the Bay Area, don’t be afraid to reach out to us today. Our experts are experienced in all property types and the entire San Francisco Bay Area, and we can help you to find what you need to know today.

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