You Have The Keys Now What

Dated: 10/23/2017

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The long-awaited day is finally here; closing day! After searching for and finding the perfect house, submitting the offer and having it negotiated and accepted, going through the inspections and resolving any issues, qualify for financing and having the loan process complete, and signing on the dotted line, you own a house! The work of buying a house is finished, and the role of homeownership has begun. Here are some things to remember after you’re handed the keys to your new home.

  • CHANGE THE LOCKS. No matter if your house had been on the market for 1 day or 100, you can’t really be sure who has keys to the front door now. For your family’s safety change the locks as soon as possible. You can call a locksmith and have them changed or any hardware store or big box store will probably carry replacement door locks and you can do it yourself.

  • MEET YOUR CLOSEST NEIGHBORS: Meeting your closest neighbors means more than being neighborly, or letting them know that you’re now the person that they can borrow a cup of sugar from. Knowing who they are, what they look like, or the kinds of cars that they drive can make you aware of any suspicious activity that might happen. Get to know which young children and pets belong with which house, too, (and introduce yours to the neighbors), in case they come and play in your yard, and need help to find their way back to the right house.

  • CHECK THE TEMP ON THE HOT WATER HEATER: You go to wash the dishes and the water is steaming, or you jump in the shower and the water is freezing after 5 minutes. It could mean that a simple adjustment to the hot water heater is needed. You’ll thank yourself for checking before that first shower.

  • FIND THE MAIN WATER SHUT OFF VALVE: Along the same line, find out where the main water shut off valve is. If a pipe ever bursts or you have any water issues, that won’t be the time to try find it then.

  • WHEN’S GARBAGE DAY? Towns will typically have a website with all sorts of town information. Included in that would probably be the garbage pickup days for your street. Especially after a move you may have plenty of cardboard boxes to recycle, for instance, and knowing this date ahead of time can ensure that you don’t have refuse piling up.

  • EXTERIOR BASICS: You’ll want to keep the yard maintained, and may choose to hire a landscaping company to do that for you. If you choose to do the yard yourself, and it wasn’t left with the home, you’ll need to invest in some basics, like a lawn mower, edger, rake, shovel and garden hose.

  • CHANGE THE ADDRESS ON YOUR DRIVER’S LICENSE: Connecticut law requires all Connecticut residents with vehicle registration, a Driver’s License, or non-driver identification card to notify the DMV within 48 hours of any change of address.

Some of the very first things that we do as homeowners end up being some of the most basic. Taking care of these most fundamental of tasks now, will set us up for a smoother transition to homeownership later. 

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