Here are 10 things you should think about before moving into your new home.
Mary just got the keys to her new home, and on Monday I got a call. "Hi Glenn, this is Mary! I have made a list of questions and I would love for you to answer as many of them as possible." Of course Mary, fire away!
By the time we hung up I realized that there are a lot of little things that come up after closing that I didn't think about covering with Mary.
Her first questions was: "Which mail box number am I?" This specific neighborhood has a community mail box. The sellers left Mary the key to the mail box, but did not tell her which box the key belonged too. After a call, I was able to tell Mary that she was #4.
"Does anyone else have the alarm code and keys to my home?" This specific home was being sold by the original owners so it was safe to say that the pool of potential alarm code "knowers" and people who might have a key are pretty small. But, what if this home had been owned by several people over the last decade, or worst of all was a rental? This could be 20+ people who could have a key to this home. It's ALWAYS a good idea to have the locks changed, and the alarm code changed.
"What day do I need to put my trash cans out?" Some neighborhoods do green waste on one day and trash on another. Some areas don't have cans for green waste at all. If you are unsure, then it's always a good idea to have you agent ask the sellers. We found out that Mary's trash goes out on Thursday mornings.
"How do I work the pool equipment?" I suggested that Mary hire a pool company to look after her pool and service the chemicals. I made a recommendation to a great pool guy and he will maintain the pool and explain how the equipment works.
"Where is my attic access?" I told Mary that most attic access points are in the hallway, garage, or in the closets of the bedrooms. If you still cannot find it, then always refer to the home inspection report.
"Where is the breaker box?" This will depend on the age of the home. Most are located on the sides of the home. Usually they are located on the street side of the fence or gate. Older homes you will generally find them on the back side of the house. If you still cannot find it, this is also notated in the home inspection report.
"Where is the closest Greek restaurant and how good is it?" Food choices are always a personal preference. My favorite burger place, is actually my best friends least favorite. I referred Mary to websites like www.yelp.com and www.google.com.
"Where are the garage door clickers or extra keys?" Most agents tend to stash the extras in a kitchen drawer. There is always a chance that the seller forgot to leave them or that the garage door clicker is still in their vehicle. Sure enough the seller left the extra clicker in their car.
"Do I need to set up utilities?" Yes, you will need to transfer the utilities and set up an account for your new home. I have a web page on my site that offers you links to where you can access phone numbers. You can see them HERE
"Where do I find the furnace to change the filter?" Furnace filters are usually in one of two places: either within the furnace itself or held fast to the inside of the cold air return. The cold air return will usually be in the ceiling, so it’s pretty easy to spot. In homes that were built before central heat and air were common, you may find that you have more than one place to put a filter — make sure to replace all of these smaller filters at the same time. If your furnace filter is inside the furnace, just flip the small door on the furnace open and you’ll see the edge of the filter and be able to nab it.
Mary inspired this blog article, and I'm sure I will be able to add to this list as more deals are closed. Mary also inspired a new check list that I will be providing to my buyers with the answer to these questions. Thank you Mary!
ABOUT THE AUTHORS: THIS ARTICLE "10 Things to consider before you move into your new home" WAS PROVIDED BY GLENN TOMPKINS. A REALTOR IN THE SACRAMENTO AREA. MY TEAM OFFERS OVER 30 YEARS OF COMBINED EXPERIENCE, SO IF YOU’RE THINKING OF SELLING OR BUYING, I’D LOVE TO SHARE OUR KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERTISE.
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