Buying a house: practical tips for new homeowners

The keys are in your hand and the welcome mat is in place: it's time to step through the door and into your new home. Buying a home is both an exciting and nerve-wracking time, and even once all of your furniture has arrived and found its special nook, there is a whole new homeowner checklist of tasks to complete.

Buying a house: practical tips for new homeowners
From insurance to maintenance, here our homeowner tips for those first few days in your new property.

1. Homeowner's insurance

First things first, make a note for yourself to evaluate your homeowner’s insurance requirements in the first six months of owning your new home. While going through your policy, you may discover that you’re paying too much (or too little), and it could also be beneficial to shop around for different quotes from other insurers to find the best deal.

2. Life insurance

If you’re sharing your new home with someone who relies on you to help pay the mortgage, it might be time to reassess your life insurance policy. This person should be named as a beneficiary, to ensure they won’t lose the house should the worst happen.

3. Utilities

Next up on your new homeowner checklist: setting up all of your various utilities and ensuring that they’re in your name. Create a document with all of the potential utilities – such as electricity, water and gas – as well as all of the direct debits for which you need to change the address. This is also a good time to check the different internet and TV providers in the area and find a good package deal.

4. Getting to know your systems

Another one of our new homeowner tips is to go through all of the systems and appliances installed in your house and check them for safety purposes. This is also the perfect time to do all of those sensible tasks you’ll never get round to at a later date; label the breakers in your electrical box, as well as your pipes and shut-off valves. If problems arise, you’ll be able to solve them quicker and easier. Your future self is sure to thank you.

5. Maintenance

When home buying, it’s understandable to want everything perfectly in place and just how you want it before you step over the threshold. However, this can be a little unrealistic, so create two lists for yourself: one for tasks that can be completed before your move-in date, and one for tasks that can realistically wait until later. Ensure things like a professional clean, painting and floor polishing are done before you move your belongings in.

Are you looking for a new bath or replacement kitchen cabinets? These can wait. As you get to know your house over the next six months, you’ll get much more of an accurate idea of what needs to be improved. Make sure to keep the receipts for these works, as they can boost your tax-free earnings when the time comes to sell.

Engel & Völkers are a world-renowned real estate agent specialising in luxury property. For more expert real estate advice, take a look through the Engel & Völkers website.

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