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Financial Education

July 29, 2021

Tips for First Time Homeowners

Congratulations on becoming a first time homeowner! After years of renting (or living with your parents), you’ll finally have a place you can truly call your own. It’s an exciting time, but it can also be stressful trying to make sure your move goes smoothly. Relax — we’ve got you covered. Follow this checklist to maximize your move.

Change the locks

There’s no sure way of knowing how many spare keys from the previous owner are unaccounted for. To be sure your new home is safe and secure, it’s wise to replace all of the outdoor locks. You can either hire a locksmith or change the locks yourself.

Clean and paint before moving in

It’s a lot easier to clean and paint before your belongings get in the way. Start your cleaning project in high places (like ceiling fans and shelves) and make your way down so you don’t dirty anything already cleaned. Don’t forget to clean out dryer ducts and refrigerator coils to prevent fire hazards and broken appliances. Wrap up with a deep clean of the floors by using a wet vacuum or hard flooring cleaner. Of course, only do this after you’ve had the chance to paint the walls.

Prioritize certain renovations

Major renovation projects, like a kitchen remodel, can probably wait until you’re settled into your new home. But some projects are better suited to the time before you’ve moved in. For example, replacing something that’s broken should be a high priority. Or if you want to replace worn-out flooring, now’s the easiest time to do it.

Find the fuse box and water valve

When an emergency happens, you don’t want to be left in the dark — literally. Familiarize yourself with the location of the fuse box and water valve. Most fuse boxes are located in the basement or garage, while the water valve is typically on the outside perimeter of the house.

Check batteries in detectors

Test all the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in the home to see if they’re still functioning. You may discover that some need new batteries or need to be replaced entirely.

Child-proof (or pet-proof)

You probably already have experience child- or pet-proofing your current living space. But there are some unique considerations you may have in your new home. For example, the water in the home could reach scalding temperatures depending on the settings of the water heater. Turning it down can help protect any curious kids. Long window blind cords can be a choking hazard, so either switch them out or use a cord holder. And if your new home has a fireplace, be sure it has a screen in front so no ashes can be ingested.

Be sure utilities are set up

Contact your utility companies at least two weeks in advance to notify them about canceling services at your old place and starting services at your new home. Remember to include electric, gas, heating and cooling, water and internet services.

Budget for the unexpected

As you settle into your new home, you may encounter sudden costly issues like an appliance breaking down or the need for a powerful lawnmower. You can save yourself from the stresses of paying for these expenses by setting aside some money in a savings account prior to your move.

Get help financing your new home

PeoplesBank is here to help you with every step of becoming a homeowner. Explore the low rates and flexible offers available with our mortgages and home improvement loans today!


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