You bought the house and circled “moving day” on the calendar. Before you get settled in, there are five things you need to do to your new home immediately.
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.
The average home has a lot of filters. Change them all when you move in. This includes:
Aeration filters in kitchen and bathroom spigots.
The air filter in the heating and air conditioning unit.
The vent filter above the stove.
This advice comes from Paul DiMeo, designer and builder for “Building Wild” on the National Geographic Channel and a former contractor on “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” on ABC.
He says aerators cost about $7 each, and if there’s been an accumulation of sediment over the years, replacing them will improve the water pressure. Range vent filters can run $10 to $30, while heating and air filters are available for $5 to $30.
While you’re at it, DiMeo says, “Check the dryer vent to make sure it’s not clogged.”
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Clean the house completely
Claim your new space by giving it a thorough cleaning, DiMeo says. When the house is empty, you can see every mark and flaw. Also, it’s harder to get to some places after the house is filled with your stuff.
Wash windows, vacuum floors and steam-clean carpets, he advises. “Anything that was left behind by the family before me, I want to get that gone. Really go in there and wash the entire place.”
With no furniture in the house, it’s a good time to buff and seal wood floors, DiMeo says.