Buying your own property for the first time is perhaps a moment the vast majority of us consider a watershed moment. It’s a milestone that’s celebrated everywhere as a moment in time that will be most likely remembered forever. After all it’s some achievement, there was the deposit to save and the home loan to secure, and then the hunt for the perfect property so it’s not a light undertaking by any means and it’s getting tougher for first home buyers. It’s still the biggest purchase most people are likely make in their lifetime, and a new homeowner can benefit from the wisdom of seasoned homeowners and investors. Assuming you’ve got your insurances sorted i.e. your building and contents there’s one task you should do as soon as possible – change or rekey the locks.
1. Rekey or Change the Locks
This advice is not just for the overcautious out there, it’s recommended for all homeowners whom have bought a property that’s been owned and occupied by someone else and in many cases multiple owners. Therefore invest in a new sets of window and door locks or rekey existing locks to prevent unwanted visitors. It may even be a prerequisite on your insurance policy.
2. Set Up Utilities, Data etc
The previous owner cancels their commitment to the property’s utilities and as the new homeowner you need to work out what you need and whom you want to supply your home. Ask for referrals and do some market research for the best gas, electricity and datacom providers. This is an opportune time to select new providers so allow yourself time to review what’s on offer. If you’re changing to a new business let your old provider know you’re switching to a different company. If you keep your existing provider, you still need to inform them that you no longer have the same address. In this situation, they will most likely simply update the new information on your account.
3. Professional Clean
Just as you do when you sell a home, it’s best to hire a professional cleaning company to deep clean the property before you and your family move in. In our experience this service is indispensable. It comes at a time when you’re run off your feet and need to be spared the unenviable task of cleaning the property from top to tail so to speak. There will be the obvious items: carpets and windows, to appliances and everything in the bathroom. However, there will also be the less noticeable areas too like the curtain rails, shelving etc so it’s definitely worthwhile assigning the cleaning over to the experts.
When you buy a second hand property it’s style is that of it’s previous owners. Now the property is yours, you’ll want to put your own stamp on it and add your own design and finishing touches, such as the cosmetic work which could include: sanding and finishing hardwood floors, plastering and painting walls and maybe wallpapering too. Of course it’s easier to undertake these tasks before the furniture is in and your kids are running around the house and while you’re at it consider more major works too like a kitchen and/or bathroom refit. There’s no better time to do than before moving in.
Buying your first home is a wonderful achievement and one worth celebrating but don’t crack open the bubbly until you’ve knocked off at least the first three tasks aforementioned.