Welcome to your new home! After weeks of searching for a house, then waiting even more weeks for the Bank to originate the mortgage, the Big Day is upon you. It is time to move into your new house!
You may be moving across town, you may be moving to a new town. You may be a first time home buyer, you may be someone who has moved before. Whatever situation you are in, you must do these 25 Tasks as quickly as possible. Your move will be simpler, safer, and complete!
25 Things Home Owners Must Do on Moving Day
1. Keep a Survival Kit of Human Necessities in your Car
Food that is ready to eat, such as energy bars, apples, peanut butter, dried fruit, canned meat.
Paper plates, plastic utensils, plastic cups.
Prescription Medicines (and other medicines like Pepto-Bismol, aspirin, Rolaids)
First Aid Kit
Toilet Paper, Soap
Towels, Paper Towels
Pillows and Blankets
Shaving Kit, Cosmetic Bag
Change of Clothes for everyone in your Household
Cash in Small Denominations.
Cell Phone Battery Chargers
Toolbox with Basic Tools
2. Refill your Prescriptions before you move to a new town.
3. Board your Pets at a kennel or with a Veterinarian.
They will be safer out of the way; the Movers will not trip over your pets.
Put one flashlight near each door or exit.
5. Change the Locks on your new House; secure all Doors and Windows.
Schedule a Locksmith to meet you on the day that you arrive. Give new Keys to each member of your household. Test the keys, make sure that they work.
Change the frequency or code on Garage Door Openers and Gate Openers.
Make certain that all windows close and lock properly.
6. Locate Emergency Exits
Each member of your family should participate in this exercise. Can you find the doors in the dark? Can you unlock the doors in the dark, from the inside and outside? Open and close all windows; know how they work.
7. Find the Gas Shut Off Valve
Know how to turn it off. Call the Gas Company or a Gas Technician for assistance.
8. Find the Main Water Shut-Off Valve
Know how to turn it off. Contact your Utility company or a Plumber for assistance.
9. Find the Main Electric Circuit Breaker
Know how to turn it off. Contact your Utility company or an Electrician for assistance.
10. Locate the Thermostats
Know how to turn the heater and air conditioner on and off.
11. Find the Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Test them. Have they passed the expiration date? Do they need new Batteries?
12. Fire Extinguishers
Put one in the kitchen, put one in the garage. Ask your local Fire Department for advice.
13. Paint your House Numbers
Repaint the numbers on the front door, on the curb, on your mailbox. Yes, everybody uses GPS, but you want that number visible for 911, FedEx, and the Pizza Delivery Guy.
14. Memorize your New Address
Have each member of your household recite it.
15. Driver License, Voter Registration
Change your address. In most States, this is required by law.
16. Meet the Neighbors!
Meet their pets, too.
17. Garbage Day
What days do they pick up the garbage? What about Recyclables, Environmental Waste, Tree Branches, Bulky Items, Appliances?
18. Mailperson, UPS Driver, FedEx, and other Delivery People
Meet and greet! Where is the nearest Post Office, UPS Store, and FedEx office?
19. Homeowners' Association or Condominium Association
Meet the Officers and Directors of your HOA. Read the Deed Restrictions again. See a Lawyer if you need legal advice.
Air Conditioner Filters, Range Hood Filters, any other Filters. Buy replacement filters now; you will have them when you need them.
21. Light Bulbs
Stock up now on light bulbs for the inside and outside of your house. You will have the bulbs when you need them.
22. Cancel your Previous Services and Subscriptions!
Make certain that you have canceled your previous Utilities, Cable TV, Homeowner's Insurance, Alarm Company, Telephone or Internet Service, Newspaper, and Pest Control.
23. Change your Address
Fill out the USPS Change of Address Form. That form instructs the Postal Service to forward your mail to your new Address. However, do not expect the Postal Service to change your Address for you. Contact important institutions such as your Bank, Insurance company, Credit Cards, Social Security, and Medicare directly. YOU will be responsible if your mail is lost, delayed, or sent to your old address.
24. Florida Homestead Exemption
Visit the Property Appraiser's Office and file for Homestead Exemption. You may be eligible for up to $50,000 in exemptions. In some Florida counties, you can do this online or via the telephone. However, I suggest that you physically visit your Property Appraiser's Office to make certain that your Exemptions are in effect.
25. The Deed to Your New Home
Make certain that your Deed is properly recorded! In Florida, it is imperative that your Deed be recorded in the Pubic Record. Contact or visit your County Clerk of the Court's Office a few days after the Closing; ask them to verify that your Deed was recorded.
You are moving into your new home. You need to do all of the above 25 tasks as rapidly as possible.
Congratulations to you, and Welcome Home!
Disclaimer: Nothing in this blog article is to be construed as legal advice, tax advice, or financial advice. For legal advice see an attorney. For tax advice or financial advice see a tax attorney, certified public accountant, or other qualified professional.
Frederick Griffin, Licensed Real Estate Broker Tallahassee, Florida