You are about to buy your first home – how exciting! Once you have the keys to your new home in your hands, make sure to do the following things:

  1. Clean

First thing you will want to do is clean your entire house. Start at the top and work your way down and don’t forget to clean light fixtures, door handles and such. Everything should be dust-free, polished and shiny. That also counts for windows!

  1. Locate Your Home’s Main Water Shutoff Valve

Make sure you know where the main water valve is located in case of emergencies, or just in case you are about to fix a water issue and need to cut off the water supply. You should know how the main water stop valve works and see if it functions properly by checking for any running water after the valve has been turned off. Replace it, or get it replaced, if it’s not working the way it should.

  1. Locate the Circuit Breaker Box

Besides the main water valve you also want to know where the electrical panel is, so you know where to shut off the power to your whole house or an individual circuit if necessary.

  1. Check Smoke and CO Detectors

Make sure you have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and that they are functioning. Learn here and here where they should be located and how to install them. Have an escape plan out of the house in case of emergencies and practice it with your family members.

  1. Start a Sample File

Get a small box or accordion file ready and use it for samples of paint, tile, fabric etc. Put any physical sample in there that you might need for accessory shopping later.

  1. Hide a Key

When you’ve locked yourself out or need to let someone else into your home when you are not around, it is convenient to have a spare key nearby. Just make sure you don’t use the common hiding spots like under the doormat or flower pot. A quick search will give you tons of better ideas.

  1. Meet the Neighbors

Reaching out to your neighbors is not only a friendly gesture but also great for getting to know more people in your neighborhood. Your neighbors can give you access to inside information (which landscaper to use and which plumber to avoid) and if you have become good friends with them you may even give them a spare key. Neighbors can be your greatest allies in times of trouble, so be in good standing with them.

By: Patricia Madigan

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