Congratulations on your new home! It is a great time to purchase a home, as home values are still rising. You can look forward to moving into your new home and making it your own. Now that you have closed on your new home, there are a few things you need to attend to right away.
Title and Deed
Be sure the place you closed on your home, or your attorney, records your deed. Sometimes closings take place at title companies, escrow companies, banks or attorneys' offices. In an article about titles and deeds on homelight.com, "A deed is the physical document that passes those ownership rights from seller to buyer and is usually recorded with the courthouse or assessor's office." Ask for a copy after it's been recorded and add it to your closing paperwork packet. Keep your clean title documents in your closing paperwork packet as well.
Keep Your Closing Paperwork in a Safe Place
You will want to keep all your closing papers, or closing packet, in a safe place with easy access. This can be a file cabinet, an in-home safe or even a safety deposit box at a bank. When tax time comes around next year, you will need to give your tax preparer information from your closing statement.
When you move, you should change your address as soon as possible. Let family and friends know your new address. Most bills you receive have a "change of address" area on the back. Change your address on your driver's license, with social security and with other government entities. You can change your address with the United States Postal Service (USPS) up to two weeks before your move. They should begin forwarding your mail soon after you file a change of address with them. You can file your change of address with USPS here. According to the usps.gov website, "The majority of your mail will be forwarded for 12 months, including First Class Mail, Priority Mail and First-Class Package services."
Set Up Utilities
Call each utility with your new address. In addition, call your current utility companies and ask for final readings. Give them your new address so they know where to send your final bills. Your utilities at your new home need to be started on the day of closing. Ask your real estate professional which utilities you need in the area. You may need electric, gas, water, sewer and garbage. Be sure to shop for internet/Wi-Fi and TV services. These days there are many options to the standard internet/cable tv providers such as YouTubeTV and Hulu. It's not uncommon to use the cable company for only internet access these days and streaming services from other providers.
Get Homeowner's Insurance
Most mortgage companies require you to have proof of homeowner's insurance before you close. They want to ensure that their investment is covered and safe from disasters. If they did not require it at closing, or you paid cash for the home, it is in your best interest to secure homeowner's insurance right away.
Change Your Locks
For your safety, change the locks on your doors at your new home. You never know who has an old key to your house. It could be a neighbor or a family member of the previous owners. You may be able to get a set of locks that will change all your locks: your front door, your garage door, your back door and so on. It is easier to do it this way, so you only have one key for all doors. If you're not handy, hire a locksmith to change your locks.
Clean and Check Your HVAC Units
Every year you should have your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) units cleaned and checked. If this wasn't done by the previous owners, or as part of your inspection contingencies, have it done so you are set for the next heating or cooling season.
After you take care of the punch list of what to do after you close on your new home, move in and enjoy it. Take care of your home to keep its value up to par. Keep an eye on home values in your area and hopefully you'll enjoy an increase over the years.