Congratulations on purchasing and moving into your very first home! As you begin to get settled in and finalize transactions with realtors, there are a few things that you want to do that will set you up for a good experience and keep you safe should an emergency arise. Here are three of the most important things you should do upon moving in:
Change the Locks.
When you move into a home where someone has lived previously, you have no clue of who or how many people have a copy of the key. The previous homeowner could have given a copy of the key to some family members or friends, as well as the neighbors. Once the locks are changed, you should give new keys out to only those you can depend on in case of an emergency--such as needing someone to come by and feed your pet. Changing the locks is also a good time to have deadbolts and other protective measures installed easily.
Locate the Circuit Breaker.
In case an appliance stops working or you blow a breaker, you need to know where the circuit breaker is. It is better to find it immediately after moving in rather than waiting until you actually need to find it. Once you locate it, look to see if the previous homeowner labeled the switches. If not, this is a good time to do so. It makes things so much easier when they are labeled. If they did and some labels are missing or unreadable, determine what they power and label them accordingly. While doing all this, make sure that you test all circuit breaker switches to ensure that they are still working properly. If not, have them repaired or upgraded immediately. An upgrade will probably run you an average of $1,070. Depending on your exact location, the price may be less or more than this.
Locate the Water Shut-Off Valves.
In the event of a major plumbing leak, you need to know where your water shut-off valves are. There should be two of them. One of these is inside and the other is outside. You can try to locate these on your own, but it will be easier if you get this information from the previous homeowner or the realtor that you used to purchase the home. If you don't locate them and wait until you need to shut the water off, you may find yourself swimming in a big mess.