7 Things to Do Before You Proceed Into a New House

Our son and daughter-in-law just bought their first home. It is in a location that makes it possible for an easy sail to Boston, where our son operates, and is just a few towns away from where his wife works. The home is in a older suburb adjacent to Boston, and is itself older and needing some TLC. So rather than move in right away, the new homeowners will probably remain in their apartment until the lease is up. They will spend just about every free minute of the few months getting their home ready to live in.

Of course, we didn’t let them do all this alone. Uncle Ralph and I traveled to Boston to spend a week assisting them clean, paint and get the home ready. Among the things that we really helped with is how to prioritize tasks. As it’s getting close to winter, we stressed the importance of becoming only the most fundamental outside things done. Fixing up the lawn, cleaning the siding, touching up the paint etc. can all wait for the spring. What really needed to be done is the interior, not only in order that they can move in but so they could live there smoothly through the winter.

With that in mind, here’s a list of tasks that needed doing. It would be good to hear from you exactly what your list of tasks would be.

Sapia Builders Corp..

1. Change the locks on the exterior doors. The moment the closing is over and you’ve gotten the keys to your house, either buy and set up new lock sets or have a locksmith come to the home to switch them out. Let’s face it, the prior owners, Realtors, upkeep people and who knows who else are all likely to possess keys to your place. For some reassurance and as a necessary step in creating this home yours, then get new locks installed instantly.

Carmel Builders

2. Get the home cleaned up. While many people will leave the home clean for you, some won’t. Even if they do, then you’ll want to wash everything on your own. You can hire a service to do so, something I heartily recommend if time is tight, or you could do it. Should you do it your self, install an area with all the supplies and tools you will have to get the job done: buckets, brooms, mops, a vacuum, cleaners for every kind of surface etc.. Washing down cabinets, counters and plumbing fittings and cleaning the carpeting etc. will make you feel good about the home. And don’t forget a healthy supply of rubber gloves. No sense ruining that manicure!

Bill Fry Construction – Wm. H. Fry Const. Co..

3. Paint all of the ceilings and walls. This can be really time consuming, so you will probably want to employ professionals if you’re able to. There is no point in just slapping up a coat of paint in the event the ceilings and walls are damaged — should they’ve cracks, holes and other defects. Prepping these surfaces can be a real chore. So unless you have a relative or two who will assist, save yourself a great deal of time and just hire somebody.

Also, if you are short on time and the home is in dire straits and every surface requires painting, then think about one neutral color for every area. This will just make it easier and limit the amount of choices you’ll need to make now. You could always go back and repaint rooms the colors you want as time permits.

4. Get some organizers. Many older houses have problems with cupboards that have a simple pole and pole (if that). Consider where you’ll store what and get the cabinets outfitted to accommodate everything, to make moving in significantly less stressful and your life from the new home more enjoyable.

And don’t just look at the closets. Think about where you’ll place whatever, from winter boots to laundry detergent. A well-placed additional shelf, coat hook etc., can go a long way toward creating the home that a lot easier to reside in.

HOUSEworks Design/Build General Contractor

5. Install new switch plates and other devices. Many older houses, especially those that have undergone a series of renovations, will have mismatched outlets, dirty and stained cover plates, and rusted or damaged air vent covers. I find that replacing all these so there is a uniformity and newness to them makes a home feel newer and, understandably, cleaner. While switching a cover plate takes nothing more than just a little screwdriver, keep in mind that replacing electrical devices isn’t necessarily a fantastic DIY project unless you are really comfortable working with electricity.

Synthesis Design Inc..

6. Have the mechanical equipment cleaned and cleaned. Do this once you buy the home. Acquiring the heating and cooling system cleaned along with other regular tasks done is essential — as is obtaining a service contract in the event the machine stops working from the depths of winter, you will not need to overpay to get a technician to come to your home.

We have always had good luck requesting our new neighbors that firm they’ve discovered to be reliable and careful for this work. It’s also a great way to satisfy the neighbors.

Pamela DeCuir Interior Designs

7. Install window treatments. Whether you have these custom made or you move for some inexpensive and temporary shades, you’ll want to get some something in your own windows — both for solitude and finishing touch.

There’ll be time later, as you reside in the home and get to know it better, to choose a more personalized option.

Have you bought a new property? What’s on your to-do record before you move in?

More: Your Moving-Day Survival Kit

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