So You’ve Bought A House. Now What?
Congratulations – you’re the proud owner of a new home! This mammoth achievement may now be ticked off your bucket list, but the hard work isn’t over just yet. As a housewarming gift from us to you, we’ve compiled a to-do list that features the key steps you need to take after you buy a house and take that initial jump onto the property ladder.
Keep a Paper Trail
From house deeds to contracts and everything in between, buying a new house comes with A LOT of paperwork. Once you’ve signed on numerous dotted lines, do your future self a favour by holding on to a copy of all house-related documents and storing them safely in a folder, so they’ll be easy to root out if and when they’re needed for reference. It’s always best to do it when you’re in the thick of the house-buying process, so make this a priority and save yourself the heartache at a later date.
Change the locks
One of the first steps to take after securing your new home, is to secure your new home! For any house that has had previous owners, numerous keys may have been cut over the course of the house’s life to date, so it’s always best practice to ensure you and yours are the only keyholders by changing the locks and getting a new set of keys cut.
Change your Address
From bank statements and insurance documents to utility bills and even Christmas cards, your address is frequently used for correspondence and should be updated as soon as the (freshly cut) keys are in your hand. Ensure that you change your address with all relevant official parties, as well as informing friends and family of your brand-new Eircode.
Check fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors and if faulty, invest in new ones. If they are absent from your home altogether, your engineer may have already flagged with you that they need to be purchased, so be sure to take heed. It is also a very wise idea to purchase fire extinguishers for your home and ensure to keep instructions to hand.
If there is an alarm system already hooked up to your home, make sure to change the existing codes as an added security precaution.
Bills, Bills, Bills
Whether changing provider or installing services for the first time, one of your most immediate tasks after you buy a house will be to set up your electricity or gas connection, install broadband, decide on your chosen refuse company…the list goes on. Once these services are in place and you can function as a normal, operational 21st century human being again, the settling in process will truly begin!
Utilise Your Blank Canvas
Many home improvement blogs and websites will advise new homeowners of the benefits of living in their nest and familiarising themselves with the everyday workings of the house before deciding what cosmetic or structural changes to make. However, there’s a lot to be said for getting stuck into those home improvements and messy DIY jobs when you have empty rooms and zero furniture to worry about.
If you decide to bite the bullet and paint or sand up a storm as soon as the keys are in your pocket, be sure to plan a work schedule within a realistic timeframe to avoid pushing out your moving day time and time again.
While your engineer’s report will have picked up on any glaring structural errors, it’s important to give the house a thorough once over to ensure you’re on top of any maintenance work that may need to be complete. If you have a fire or stove, the chimney may need a good cleaning. Is your house an oldie but a goodie? If so, the fuse box may need to be checked by an electrician to ensure all is in order and up to modern standards. Has the boiler been serviced recently? Again, it may be a good idea to fork out a few quid and hire a plumber to inspect this and other potential problems so that you can move into your house with everything fully operational, and most importantly, with peace of mind.
There are no doubt lots of steps to be considered after you buy a house, but we hope this guide helps you to put a little structure to those steps.