9 Things You’ll Learn After Moving Into Your First HomeApril 23, 2019 4:56 pm
You’ve signed on the dotted line and with it you’re left, literally and figuratively, standing in the middle of a big empty room. There’s a ton of space, a bunch of white walls, and your relief of having wrapped the home buying process means that your mind has blanked on what you’re supposed to do next.
Don’t worry — we’ve got your back.
You aren’t out of the woodwork yet, there’s a list of things you should check off after you move in, but thankfully not all of them are things you’ll have to get used to right off the bat. Your first year will teach you how to protect your home and the people who live in it. It’ll teach you about the new costs of home maintenance, but you’ll also revel in not paying the city income tax or a building’s monthly maintenance fee. Most of all it’ll teach you how to turn your house into your first real home.
But, while you make your way through transforming each room into a cozy suburban escape, here’s what you should keep in mind…
There is no trash chute, just garbage pick up days
The convenience of New York City apartment living is the ability to take out your trash daily and not have to really worry about where it goes. Your relationship with trash will shift when you realize that collection only happens 3 times a week and that certain days are meant for certain items. In Port Washington, for instance, yard waste is always collected on the first day of your garbage collection week.
Utilities, maintenance, and nest oh my
Buying a home means guesstimating about what maintenance and utilities will amount to until you actually get the first bills in the mail. Your utilities can run the gamut from your water and electricity bills to the installation of smart devices that will let you turn on your lights from miles away. When it comes to home maintenance consider the seasons. For instance, you’ll need someone to plow snow in the thick of winter and hiring services to keep landscaping looking beautiful once spring rolls around will be a must.
Getting carpets cleaned is an added “before you move in” cost
Deep cleaning your new home before you start filling each room with furniture should be one of your top priorities. Give yourself a budget for getting the carpets (if you have them) professionally cleaned or scrubbing down all of the cabinets. Future you will thank you for having this degree of foresight.
Give it time, you’ll get to know your circuit breaker box
Ideally, tackle this during your first few weeks in your new home. Have a buddy system and while one person labels each switch the other person can shout on whether it turned the lights on or off. Having these switches pre-labeled will help if you ever have to do any minor electrical work yourself.
Swap out exterior locks
Add this to the top of your Day 1 checklist because peace of mind and added precaution are priceless. Especially when the price is just a couple of bucks. Swapping the locks out isn’t a necessity, but it will help in setting the tone that your home is yours and that no one else can possibly have keys to it.
Check all your fire alarms
And buy fire extinguishers. While these are items that every person who lives anywhere should have had, it’s true that apartment living makes us all a bit more lenient with fire safety. Train yourself from day one to check all your fire alarms and have a fire safety plan in place.
A garden hose, a paint brush, and a lawnmower
What do these three things have in common? They’re items on the long list of things you’ll probably be buying for the first time. When you start saving for your new home, don’t only factor in saving for the down payment, think about all the added expenses you’ll be taking on with a suburbs move. A new garden hose or lawnmower, while pricey, are probably on the lower end of the expense list since you’ll also probably be adding on a car and all the expenses that come with it.
Lower the temperature on your hot water heater
Every blog on the internet will recommend that this be one of the first things you do once you move into a new home. The magic number you’ll want it on is 120-degrees. Making sure your hot water heater isn’t above 120 ensures that you’ll be preventing as many burn-related injuries as possible.
Use the inspection report as your roadmap
While you should have a budget for furnishing all the space your 500 square feet New York apartment was once lacking, it shouldn’t be where you necessarily start. Use your home inspection as your step 1 on what to pour all your extra money into because in the long run it’s the little things on that list that can lead to bigger (more costly) issues down the road.
Taking a deep breath once you move in is exactly what you should be doing. After you’ve done that though, give yourself some time to figure out what items on this list you need to address now and which ones you can scatter throughout the year. Again, this is one of those instances when future you will thank you.