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Buying a new house is an exciting adventure to embark on. Whether you are a newlywed just beginning your life with your significant other or a retiree looking to downsize, purchasing a new home is a time of new beginnings. Despite all of the anticipation of owning a new home, there are some housekeeping items that should be taken care of prior to settling in.

Committing to a Final Walk-Through
As eager as you may be to finally move in after weeks of paperwork and waiting, completing a final walk-through with your REALTOR® and/or inspector is beneficial. This is the time to make sure all of the requested updates and repairs have been corrected prior to signing the final binding paperwork. Have your inspector ready to make any last-minute notes or perform any additional tests to confirm the state of the home. Investing just a few minutes in this process can save you thousands in expensive repairs later on.

Making Sure You Have Adequate Homeowner’s Insurance
Prior to closing on your new home, it is often required to provide proof of homeowner’s insurance. As a new homeowner, it is your responsibility to do your due diligence in researching insurance companies and selecting the best fit for our needs. Be sure to consider different coverage and research terms, such as “replacement cost,” “actual cash value” and “depreciation,” to help you better understand what you are paying for. Examine your policy thoroughly, select appropriate deductibles and make changes as necessary.

Considering Different Contracts
While homeowner’s insurance covers many catastrophic events, what happens if your furnace goes out or you have a power surge off-premises that kills your refrigerator? This type of coverage steps in at times like these to help cover losses that are not otherwise covered by homeowner’s insurance. A home warranty can be a life saver when it comes to issues that are not detected at the time of purchase or during the walk-through. Home warranties are often serviced by different entities than insurance providers, so homeowners may be out the cost of two policies; however, many think that being safe rather than sorry is worth the cost.

Completing Renovations Prior to Moving in
Do you really despise that carpet in the family room? Would you prefer to paint the walls in the bedroom? If so, it is best to complete renovations or household changes prior to moving in. It becomes much more difficult to make these changes when there are people, furniture and belongings in the way. Deciding on what changes you wish to make and establishing a timeline for completing them prior to moving in allows your family to plan accordingly.

Switching the Utilities to Your Name
If your new home had previous residents, it would be beneficial to consider changing the utilities over to your name immediately. Some utility companies require a security deposit that will be refunded later after making payments on time. Other companies charge additional fees if services are turned off by the previous owners and then must be turned back on.

Changing Your Mailing Address
One of the most simple yet overlooked tasks in new homeownership is the process of contacting the post office to have all mail forwarded to your new address; it can take four to six weeks to get this process fully instated. You can also set up online payments for essential bills or contact companies directly to make sure no important paperwork is overlooked during the transition.

Moving into a new home can be very hectic and exciting at the same time. By making a checklist of items to complete prior to settling into your new home, you can rest easy knowing you are prepared for this new journey.

This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Visit the blog daily for housing and real estate tips and trends. Like Housecall on Facebook and follow @HousecallBlog on Twitter.

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