Someone sealing a box with tape

5 Things Every Homebuyer Should Do Before Moving In

The Top 5 Most Important New House Jobs

Moving into a new home is exciting! You're in a new environment, surrounded by new people and places. But before you can fully settle in, there are a few basic maintenance tasks you should cross off your list. From lock replacement to chimney inspection, check out our list of five jobs to do when you move.

Change the locks, check the box...

Replace the Locks

Even if the previous owner promised to return the copy of every key, it's always a good idea to change the locks throughout the exterior of your home. Call a locksmith or visit your local hardware store for new lock and key sets; while you're there make a few copies-you'll need 'em!

Label the Fuse Box

Fuse boxes are often overlooked when moving. It's not until you blow or trip a fuse that you remember to check it, that's why we recommend you do it right when you move in.

  1. You'll need a helper, some masking tape, and a permanent marker to label your box. As a precaution, power down and unplug sensitive technology like computers and televisions.
  2. Have your helper turn all the lights on around the house, including lamps-this will allow you to test the accuracy of the labels on your fuse box (if the previous owners took the time to label it). One by one flip on and off each fuse while your helper tells you where the lights are going off. After each flip, make sure the fuse is labeled correctly.
  3. After going through every fuse, plug in your sensitive technology (computers, televisions) before turning the power back on.

Inspect the Chimney

Even if you don't plan on using your fireplace, you'll want your chimney professionally inspected. Aside from evaluating the health of your fireplace, your inspector may be able to identify structural issues that could prevent pest access and lower heating and cooling bills.

Check the Plumbing

The day you move in, inspect your plumbing. Evaluate faucets, showerheads, toilets and especially exposed pipes (such as those below sinks). Use your showers, tubs, flush the toilets, and inspect your basement pipes for leaking. Any major problems should have been caught in the home inspection; but if you notice anything, like heavy corrosion or leaking pipes, it's a good idea to call a plumber.

Clean Your Vents

Over the years, dust and lint collect in your vents. Moving into a home that's not new construction, you'll want to ensure that you're breathing clean air by having your air ducts inspected and cleaned by a professional service. And then going forward, make sure you replace the filter every three months or as recommended. If you can, ask the previous homeowner when they last changed the air filter.

Check these five tasks off your move-in list and you'll be ready to host the new neighbors! However, moving can be time consuming even without our additional tips, so contact your local Mr. Handyman for help crossing off any home improvement projects that the previous owners might have left for you.