What Should You Do After Buying a House?

Certified Mortgage Advisor
NMLS 1701021
Published 
February 19, 2021

New home: What's next?

Now let's talk about what should you do after you purchase a home? Maybe you're about to close on a home or you've already closed and you're thinking, "we just went through one of the most stressful things in the world. What do we do next? What are the next steps to make sure that we get everything in line?"

Purchasing a home can feel weird because. Through probably a month or longer of searching and closing on your home. And it was stressful. And you were asked for a lot of different documents and questions and processes, renew, and then you're going to move in and all of a sudden everything slows down, or you might have some anxiety because everything's slowed down thinking, do we have everything in check? Are we doing everything we should be doing?

Three main things we need to remember

So we're going to cover three main things that are going to help you understand. There's anything else you need to do with the home that you just purchase? Okay. We're going to cover Transfers, Security, and Documents.

Number one: Transfers

What we need to do is transfer the ownership, of the utilities and everything that was involved with that house over to you.

Utilities

So for instance, when you transfer water gas, electric, cable, internet, these basic utilities with the property, now, your realtor might've helped you manage the transfer of utilities from the seller to you, maybe a little bit before closing or on closing day.

Usually, that's best because,  what can happen is, utility companies can be difficult to work with sometimes. And if things are not lined up properly, then there might be delays in the service they provide. But you can reach out to each of these companies and just make sure that everything is working. Billing is set up correctly.

Address

Also, we need to change the address for your employer, and creditors as well. The creditors are not so big of a deal. If they don't know where you live, it's not a huge deal in the world. Eventually, you want to get that updated. The main thing you do want to get updated though is your address with your employer. The main reason why is because they need to make sure that they're withholding taxes correctly.

If you're self-employed, this isn't going to matter as much because you don't have an employer to talk to about this with, but if you are employed, you want to talk to your HR department or accounting and you want to get your address changed that way you pay taxes correctly. If you don't get this change, then you're going to have some tax problems, probably near the end of the year.

Mail forwarding

Also, you can go to the post office and get a mail forwarding. And what they'll do is if the mail goes to your old address, they're going to forward that to your new address for you. That way, whoever lived in your old place, they're not going to get mail and you're not going to be missing mail in your new home.

Security

Also, let's jump over here to security is a really big deal when you move into a new home. And the reason why is you're not familiar with this house, you don't know the ins and outs of it, structurally, or it's security-wise. And especially with the locks, you don't know what kind of keys are floating around.

Change keys, passcodes

The seller could have given a key to, whoever watched the dog a couple of years back when they're out on vacation. So you don't know what keys you have. Passcode combinations that have garage door openers. So you want to try to get those things secured as much as you can. So changing locks, changing key codes on doors, on garages.

And if you can change the frequency on your garage door as well, it's really not that difficult. You kind of mess with a few dials and mess with a few dials on the receiver, just to make sure that nobody has access, especially because it's super easy to do things like program, a garage door opener in your car, and then people are always going to have access if they have that same pin lined up.

So keep in mind, you want to have your security in checks or replace locks. Change keypad numbers, change garage door opener codes as well.

Check smoke detectors

Also, we want to locate the breaker panel. The breaker panel is going to control the electricity in your home and is going to be helpful whenever you need to turn off electricity, or if you have electrical problems or a circuit breaks, and you needed to flip that back on. Go ahead and locate that breaker panel when your power is still working, that's going to be helpful for you in the future.

Also, look over for water and gas mains. The last thing that you need, if you have a pipe that breaks or a faucet, that breaks is to have water spilling and you have no idea how to turn it off. The same goes for gas.

Gas is a lot more dangerous if something like that were to happen. So try to find those. Now,  before any issues arise that way, if they do, hopefully, they don't, but if they do you know how to shut them off really quickly.

Documents

Let's finally move over to documents. So number one. you purchased your home with a mortgage, then make sure you set up your mortgage billing.

Set up your billing schedule

It can be very easy in the whole moving process to forget about your mortgage. You definitely want to make that first payment on time and most of the time, your payments are a little delayed. So what ends up happening is you skip a month, and then it's due the following month.

So for instance, let's say you closed in January because anywhere in January, it doesn't matter if you closed on the first or the 31st. So let's say we closed on January 15th. We skip all of February and your first payment is due March 1st. So you can see how long it takes for your first payment to be due.

You might get reminders from your mortgage company. You might not, but make sure that you set up your billing. Just go ahead and get it set up. Now that way,  either who to send a check to, or you're setting up auto drafts or, the website to go to just get it set up now that we don't scramble when all of a sudden you remember, the end of February, oh shoot. I have mortgage payments made, I have no idea where to send it".

Purchase or review your home warranty

Also, either purchase or review your home warranty and put it in the utility room. You can either choose to get a home warranty or not. Maybe it came,  inside your contract. Maybe the seller purchased it. That was something that you negotiated that happens very often.

If you've got a home warranty, review it, so you know what it covers and what it doesn't cover so that,  something doesn't break and then you're upset about it covering or not covering,  and also put it in your utility room.

It can be easy to,  you don't want to spend money on. Home warranty or have a seller pay for a home warranty and then never use it or want to use it and forget where it's at. Just put it in the utility room. It's a really easy place to keep it. Most of the stuff in there is going to be covered by a home warranty anyway. So let's just have the home warranty information there.

Review your home inspection

So if you did a home inspection on the property, use that as a, to-do. So same thing, you can put it in the utility room if you want to, but that home inspection is just going to list things that might be good to get fixed.

So if you look at selling the property here in the future, you now have a really solid list of items that a buyer is going to look at. Another inspector is going to come in and probably call out the same items. So that's going to be a really good place to start your to-do list. If you're wanting to look at increasing the value of your property.

You can also do all the other repairs that you want. But make sure you look at what the inspector called out because those are going to be good things to fix.

Throw junk mail

Last but not least is throwing out junk mail. They're really a big bummer about purchasing a home, is that in most counties, it's all public record.

So what ends up happening is your name and your address are now on the public record and there's probably a mortgage with it that might contain other information as well. So ends up happening is a lot of companies find new homes, put on that you just transferred a sale and they're going to send you tons of mail.

So you're gonna get offers for, different housework. You're gonna get offers for refinancing even a day after you close on your home. You're gonna even get offers. I've seen, people offer a copy of a deed for a hundred dollars. You're going to get a copy of your deed from your title, and you can pull a free version online and print it out anytime you want.

So you're going to see a lot of these scam companies who do send tons of mailers and junk mail out to you. Just throw them away. They're all gonna look very official. But most of them are not going to be beneficial to you at all. So that's something to keep in mind.

Especially refinance offers. You're not going to want to refinance properly for an additional six months minimum. If you refinance earlier than that, you're probably going to lose money and fees. So something to keep in mind.

Enjoy your house!

Also, this doesn't fit in any of these categories but enjoy your house. It's easy to get caught up in, everything that's going on. All the commotion of you went through either selling a property and moving from somewhere else. You're in a new home. You're trying to get acclimated and all the while there's so much else going on in your life, it's easy to not take a moment and slow down.

But if you can go through these things, make a checklist, playing them out when you're going to do it, but take a moment to just appreciate the fact that you went through this process, you survived, you learned a lot, you understood a lot.

Hopefully, it helped you understand more about who you are and who other people are. It's a big deal to purchase a home, right? Not everybody does it or does it well, so enjoy your new home.

Hope this helps you understand a good idea of what to do after you purchase.

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