You’ve bought a new apartment. Congratulations! You may find yourself standing in your new place thinking “Where do I go from here?”. After closing, here are some important first steps to take, even before moving in.
1. Make copies of your closing documents
It’s a good idea to have multiple sets of your closing documents. You can keep a copy at home or file one with your lawyer, but it’s also wise to take the originals and put them in a safe deposit box at the bank. You can never get originals back if you lose them, so it’s prudent to make this your first step.
2. Change your locks
During the selling process many people will wind up with a set of keys. The broker and the old homeowners, at least, have access to your new home. You should immediately change the locks on the outer door of the apartment as well as any storage units or locked spaces you have.
3. Set up the utilities
You should call the utility company as early as possible and have the billing put in your name. In all likelihood the previous owners will have turned it off after the open house and you don’t want to be stuck without electricity while trying to set up your new place.
4. Put your name on the mailbox and buzzer
You will undoubtedly have lots of workers, repairmen, and pizza delivery people coming to your door during your first few weeks in your new home. Make sure they know exactly where to find you by marking your name and apartment number on all applicable surfaces.
5. Cover the windows
While packing, you probably didn’t think to put your curtains in the box of emergency items. However it is important to cover your windows immediately after moving in. You don’t want neighbors and passersby to know exactly what electronics you have or that you might be in the apartment alone. That can set you up for theft. You want to ensure your privacy.
Use anything you have at your disposal such as towels, sheets, or drop clothes if you don’t have your window treatments yet.
You want to start off life in your new apartment on the right foot by making sure there are no little creatures hiding in the walls. This is especially important if you plan to renovate. As soon as walls start to come down and construction begins, rodents have a way of coming out of hiding.
This is an easy step to take ahead of time. Have the name of a company all ready before closing so when the time comes they are just a phone call away.
7. Hire a cleaning crew
Along the same lines as the extermination, you can never be sure what previous tenants may have left behind. Hire a cleaning crew to give the house a good scrubbing before moving in any of your furniture. There will rarely be a time after that when you will have access to every nook and cranny.
Having a fresh start will also make it feel more like home to you and less like you’re living in someone else’s apartment. The Suitey Concierge can help with this.
8. Measure everything
Take a measuring tape to every room and door frame in your apartment. This information will never go to waste. Not only will it be helpful to the movers when they are trying to get your couch through the front door but when you buy furniture in the future you can rest assured it will always fit.
It’s good to know your square footage for paint and carpet purchases as well. Additionally, if you plan to work from home, you will need to know what portion to write off as an office or work space.
9. Paint and spackle
Although it may seem tedious, examine all of the walls, doors, and ceilings before moving into your new place. You don’t want to be halfway through priming a wall only to find a big dent in the spackle. Fixing all of the little problems now will save you many headaches later when hanging art, mirrors, and shelving.
A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for a dimly lit room or a dingy kitchen so pick a color you love and go for it. If the task seems too intimidating to do alone, don’t be afraid to call in the pros.
10. Insure your home
Last but not least, call your insurance broker and get your apartment protected. If you had insurance in your previous residence you can make changes to the existing policy to fit your new abode. If you were a renter before, you will need to start fresh with a homeowners’ policy.
Either way, after all of the hard work you have put into procuring your home, you want to make sure it is safe and many buildings in New York City will require this.
Now that the hard work is done, you are free to enjoy being a homeowner.