FINANCIAL ADVICE | BUYING A HOME
Easy Home Improvement To-Dos Before You Unpack
- First things first: do a whole-house safety check.
- A few other little beautification items that can make you feel like you’ve done instant upgrades.
- If you’ve just moved to the Dallas, TX area, be sure to stop by and visit your nearest Credit Union of Texas location!
Moving into a new home can be equal parts excitement and stress. To keep your eye on the prize, get started early! There are a handful of house projects you can take on before you even move in, so when your new home is a sea of boxes, you’ll still feel accomplished.
Once your movers are booked and the packing has started, schedule yourself a housewarming party. Seriously! Having something fun to look forward to is good for everyone in the family and will motivate you to get the last of those boxes broken down and out of the garage.
Make Your New Home Safe & Secure
First things first: do a whole-house safety check. Change all the exterior door locks, and hide a key for emergency use. Get a stockpile of 9v batteries. Your future self will thank you when you’re not driven mad in the middle of the night trying to find which smoke detector is beeping incessantly. Please take a few minutes before you move in to change all the batteries and mark your calendar to swap them out again in six months. Are you bringing your old fridge or your washer and dryer with you? Are you keeping the ones that came with the house? Either way, this is a good time to do a thorough clean out of the back of your dryer and refrigerator. It will keep them running well and removes often-overlooked fire hazards.
Review the inspector’s findings. If they mentioned water damage anywhere, but you didn’t get it looked at before closing, there’s no time like the present. Leaks can cause huge disruptions, so get it scoped out by a professional you trust. (Your real estate agent or inspector may be able to recommend someone if you’re new to the area.) It’s also a good idea to have a professional do a check and tune up on your HVAC system, a common big-ticket item that too many new homeowners overlook. Once it’s in good shape, mark your calendar to hose down the outdoor A/C unit at least twice a year.
Start Showing Your Style
Most everyone is anxious to start layering their style and aesthetic into their new place. It’s fun to imagine how your furniture will fit, and what new things you can add to your new home. There are a few easy ways to satisfy the urge for instant style. First, get to know the nooks and crannies of your new home with a deep clean. Alternatively, hire it out—many companies will gladly do a reduced cost deep clean on a house if they can get in before the furniture and boxes. Don’t assume the previous owners will have done this for you. Also, don’t forget to change out your air filters!
Once you’ve got a clean canvas to work from, you can get to work on those cosmetic upgrades you thought of during your walk-throughs. Get rid of popcorn ceilings and bring some life to your walls with a fresh coat of paint. (Letting kids choose a new color for their new room can help ease worries about all the big changes that are happening around them.) These tasks go much faster and are easier when you’re not working around furniture or worried about dust getting all over your boxes of fine china. Keep in mind, if you are going to do any demo, consider having the cleaners come through after it’s done!
A few other little beautification items that can make you feel like you’ve done instant upgrades: replace old showerheads, light fixtures, and ceiling fans to match your style and preferences. What about those window treatments left by the previous owners? Donate and replace. Go modern, bring in some color, or add personality to kids’ rooms with nicer blinds and new curtains.
Families: Childproof! If you’re lucky enough to be living near family or friends, take them up on offers to help. Let the kids play while you bring in the safety measures necessary for peace of mind. Cover outlets, lock cabinets where cleaning supplies and medicines will live, and stick on corner bumpers. Even making sure you have enough brackets to secure tall, heavy shelves to walls before moving day helps relieve stress.
Now that you’ve put your style up and around in your new home put a list on the refrigerator door for all the other ideas you have as you’re moving in and unpacking. If you assign deadlines to these miscellaneous projects, you’re much more likely to remember them and get them done.
Get to Know New Neighbors
If your family includes dogs, don’t forget to help them acclimate to their new space, too! Before you put your four-legged friend out back to sniff around, walk the perimeter yourself, noting holes, loose fence boards, or other potential doggy hazards. Then, go for a walk. It will help clear your mind of all the move-in craziness, and your dog will thank you for the introduction to new sounds and smells. Not to mention it’s a good way to meet your neighbors and other dog people around.
Don’t Forget To Take It All In
Buying a new home is exhilarating and can often represent a new chapter in your family members’ lives. So don’t forget to soak in all of the new and exciting experiences and potential ahead of you.
If you’ve just moved to the Dallas, TX area, be sure to stop by and visit your nearest Credit Union of Texas location! We’d love to meet you and welcome you to the neighborhood.