You've just bought that New House! You're excited and looking forward to starting a new chapter in your life, and let's face it, these 7 things will make it that much easier to enjoy your New House!
1. Change the locks on the exterior doors. As soon as the closing is over and you’ve gotten the keys to your house, either buy and install new lock sets or have a locksmith come to the house to switch them out. Let’s face it, the previous owners, maintenance folks and who knows who else are all likely to have keys to your place. For some peace of mind and as a necessary step in making this house yours, get new locks installed immediately.
2. Get the house cleaned up. While many folks will leave the house clean for you, some won’t. Even if they do, you’ll want to clean everything for yourself. You can hire a service to do this, something I heartily recommend if time is tight, or you can do it yourself. If you do it yourself, set up an area with all of the supplies and tools you’ll need to get the job done: buckets, brooms, mops, a vacuum, cleaners for each type of surface etc. Washing down cabinets, counters and plumbing fixtures and cleaning the carpeting etc. will make you feel good about the house. And don’t forget a healthy supply of rubber gloves.
3. Paint all the walls and ceilings. This can be really time consuming, so you’ll probably want to hire professionals if you can. There’s no point in just slapping up a coat of paint if the walls and ceilings are damaged — if they have cracks, holes and other defects. Prepping these surfaces can be a real chore. So unless you have a relative or two who can help, save yourself a lot of time and just hire someone.Also, if you’re short on time and the house is in dire straits and every surface needs painting, consider one neutral color for every room.
4. Get some closet organizers. Many older houses suffer from closets that have a simple pole and shelf (if that). Look at where you’ll store what and get the closets outfitted to accommodate everything, to make moving in less stressful and your life in the new house more enjoyable.
5. Install new switch plates and other devices. Many older houses, especially those that have undergone a series of renovations, will have mismatched outlets, dirty and discolored cover plates, and rusted or damaged air vent covers. Replacing all of these so that there’s a uniformity and newness to them makes a home feel newer and, understandably, cleaner.
6. Have the mechanical equipment cleaned and serviced. Do this as soon as you buy the house. Getting the heating and cooling systems cleaned and other routine tasks done is important — as is getting a service contract so if the system stops working in the depths of winter, you’ll not have to overpay to get a technician to come to your home.
7. Install window treatments. Whether you have these custom made or you go for some inexpensive and temporary shades, you’ll want to get some something on your windows — both for privacy and that finishing touch. There will be time later, as you live in the house and get to know it better, to choose a more personalized option.