Congratulations on purchasing a new home! You probably have a huge to-do list already, but don’t forget to tackle these maintenance and safety items upon taking possession of your new house.
12 Things To Do Immediately After Buying a New Home
Upon taking ownership of your new home…
- Change the locks on all exterior entrances for improved security.
- Inspect all windows and doors for proper function and make repairs if needed. It may be necessary to improve window hardware and/or add security rods to sliding windows and doors.
- For peace of mind and added protection, consider installing a new security system or activating an existing version.
- Make sure that there are smoke detectors on each level of the home. Ideally, there should be a smoke detector in each bedroom and outside all sleeping areas. Test each smoke detector and replace batteries as needed.
- Check the home for carbon monoxide detectors. Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed in each bedroom and in living areas equipped with a gas-assisted fireplace.
- Create a fire safety plan for your new home. Start by ensuring each bedroom and living space has an operable window and/or door. Consider purchasing an egress ladder to store upstairs. Place fire extinguishers in the kitchen and garage. Talk to your family about your fire safety plan. Consult with your local fire department regarding fire safety issues and ask for suggestions on what to do in the event of a fire.
- As you get to know your new home, examine driveways and walkways for trip hazards. Undertake repairs where necessary.
- Examine the interior of the home for trip hazards such as loose carpeting or uneven flooring. Make repairs right away to help avoid future accidents.
- Check stairways, decks, porches, and landings for stability. If you notice any potential safety hazards, hire a professional to make repairs.
- Review your home inspection report for items requiring immediate improvement or further investigation. Address these areas as required.
- Install rain caps and vermin screens on all chimney flues, as necessary.
- Familiarize yourself with the location of the main shut-offs for plumbing, heating, and electrical systems. (If you attended the home inspection, these items should have been pointed out).
Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or buying your second or third house, it’s important to do these 12 steps immediately after taking possession of your new home. For more guidance, check out our Home Maintenance Checklist and Home Inspection Checklist.