Just Purchased a Property? 10 Things You Should Do First
Congratulations, you’ve just purchased a property! Whether it’s your first home or an investment house, buying a property is a big milestone. Now that you have the keys in hand, there are several things you should do to get settled in and make sure your new property is in tip-top shape. Follow this checklist to ensure a smooth transition into your new home.
Change the Locks
The first thing any homeowner should do is change the locks. Even if the previous owners assured you they handed over all the keys, you never know who could still have access to your home. Rekeying the locks ensures only you and whomever you share keys with can enter.
This small upgrade brings great peace of mind. You can hire a locksmith to handle the rekeying quickly and efficiently. They can remake the locks so the new keys won’t fit the old ones. Expect to pay around £50-£90 to rekey a standard three-bedroom house.
Deep Clean the Property
While the previous owners may have given the place a once-over before listing it, nothing compares to a deep clean with your standards in mind. Professional cleaners can help scrub every nook and cranny so the space feels fresh and ready for move-in.
Focus on areas like the bathrooms, kitchen, appliances and carpets. Hire an insured and licensed cleaning company that uses eco-friendly products. Depending on the size, expect to pay around £150-£400 for a deep clean of the whole house.
Inspect for Any Damages
Before you unpack a single box, walk through the property and inspect for any damages left behind. Look for things like leaky taps, cracked tiles, loose doorknobs, or appliance issues (if any were left behind). Make a list of any defects so you can request repairs from the previous owner if stipulated in your purchase agreement. Address defects right away to start your ownership on the right foot.
Understand the Planning Requirements
Before making any big changes to the property, understand the local council’s planning permission rules. Will you need to apply for permission for an extension, loft conversion, or other major renovations? Knowing what you can and can’t do without approval prevents headaches down the road.
Check with your local council about regulations in your area. There may be restrictions, conservation laws, or codes you need to adhere to, especially if it’s a listed building. Doing your homework now makes future renovation projects smoother.
Update Your Address
Now for the not-so-fun part – you need to update your address everywhere. Start by notifying essential institutions like your bank, doctor, and insurance companies. Don’t forget subscriptions and loyalty programmes you’re part of. You’ll also want to register to vote at your new address.
Updating HMRC ensures you receive tax documents properly. And your utility providers will all need to receive your updated address and meter readings too. Finally, remember to change your driver’s license within the mandated time frame. Staying on top of address changes prevents disruption to important services.
Inspect Chimneys and Flues
For homes with fireplaces, stoves, or other flued appliances, hire a professional chimney sweep to inspect the chimneys before use. They can remove soot or blockages and confirm everything is in working order. Trying to light a fire without having the chimney inspected is unwise.
Chimney sweeps also check for structural issues, damage, loose bricks, or nesting animals. Their expertise ensures your chimneys are safe and ready for cosy fires. If issues are discovered, you can get them repaired before moving in.
Check for Renewable Energy Incentives
If your new home needs any upgrades, check for renewable energy incentives you may qualify for. For example, you might be eligible for a grant to install solar panels, upgraded insulation, double-glazed windows, or a more efficient boiler.
The UK Government offers schemes like the Renewable Heat Incentive and Feed-In Tariffs, which provide payments for generating your own energy. Taking advantage of these schemes helps the environment while saving you money. Why not check how your home could benefit?
Review Your Insurance Cover
Now is the perfect opportunity to review your insurance to make sure you have adequate coverage for your new place. Your belongings may have increased in value, so boosting contents insurance may be wise. You may also need to extend property insurance if the rebuilding costs are higher.
Look closely at your coverage limits and applicable exclusions, too. Update your policy to ensure it properly covers the value of your new property and your possessions. You’ll have peace of mind knowing everything is protected.
Now, the fun part – putting your personal stamp on the property through interior design! Will you repaint the walls in your favourite colours? Search for a statement art deco piece reminiscent of the 1920s to adorn your living room? Update hardware and furnishings to match an Art Deco-inspired design?
Make decorating fun by doing it slowly over time. Visit charity and antique shops to hunt for hidden gems. Use Pinterest to brainstorm design ideas. Add pops of colour and personality through wall art, cushions, rugs, and other touches to turn the house into your home.
Meet the Neighbours
Don’t be a stranger – introduce yourself to neighbours on all sides. Getting to know those living nearby builds community. You might make new friends or find someone helpful in a pinch. Plus, keeping neighbours informed is a courtesy when moving in or if any major renovations are planned.
Stop by with a small greeting gift like cookies or wine. Make friendly small talk and find common ground. Exchange contact info so you can keep in touch. Building goodwill and relationships right away prevents future neighbourly issues down the road.
Enjoy Your New Home!
Amongst all the new home to-dos, remember to enjoy the excitement of being a homeowner. Personalise your space, display your belongings beautifully, and create new memories with loved ones. This is an opportunity to make the property completely your own.
Follow this new home checklist to start off on the right foot. Getting all the essentials handled allows you to settle in smoothly. Before you know it, your new house will feel like home. Congratulations, and best of luck on this new chapter!