Top 5 Things You Need to Do Before Moving
into Your New Home
Critical steps to take to ensure your new home is safe to live in
You’ve made it through the searching, offer-making, inspections, applications, endless paperwork, financing, and now you’re the proud owner of a new abode. While congratulations are in order and you may be ready to get started making this house a home – it’s not quite time to kick back and relax.
Moving into a new home means you’ll need to take action to protect you and your loved ones. While you may believe the home inspector has done their due-diligence, often times things are looked over. Taking these simple actions will set you up for home-owner success.
Change all of the locks and entry codes
Top security experts recommend always changing your locks and entry codes to your property before you move in. Not taking this step could allow previous owners, or whomever has previously had access, to your home. In the 2020’s this also means changing any door codes, garage codes, or smart-entry locks. If you’re using smart locks, be sure not to use a common code like ‘1234’ or ‘1111’ as it makes your property much more likely to be broken into. If you’re unsure of how to change your locks properly, contact a local locksmith to help.
Turn on your utilities
If you haven’t done so already, call your local service providers at least a week in advance to schedule your services to be turned on for water, electricity, and gas. Certain providers may have you fill out paperwork or put down a deposit prior to them sending a worker out to connect your utilities. In some areas this could mean days before
Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
While we all want to believe the previous owners did their bi-yearly checks, the truth is many homeowners fail to do this crucial safety check. We recommend Before moving day, do a quick check of your devices before moving in to make sure they are working properly. You can even go a step further and replace the batteries in all of your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors so you can keep track of how long it has been since the last battery change.
BONUS TIP: Test the lower levels of your new home for Radon. High Radon levels are the 2nd leading cause of lung cancer in the US, and this odorless gas can seep into lower levels of your home. While this check can be done during the inspection process, you can also purchase a kit for under $30.
Locate the circuit box & learn emergency shut-offs
Get to know where and how to properly shut off your electrical service pane and water lines. The amount of damage that can be mitigated could save you thousands – the average 1-inch pipe can release 210 gallons of water per minute – could you imagine that water bill? In case of a power outage or waterline breakage you’ll be able to quickly react and stop the problem from getting worse.
It’s important to remember that the main breaker or main fuse does not shut off the power to the incoming service lines from the utility or the connections where those lines meet the main breaker or fuse inside the service panel. The lines remain live—carrying deadly levels of electrical current—unless the utility company shuts them off.
Review your insurance policy and make sure you’re properly covered
You’ll come to learn that being proactive as a homeowner is always better than reactive. This is also the case when it comes to actively checking your insurance policy to a.) make sure you have the best rates available, but b.) to make sure you’re properly covered. If you’re not quite sure on if you’re properly covered you’re not alone. Amy Bach, executive director of the consumer advocacy group United Policyholders, says one 2009 study found that two-thirds of U.S. homes are under insured. We encourage homeowners to reach out and speak directly with an agent that can go line by line to help you understand what your policy covers.
If you take these steps you’ll be moving into your new home with confidence that you’ll be protected and safe if anything should happen. Best of luck in your new journey as a homeowner, and if you ever have questions on your coverage, the DRS Insurance Group is here to help you.