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#1 - CHANGE THE LOCKS
How many spare keys are there to your new home? With no way of knowing for sure, you'll want to re-key the locks on all the doors. Consider installing smart locks and new deadbolts to deter unwanted "drop-in" visitors.
#2 - COPY HOUSING DOCUMENTS
After closing, make copies of your home closing documents. Store one in a fireproof safe within your home and another in a safety deposit box at your bank.
#3 - UPDATE HOME TECHNOLOGY
Now is a good time to update or install home technology, including your security system and smart home tech, like a NEST® system. You'll also want to familiarize yourself with your home's electrical system and locate your meter and fuse boxes.
#4 - PERFORM A DEEP CLEANING
Sellers are only required to leave their home "broom-swept" at closing, so plan to deep clean your home from top to bottom or schedule a service to complete this chore for you before you really move in. Baseboards, trim, cabinetry, carpets, refrigerators, ceiling fans, windows, and other places in your home have likely accumulated dust and other grubiness prior to your moving in.
#5 - PERSONALIZE YOUR MAILBOX AND/OR ENTRY
Be sure to update your name and new address with the post office and consider replacing the mailbox and the address numbers at your entryway if they're worn out.
#6 - TEST FIRE SAFETY
This is an excellent time to buy new fire extinguishers for every level of your new home. Check that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are properly installed, working, and clean. Keep fire prevention top of mind while unpacking.
#7 - HEATING AND AIR CONDITIONING
Change your furnace and air conditioning filters right when you move in, then monthly thereafter. Make sure the air ducts aren't blocked and that the water heater settings are to your liking.
#8 - FRESHEN UP THE INTERIOR
Your new home will need a few personal touches, including new window treatments and screens, paint, flooring, organizational systems, cabinetry, and much more. Tackle these projects early on to avoid having to move furniture and personal items repeatedly.
#9 - DECIDE ON AN EVACUATION PLAN
As a family or household, locate two ways to exit your home and a decide on a meeting place for family members in case of an emergency. You may want to invest in an escape ladder and other useful evacuation tools.
#10 - LOCATE A WEATHER SHELTER
If your home doesn't have a basement or an underground shelter, you'll want to pinpoint a spot on the lowest level of your home without windows. Also, be sure to update your severe weather alerts on your phone.
Written by Sarah Anderson
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