Buying a house? Here’s what not to do after closing!
Buying a house isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. So naturally, crossing the finish line with new keys in hand feels momentous. It’s cause for celebration! But before you get too carried away, remember that there are some things you shouldn’t do after closing, and a few things that you should.
- Quit your job or take a position that pays less. Unless you have a mattress (or bank account) stashed with cash for a rainy day (or a rainy month), it’s not wise to put yourself in a lesser financial position. If you used a lender to finance your new home purchase, your monthly mortgage payment was carefully calculated based on your financial picture during the home buying process. The last thing you want to do is jeopardize your new home with a payment you can’t afford.
- Start (unnecessary) renovations right away. Sure, change the paint color or replace a leaky toilet. But when it comes to larger renovations, like gutting a kitchen or adding an addition, you want to hold off. Give yourself time to live in the house so you can truly get a feel for what works and what doesn’t. Get to know the flow and functionality so when you do move forward with a pricey renovation, you can nail it the first time and never look back with should haves or regrets.
- Delay updating bills and documents. You’re going to have your new address memorized in no time if you immediately update your billing address for credit cards, subscriptions, utilities and more. Set up autopay so you have one less thing to remember each month. Don’t forget to update your license, car registration and voter registration while you’re at it.
- Throw away paperwork from the transaction. While tempting to discard closing documents, it’s better to keep them organized in a safe place for future reference just in case.
- Change the locks on doors. While the previous owner might promise that they’ve given you all their keys, you never know who else has one, like an out-of-town relative or old dog walker. While you’re at it, reprogram the garage code too.
- Get to know your neighbors. You’ll be living in their vicinity for years to come, so it’s a good idea to start the relationship off on a positive note. Exchange phone numbers so you have someone nearby you can contact in an emergency.
- Make a maintenance list for your new home. Go room by room and write down updates or honey-do items so you can keep up with maintenance. Change smoke detector batteries, the fridge water filter and the air filter.
- Add your personal touch. This is your house now, and it should feel like home! Whether it’s changing the paint, the cabinet hardware or a light fixture, do what you want to make it yours…because it is yours now!