Buying a house is the biggest purchase most Americans make in their lifetime. The transaction itself is daunting, but what do you do after your agent hands over the keys? This one questions overwhelms most. We think all we need is a house and we’re good. In reality, where most of us live, there are utilities, cleaning, repairs, address change, and maybe a party!
We almost always have too much on our plates, while spinning on poles in the air, waiting for each to fall until we give up. Buying a home should be exciting and fun! Take these wise words from a great man, “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”― William Shakespeare, Hamlet.
These 5 things to do after buying a house takes a tiny amount of frustration out of the multitude of tasks ahead.
First Things First
After the deed has been recorded with the county and all contingencies (CR) have been satisfied, change the locks! Rekeying the locks is not the responsibility of your agent, loan officer or escrow officer and is advised in the Statewide Buyer and Seller Advisory (F. 7.) on the currently accepted disclosure. Changing the locks is very simple, it can be done yourself with these tips. Take the trials of changing the locks out yourself and call a locksmith in the area.
Garage door openers and alarms will have to be reprogrammed or installed. You never know who the previous owners really were, or who they trusted. You are required to complete a Verification of Property (VP) at the close of escrow, this is to verify the property is in the condition expected at possession. There are several inspectors, agents, Buyers and the original owners coming and going through the house. You will want to verify the premises were not adversely affected or damaged during the transaction. If so, it will be noted in the verification and the sellers will have to get the property into its contracted condition before they will be released from liability. This should have been completed by this point, if not talk to your agent about your options.
Second, There is a Second
Once your new home is secure in that first week of possession, consider the possibility of a professional deep clean. It is unlikely the home had been deep cleaned and after clients and their agents walk through a couple dozen times, there may be a need for a good ol’ cleaning. During negotiations there may be a chance to get the home cleaned before possession in the escrow period. This tends to happen with rental properties or vacation homes on the market. Twentynine Palms, Ca is a 60/40 City, meaning we have 60% rentals, vacation homes or Airbnb’s compared to the 40% resident homeowners! The future can bring anyone who owns a home here in the high-desert a well-deserved nest egg of income for their retirement. After-all we all deserve our golden years to be, well, golden.
Defer to the Third
Changing utilities into your name should be right there at the top of your list. Electricity, water, trash and gas if you have it. Credit cards, checking accounts, and any other accounts requiring your current address.
The United States Postal office has a nifty form you are able to fill out either by hand or online for a small fee. A change of address form can be a good way to avoid letting everyone in your life know your new address. If you don't have utilities on your property you may need to check pricing info for getting some out to you. Off grid properties are popular here in the sun soaked city, using wells, water towers, solar and wind power. Septic systems are the only waste system we have here in Twentynine Palms. Yucca Valley is undergoing their sewer system installation over the next few years.
Agents can always try to call for details regarding utility installation, but the companies are strict on providing information. Utility companies only give accurate quotes after an inspection has been done by that utility company. For example: if you wanted to get water from the closest main line to your newly acquired property, the water company will be called for an inspector to come out and measure the distance the line will have to go and a water meter will have to be installed. Water lines going to the house can be installed by a licensed contractor, including the piping throughout the home.
Call Forth the Fourth
If you wanted to change flooring or remove popcorn ceiling texture, do so before the painting. Trust me, these updates make all the difference in the final look. I used the old carpet as a drop cloth for removing the popcorn ceiling. DIY popcorn removal can be frustrating but worth it in today's market. A licensed contractor can also quote you on getting the awful outdated ceiling texture removed, but these costs can be exorbitant considering other work you may prefer. Write it out! Make a list of what NEEDS done and what you WANT done. By getting quotes in writing, you can predict the amount you have to spend to get the amount you can afford on fantasy items, like a pool or solar panels! Smaller amounts can be a new fridge or window treatments.
If you decide to paint your home, interior or exterior, repair or update before doing so. Repair drywall sections if needed and update fixtures, outlets and switches. Your new house is now ready for fresh paint! Yes, after everything, there could be drywall repairs needed for a smooth paint finish. There are many companies in town who strictly paint and are reasonably priced in today's market.
Dive into Five
Memorialize the moment you walk into your personalized home! Grab a friend and a camera for selfie time in your new home. Your property only looks this good after a fresh coat of paint throughout, so make sure to take plenty of photos. Time to relax, have a BBQ and finally sleep a sound night in your personalized new home!
Comparison photos would make for a wonderful family memento for years to come and show off to your guests. First time homebuyers should do something to remember this momentous occasion that may only happen this one time in yo
All in all, there is always a never ending list to accomplish, whether you are a first time home buyer or an experienced investor. As a full service real estate office, we offer service you can expect. Call today for a consult with our team.