The process of buying a house takes time and plenty of paperwork. But, once everything is signed and you have the keys in hand, the sense of achievement outways all the hard work.
After you’ve bought your house comes the exciting next steps; moving in, buying furniture, decorating and making it a home. There are also steps you can take to make your role a property owner as stress free as possible.
Here are our tips for the first things to do after you buy a house:
Make it safe
Whilst buying your new house you will have had it surveyed for soundness and condition. In this sense, you know that your home is safe and strong. For extra security and peace of mind, there are five steps you can take when you move in.
1. Change the locks
Over time, houses change hands a number of times and extra keys are cut by each owner. Those keys may be shared with family, some will be lost and even the occasional pet sitter might have one. Retrieving every key when a house is being sold is close to impossible. For extra peace of mind, change the front and back door locks.
Your new house may already have an alarm. If it does, then you only need to check it is working and change the code. For homes that don’t have an alarm, having one installed can mean extra security and possibly a reduced home insurance fee.
3. Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
The HSE recommends having a minimum of one smoke alarm on each floor of your home. For extra peace of mind, look for smoke alarms that come with carbon monoxide alarms. Some recent models have the two alarms built into one unit. Check batteries regularly.
4. Boiler check and service
A working boiler is essential for hot water and home heat. Avoid having to call out an emergency plumber by having your boiler checked and serviced by an accredited plumber. Boilers should be checked once a year to keep them running efficiently.
Even homes that don’t intend to have real fires in the fireplaces need to check the chimney. Call a professional in to ensure that there is no residual build up and no damage. To prevent heat loss, consider installing a chimney balloon or draft excluder. You might also consider topping the chimney with a cap to prevent water and birds entering.
The process of buying a house entails a small mountain of paperwork. Keep all the paperwork related to the sale in one place that is easy to find.
Make this the start of a good habit and keep on top of filing your legal and household documents. It will save you a lot of stress down the line. Filing documents by category e.g. property, legal and financial will help you find things quickly.
When you have work done on the house your insurance provider may require proof if something goes wrong. Make sure to always get a receipt for house work, be it decoration, maintenance or building. Receipts or invoices must include company details as well as details of the work done at your address.
In this day and age, are you really moved in if the internet is not set up yet? You will also need to set up accounts with the utilities companies.
When you buy a house that has been recently lived in, the utilities may have to be transferred into your name. In many cases however, the previous owner will have cancelled the accounts before leaving. If the account has been transferred to you, you can change providers as you wish at a later date.
For the best deals on utilities and home services such as broadband and TV, there are comparison sites to help. Remember, your TV licence moves with you but not automatically. Let the TV Licence Authority know by logging into your account online to update your address.
You have probably already told the people you love about your new house, but who else needs to know? We recommend you inform:
- The Tax Office – Now that you have a new address, you will need to tell the tax office. Not only for communication purposes but also for Local Property Tax assessment.
- The Bank – Wherever you hold a bank or credit union account, you will need to let them know your change of address.
- Your Employer – Let the HR department and finance department of your employer know your new address.
- Your Medical Providers – If you are moving out of the area, let your GP and dentist know you are moving. You can also request that they send your medical records to your new clinics.
- The National Driving Licence Service (NDLS) – Your driving licence is an important piece of personal identification. Ensure it is registered to the correct address by updating your address on the NDLS website.
Make Your House A Home
There are two schools of thought when it comes to decorating a house. The first believes it is best to have everything done before you move in. The second believes that you must first live in a house before you can understand how you want to decorate. Which one you choose, is entirely your decision.
In some instances, it can make sense to wait. For houses that require building work, such as extensions or layout changes, it can be best to move in afterwards. Also if any member of the household has allergies or sensitivities to fumes or dust.
If you choose to move in immediately, consider booking a deep clean service first. This kind of service will ensure that your home is dust and dirt free on your first day. Leaving you to enjoy your new space.
Contact Whelehan Solicitors
If you are planning to buy or sell a property, contact us at Whelehan Solicitors or call 066 712 9782 for advice. We provide a Property and Conveyancing service and make the process as hassle free as possible for our clients.