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July 8, 2015

Buy a new home? 10 things to do when you move into a new place

by Kim


Hunter Douglas Palm Beach™ Polysatin™ shutters

Moving into a new home is exciting, especially if you’re a first time homeowner. However, with a new home comes new responsibilities, many of which begin before or immediately after you move in.

Change the Locks

Your realtor may have given you the keys, but there is no way of really knowing who else may have access to your new place. Keep you and your belongings safe by installing new locks on all external doors prior to moving in. And don’t forget to change the security code on your garage door too!

Check Smoke Detectors

Ensure your safety in the event of a fire by checking to make sure all smoke detectors are operational and have new batteries. And while you’re at it, make sure you have the correct number of carbon monoxide detectors for your size home.

Hunter Douglas Alustra Duette Honeycomb Shades

Update Window Treatments

They may have moved out, but their ugly window treatments remain. Make your new house feel more like you by replacing dusty and dated window treatments with new blinds, shades or drapery. Energy efficiency a priority? Reduce your new home’s energy consumption right out of the gate by choosing insulating window treatments.

Change Filters

When you’re busy, home improvement projects like changing the air filter on your furnace or water filter in your fridge dispenser can be easily forgotten. Ensure the air you’re breathing and water you’re drinking is clean by changing the filters in your home immediately after moving in.

Create a home repairs checklist

Unless your home is brand new, chances are the pre-close inspection uncovered a number of items that need attention or repair. Most sellers will agree to fix major problems (or at least make some concessions), however there are still a few minor things that will need attention. Right after moving in, create a home improvement list based on the inspector’s report and start prioritizing repairs before they become major issues.

Start landscaping

It can take years for landscaping to mature, which is why it’s best to plant foliage as soon as you move in, especially if the hope is to block an eyesore on your or your neighbor’s property.

Identify Utilities

It’s best not to wait until a power outage or busted pipe to learn where your utility lines enter the home. Before you move in, take a walk around the house identifying utility features like the fuse box, water meter, thermostat and water shut of valve.

Have utility lines marked

Before you begin landscaping or home improvement projects outside, ask each of your utility companies to mark the location of underground cables and pipes on your property. This service is usually free (and in some states required by law) and will prevent you from hacking up your cable line when you’re planting a new tree.

Meet your Neighbors

Unless you’re renting, chances are you’ll be living next to your new neighbors for many years. Start the relationship off right and introduce yourself within the first week you move in. That way you already have a rapport in case you need to ask them for advice or a favor in the future.

Treat your home of pests

The best time to treat your home is when it’s empty. Consider contacting a pest control company to come out and do a preventive home service prior to moving.


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Kim is a window treatment and drapery certified designer helping clients in Ottawa and surrounding Ontario communities find the perfect window treatments for their homes. She has more than 14 years of experience in interior design and window coverings.

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