Just picked up the keys to your new home? Here’s 5 things you mustn’t forget to do next….
The day you complete on the purchase of your new home will be hectic – filled with both excitement and sometimes a fair amount of stress! So Helen, one of our mortgage experts, has put together a list of expert tips to help you keep a cool head and give you the best start in your new home.
Inspect the entire property
Moving day gives you a unique opportunity – it’s quite possibly the only time that you’ll see your new home completely empty, giving you the perfect chance to take a thorough look over the property before the chaos of unloading and unpacking begins. Use this time to make sure that everything is as you expected; for example the condition of the property, ensuring any repairs that the seller agreed to make have been completed, and that everything is in working order. You’ll also be able to easily identify if the old owner has left something in the property that needs to be disposed of, and can contact the estate agent to deal with this. Aside from all this, it’s a good opportunity to start making notes of things you’ll need to do if you’ve bought yourself a bit of a fixer-upper.
Change the locks
People often don’t realise that the keys the estate agent handed you might not be the only set that unlocks your home! They are just the keys that the previous owner provided the estate agent with, and there’s nothing to say that spare keys for extended family members/friends/neighbours don’t still exist on a keychain, or in a drawer somewhere. So to make sure that you and your family are secure in your new home, it’s really important to change the locks as soon as you can.
Take meter readings
The previous owner should have contacted the utility providers to let them know the date they moved out of the property and provide readings. But it’s best to take your own readings to ensure accuracy, too. So when you call the energy providers to register, you’ll only be paying for the energy that you have used since entering the property. It’s a good opportunity to check the boiler is on, and hunt down the fuse board and main water valve too!
Meet the neighbours
Take a welcome break from unpacking by popping over to say hello to your new neighbours. It might feel like an extra task on top of everything else you have going on! But your neighbours are important people. They can give you insider tips on street parking, the local community, bin collection days, and give you recommendations for local tradesmen. Plus, in the future they’ll be the ones that can accept the occasional online delivery for you if you’re not in, or keep an eye on your home while you’re on holiday! So it’s a good idea to build some bridges with them and give them a friendly face to put to the moving van in the street!
Update your address details
Phoning around and waiting on hold is unappealing when all you want to do is get started putting your own stamp on your new home! But letting all of your service providers know where to find you is crucial, and in some instances not doing so can lead to financial consequences as well as administrative ones. For example, the DVLA can fine up to £1,000 if you don’t update your drivers licence to reflect your current address. Aside from this, updating your bank and other suppliers as soon as you can will reduce the risk of something being sent to your old address – which could potentially lead to others opening your post and gaining access to your confidential information. A few key companies to add to your call list: your bank account and credit card providers, your life, car and pet insurance providers, mobile phone provider, Amazon and other online retailers, your employer and the DVLA. Don’t forget to register for your new local council tax, doctors and dentist surgery, and vets practice too!
Our team of independent mortgage advisers are here to provide you with expert support and guidance throughout the entire home buying process. So if you’re thinking of moving, you can get in touch and we’ll help you understand your options.
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Helen Peel – 14th April 2022