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What to Do After You Buy a House

by The Linda Frierdich Group - Century 21 Advantage

 

You Bought a House!  …Now What?

 

There are some things that you can do when you move into a new house to improve the life of your appliances and fixtures and improve security, among other things.  Some of these things are common sense ideas, and some of them probably wouldn’t be brought to mind unless specifically identified.  For those who haven’t moved in many years, as well as those who are first-time homebuyers, remembering to take all these important measures when you move into a new place can be overwhelming, so we compiled this list of things that new homeowners should be doing when they move into a new house.

 

 


Change the Locks

 


 

The first and most important thing you should do when you move into a new place is change the locks on all the exterior doors.  You may know and trust the previous owners of the home, but you can never know how many other people may have a spare key.  It’s always best to have a locksmith scheduled for day one in the new house.

 

Transfer Utilities

 

 

After your closing, you will want to transfer all the utilities into your name.  If you are wanting to have cable or internet in your home, you will want to schedule the installation as soon as possible, so that you will have those services when you move in. 

 

Home Insurance

 

 

You will want to be sure to have your home insured as soon as possible, because no one plans that their home should catch fire or be hit by a bad storm.  Talk to your insurance agent about what coverage plans work best for you and your needs, and it’d be a good idea to talk to a few other agents to see what they would recommend and what their rates would be, comparatively.

 

File Important Documents

 

 

When you get your closing statement, make two copies of it, and file the original in a fireproof safe or at your safety deposit box.  The copies can be kept in a home binder to help you keep track of all the documents with your new home.  In this binder, you can keep copies of any important paperwork, as well as things like paint swatches and receipts. 

 

Contact Your Accountant

 

 

There are many costs that come along with buying a home, and some of those are deductible on your next year’s taxes.  Take one of the copies of your closing statement to your accountant, and he or she should be able to tell you what expenses you can use to your advantage when filing taxes next year. 

 

Photograph It

 

 

Before you begin moving things into your new home, photograph each room, fixture, and appliance.  You probably also want to photograph your possessions; at the very least, you should photograph your most expensive possessions.  No one likes to think about the worst-case scenario, especially on an exciting day like the first day in your new home, but the fact of the matter is that accidents do happen, and you should be aware of what was in your home, so keep those photos in a safety deposit box or store the files in the cloud.  To be sure that you are photographing the right things, call your insurance agent to ask his or her advice on what to focus on.

 

Get Familiar with Your New Home

 

 

Take a good walk around your home and familiarize yourself to all the important places and things.  For instance, it’s important that you locate your home’s main water shut-off valve so that you will be able to minimize damage in the event that a pipe bursts.  Label all the breakers on your breaker box.  Check that there are no leaks in your plumbing and under your sinks.  Check your attic to see if you need to add more insulation to save on heating and cooling costs.  Make sure that all home maintenance projects that need addressing sooner, rather than later, are close to being addressed.  As you are doing this, make a list of everything in your new home that needs updated or repaired, and then rearrange the items on that list in order of importance.  To go one step further, add dates for when you would like those tasks completed to the list to keep yourself on track and make sure that you haven’t forgotten anything.

 

Pest Control

Before you move into your new home, you should consult a pest control specialist to have him or her come to your house to inspect for any possible infestations or pest issues.  They can also do a preemptive spray for common bugs.  Especially if the previous owners of the home you are moving into had pets, you should ask a pest control specialist about having your home sprayed for fleas.

 

Deep Clean

 

 

You want to walk into your new home and feel excited; you certainly don’t want to walk inside and wonder how many germs are hanging around from the previous owner.  This is why it is important to deep clean your home before you move in.  If you wish to do the deep cleaning yourself, that’s fine, but if you wish to focus on other things during the move, there’s nothing wrong with hiring a professional to come clean for you.  Here is a list of what you should be focusing on while cleaning:

-  Carpets

 Steam clean any and all carpeting in your new home… After running over the floors with a vacuum a few times, of course.

-  Floors

Even if you don’t have carpets, be sure to do a deep clean on all your flooring surfaces, even behind the refrigerator.  A newly scrubbed floor will make your new home truly feel like yours.

-  Kitchen

Everyone knows how quickly a kitchen can get dirty… and not just cluttered or messy, but downright gross.  That’s a great reason why you should do an extreme deep clean of your kitchen when you move in.  You don’t want to be thinking of someone else’s germs as you’re cooking your first meal in your new home.

-  Bathrooms

Similarly to kitchens, bathrooms tend to be havens for germs and all things unsanitary.  Give your bathroom a complete scrub-down, including wiping the walls down with a damp cloth.  You will feel so much better knowing that the bathroom of your new home is fresh.

 

Air Conditioning and Furnace

 

 

When you move into your new place, one of the first things you should do is change your air filters.  This can save a lot of money on heating and cooling, as well as giving you a definite time of when it was most recently replaced so you can get set up on a regular maintenance schedule.

To ensure that your furnace and air conditioner have a long life, it is important to have them routinely serviced.  As a new homeowner, you never know for sure how often and how recently the heating or air conditioning systems have been serviced.  It’s also a worthwhile endeavor, because it can mean saving on your energy bills, as well!

 

Change Address

 

 

Before you move in, you will want to submit a forward request to your post office, so that the mail addressed to you at your old address will be re-routed to your new address.  It’s also important that you let other service providers, friends, and family know of your new address, as forward requests are only good for so long.  Once they expire, mail addressed to you at your old address will be sent back to the sender.  Most importantly, you should let your bank, credit card company, employer, service providers, and friends and family know of your change of address.

 

Smoke Detectors & CO Monitors

 

 

When you first move in, you will want to change the batteries in all of your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.  Even if the batteries inside them are still good, it’s recommended that you use those batteries elsewhere and put new ones in your detectors.  This way, you will easily be able to keep track of the schedule to change their batteries, since they will all have been changed on the same day.  

 

Get Moving!

 

 

No one, I repeat, no one, enjoys moving.  It may be exciting to get a new home, but the task of packing and unpacking all of one’s possessions is not exactly a walk in the park.  We have put forth some resources to help those looking to move in the near future.  To see our tips on moving, click here.

 

Enjoy Your New Home

 

 

The most important thing you can do when you move into your new home is enjoy the excitement that comes along with it.  Don’t get overwhelmed with the home buying process or the moving process.  These lists serve as a tool to help home buyers be more proactive and feel that they are more organized and in control of the mania that can come along with a home purchase.  At one point during closing day and the days that follow, allow yourself to just enjoy the excitement!

 

 

 

 

While this list is helpful, it is not meant to be comprehensive, as with all of our posts.   Hopefully it helped you think of a few things you should do when closing day comes around.

Questions Buyers Should Ask Themselves Before Searching for Homes

by The Linda Frierdich Real Estate Group

Questions Buyers Should Ask Themselves Before Searching for Homes

So, you're pre-qualified... Now what?

 

You're ready to start the journey of home ownership, and you've begun to prepare for the search for your perfect home.   You've spoken to a lender, and you've gotten a pre-qualification that will guide you via price range during your search.  Whether you've owned before or are a first-time homebuyer, this next step can be overwhelming.  There are so many resources and beautiful homes at your fingertips... Where should you begin?  It may seem boring, but there's a lot to be said for good, old-fashioned list-making.  Take the time to sit down and go over the things that are important to you in your next home.  If you are buying a home with another individual, it is also important that you both go through this process together.  The list-making can help everyone get on the same page, and then the Home Search can begin!  In case the task of making a list of home requirements and desires seems like a big task, here are some suggestions for criteria.

 

  • Minimum number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Overall square footage
    • If you have no idea about square footage, start with where you're at now.  What is the square footage of the place you're currently living?  Maybe ask some friends and family what the square footage of their homes are to help you get a better idea of what range of square footage is right for you.
  • Open or closed floor plan
    • Do you like the idea of each room being its own closed-up space, or do you like the idea of one large room that allows for spaces to flow into one another?
  • New or Re-Sale
  • House, Condo, Townhouse?
    • Consider what option would be best for you.  Often, first-time buyers don't consider the condominium or townhouse, but they can be a viable option.
  • Space for Office or Bonus Room
    • You know that you'll need two bedrooms, but perhaps you'd also like a space that could work for a studio or office as well.  This is something to consider when looking for a home.  An extra bedroom or space could be used for different purposes.  How important is it to you that you have that space?
  • One or Two Stories
    • Some people LOVE having all living space on one floor, and some people like having it split.  What kind of person are you?
  • Garage, Carport, Off-Street Parking
    • What's your ideal parking situation, and where does it rank in importance?
  • Lot Size
    • Do you really only care about your yard being big enough to fit a barbecue grill, or is it important to you to have room for your kids or pets to run around?
  • Proximity to Places
    • Whether you're looking for a rural home or a suburban home, this can be a vital part of a Home Search.  What places would you like to be close to?  How far is too far away from those places?  What is your cost for mileage driving to work every day?  How much money is too much money to spend on mileage to and from work every day?
Hopefully this list gave you some thinking points to consider when searching for your next home.  Buying a home is a process, and we'd just like to make this process as easy as possible for everyone.
Don't forget- If you ever find yourself needing answers to questions regarding buying or selling, we are here to help you! Visit yourhomeresource.com or call 618.719.3134

IT KEEPS GETTING BETTER FOR THE NEW HOME BUYERS

by The Linda Frierdich Real Estate Group

 Dan Barnard-2009 President of home builders association of St. Louis & Eastern Missouri Wrote a column in the St.louis Post-Dispatch The week of April 5,2009.

New home buyers have something to look forward to, with some credit due to the american recovery and reinvestment act of2009 recently being signed into law, as part of the economic stimulus measures, the legislation created a homebuyers tax credit that is bigger and better than the previous credit that was implemented in July, 2008. The website www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com explains in detail the provisions of the new tax credit. We are seeing significant activity in both the resale and new-home market as first-time buyers take advantage of the credit coupled with record-low mortgage interest rates. In a nutshell, it.

Provides a tax credit equal to 10 percent of the sale price of the home,up to an $8,000 maximum and is a true tax credit. It does not need to be rpaid unless the homeowner sells the home within three years of the purchase. and in Missouri, the Missouri housing development commission has developed a plan to make $6,750 of the tax credit available immediately for down payment! Learn more at www.mhdc.com under Homeownership.

Can only be used with the purchase of a home that will be the buyers principal residence. It cannot be claimed for the purchase of a vaction home or property to be used as a rental.

Is available to first-time homebuyers only with a modified adjusted gross income less than$95,000 for a single tax payers or $170,000 for married filers. A first time home Buyer is defined as someone who has not owned a principal residence for three years or more.

Applies to homes purchased by qualified buyers between Jan 1 and Nov30,2009. The purchase date is the date when closing occurs and the title transfers.

Allows unmarried joint purchasers to allocate the credit amount to amy Buyer who qualifies as a first-time buyer. Also, a parent who jointly purchases a home with a child can allocate the credit to the child. The same goes for two unmarried people one who owns a home and the other who does not, who purchase a home together befor getting married can allocate the credit to the taxpayer who qualifies as a first-time Homebuyer.This new tax credit provides an uprecedented opportunity for people looking to Buy their first home. Not only will they riceive an $8,000 tax credit, they also will be taking advantage of record-low interest rates, a large selection of homes to choose from and competitive home prices.

House hunters will also find that many builders have inventory that is move-in ready, and may offer upgrades or other incentives to seal the deal. Also, owners of existing homes who are looking to trade-up or relocate are ready to bargain.

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The Linda Frierdich Real Estate Group
Century 21 Advantage
103 S Main St
Columbia IL 62236
IL: 618.281.7621

138 Concord Plaza Dr
Saint Louis MO 63128
MO: 314.649.0221
Fax: 618.281.4311

Linda Frierdich is the area's premier real estate professional, offering services in St Louis, Kirkwood, Webster Groves, Crestwood, Ballwin, Arnold, Fenton, Oakville, Columbia, Waterloo, Millstadt, Valmeyer, Dupo, Belleville, O'Fallon, Mascoutah, Fairview Heights, Smithton, Ruma, Hecker, New Athens, Edwardsville, Collinsville, Caseyville, Shiloh, Swansea, Monroe County, Madison County, St Clair County, and Randolph County.  Her team focuses on resale homes, new construction, first time home buyers, condos, farms, land sales, subdivisions, lot sales, single family, multi-family, commercial, foreclosures, bank owned property, military relocation, and building. This site offers options to search real estate in Columbia Illinois and other areas. We offer buyer and sellers services second to none!

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