real estate

Change the locks and 4 other things to do when you move into a home

1st thing: Change the locks
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Change the locks | iStock.com/hh5800

1st thing: Change the locks

You bought the house and circled "moving day" on the calendar. Before you get settled in, there are 5 things to do immediately to the home you just bought.

The No. 1 task: Change the locks. Who knows how many people have keys to what's now your home? The fix is easy: "It's usually a minimum charge for a locksmith to come to the house," says Ron Phipps, principal with Warwick, Rhode Island-based Phipps Realty and past president of the National Association of Realtors.

Phipps' advice: Don't just re-key the locks -- replace the hardware, too. You get a nice update, plus peace of mind, he says.

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