Everyone likes the fun and the thrill of living in a new house. There are things to check out, and things to do that will make your living space more enjoyable and less taxing after a few years. There are some major issues that one must examine first.
Here are 7 first things to do after buying a house.
Change The Locks!
The number one most important thing is, of course, to change the locks! There are people out there who have keys to your new home, and some disreputable people might be tempted to use those keys. Locks are easy and inexpensive to replace if you do it yourself. Simply go to a hardware store, purchase and new set of door locks that you find attractive and sturdy, and use a screwdriver. It takes about ten minutes, if that, to change those locks. If you use a lock smith, it will cost you a little more, but will pay off with peace of mind. Also, make sure that all the interior door locks and cabinet locks works, as well as all the window locks. Check the windows for cracks, and look carefully at the window screens for signs of damage. Make sure that the screens’ locks work as well.
Check The Foundation
You will want to check the foundation of the home. Use duct tape, or any type of tape that you think will do the job. Look for cracks in the basement or patio, and tape the crack and write down the date. In a few months, check the tape. If the cracks are larger or the tape has moved, then you need to look into having the foundation checked by a professional. Do not worry; most of the time it is a simple trick to add glue under the foundation by drilling holes and using fill. Be sure to check the entire foundation in different rooms, not just one or two areas. This is important, as this type of damage is seldom seen by doing a precursory walk-through examination of the home.
Check For Cracks
Your new home was likely inspected during the sale, but a close up inspection is needed. Inspect the house from top to bottom, and check for cracks in the walls, creaky boards, and other hidden and clandestine damage. Check the electrical outlets as well, making sure that all the receptacles work properly. Make sure that you plug a lamp or something else into every receptacle, and make sure it works properly. Familiarize yourself with the breaker box, and make sure that you know where every switch leads to which room or outlet. Most likely, a new homeowner’s policy should note these things. If you find damage, report it immediately. It can usually be taken care of immediately and with little hassle or even a threat of legal action. Most issues can be settled immediately if you discover these issues and talk with your real estate agent about them. Listen, also. Cock your ears and turn your head; if you hear a buzzing sound, that means that one of the electrical circuits likely needs attention.
Inspect The Insulation
Check the insulation in the attic and in the walls. If the house is not properly insulated, you can receive a tax credit for insulation if you act quickly enough. You can not wait around and check months or years later; the time to do it is right away. A fully insulated home saves thousands and thousands of dollars over a period of time. Insulation can get old, or damaged by rain water or other things. Make sure that all the insulation is up to grade and that it is not damaged. Look at the weather stripping around the doors as well. Poor weather stripping, or the lack of it, can raise cooling and heating bills. Make a note of the lack of weather stripping and contact your homeowner’s policy company or your read estate agent.
Look At The Plumbing
Check the pipes, both the water pipes coming into the house and the pipes leading to the sewer. Especially, you will want to inspect sewage pipes that might be close to a tree or the tree’s roots. These can grow into a pipe, especially clay sewer pipes. Make a note of any damage and call your real estate agent. It might be possible to get the pipes replaced right away at little expense from your pocket. Incoming water should have the proper pressure. If it does not, it might be good to check for leaky pipes in the yard or under the house. It depends on the type of dwelling and foundation as well. Some pipes are hidden under concrete foundations, and it is high unlikely that any of these pipes can be damaged by weather other natural causes. However, tree roots can grow under a foundation. Make sure that all roots are kept well away from the house.
Check The Air
The air filters leading through the heating and air conditioning ducts need to be inspected and replaced if necessary. These should be changed frequently, usually at monthly intervals, at any rate. Dirty air ducts can lead to disease and may put a strain on the heating and air conditioning units. Also check the ducts leading away from the units. Check for cracks and holes, and check to make sure that the duct itself has no breaks in it. The ducts were put in place in pieces, and there are joints that can become loose over a period of time.
Any Tax Credits?
Finally, get your paperwork in order and head for the local tax office. There are a number of tax credits available after purchasing a new home. Perhaps your real estate agent can tell you how to go about doing this, or maybe even your attorney or tax service can help you. A new house is a big investment, and there should be many ways to derive benefits from the purchase.
Those are the 7 first things to do after buying a house. There are some major areas to cover. It may appear to be a tedious and make-work process, but in the long run, it will help you to enjoy your new home for years to come.