The Close

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Thinking ahead is the way to go…

Congratulations! You’re about to close on your first house and the journey probably spanned from lengthy to fun to emotional -- Saving for a down payment, filling out paperwork, viewing house after house… now that it’s over, what comes next? When the closing date draws near, you’re probably exhausted. But taking a little extra time to plan ahead will save you time, money and it will make the move into your new home so much more satisfying.

Plan Any Work in Advance…

You have visualized a lot about how you’ll live in this home, how you’ll customize it and what work needs to be done. Don’t wait until you’ve closed to engage a painter, a floor refinisher or a general contractor. When possible, have floor sanding, painting or fix-it work done before you move.

Set up Utilities…

The best plan is to call the utility companies and transfer services to your name for billing set up well before closing. Determine the utilities & services required by the home, items such as water, sewage, gas, electric, garbage, cable, gardening and pool.

Your Home, Your Asset…

Closing documents help establish tax deductions for the year the property was purchased and in the future for tax purposes when the property is sold. Your home may be your largest single asset, so protect that asset as the value increases -- work with your insurance professional to ensure your coverage matches the current value. Take photos or video the house empty and then with your possessions store them offsite, email them to yourself at a webmail address, or upload them to a cloud-based server. Up

Got keys? Great, Now Change the Locks…

The keys to your home passed through a lot of hands while it was on the market. Even if it was only listed for a day, chances are good that someone besides you still has copies of the old keys. Spend the money to get all the locks changed right away.

Hey, Mr. Postman…

Before you can really settle in, you’ll have to make sure bills, packages and letters are coming to the right address. Update your address with the United States Postal Service. Make a list of every bill or bank statement your receive in paper form and contact the companies to update the address. Don’t forget to let your friends and relatives know you’ve moved. Make a list of everyone you’d like to notify. You can send a simple email with your new address or a more personalized moving announcement. Finally, don’t forget to order a new driver’s license or state identification card with your new address.

Meet the Neighbors…

You’ll want to meet the people who live immediately next to you in all directions. In a multi-unit building, this means everyone whose floor, ceiling or walls are touching your unit. If you’re living in a single-family home, start with your immediate neighbors around your property. Get their contact info and make sure they can also reach you.

Happily Ever After…

Buying a house is a major purchase. Once you close, there’s no walking away from it without a major investment of time and effort. Yes, it’s a happy time for most buyers and a relief to have a home. It’s far easier to establish safe and secure habits if you step into them early. Make sure your first weeks of homeownership are safe and pleasant.