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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.

Wondering What to Do This Weekend?

by The Linda Frierdich Group - Century 21 Advantage

 

Looking for Something to Do This Weekend?


You've come to the right place!


The weekend following Thanksgiving is always so busy.  People are getting out their holiday decorations, beginning to shop for gifts, and looking for things to do to get them into the spirit of the season.  Here are some local events going on in our area that should help you find something to occupy your time this weekend!  


 


Anheuser Busch Brewery Lights

 

This event, which is a huge hit in the St. Louis area, is back again this year, and it returns with a few added features!  Visitors can still enjoy the free self-guided tours down Pestalozzi Street and around the historic Anheuser-Busch Brewery.  Guests who are 21 and older receive a wristband for five 5oz samples of a variety of beers, and any hungry visitors can stop at one of the food stations in the Biergarten, where you can find a variety of dishes.  Visitors can also get a jump start on their holiday shopping, because there are a number of vendors selling crafted items at the Stella Artois Market.  New this year is the Bud Light Ice Rink, where skaters can glide along under the red glow of the Budweiser sign on the Bevo Packaging Plant.  Other attractions include the S’mores Station, sand and ice sculptures, and the chance to reserve a private fire pit for up to 8 guests, featuring wait service and 2 printed photos included in the price!

 

Anheuser-Busch Brewery Lights 2016

 

November 17 – January 1

5-10 pm

Every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, & Sunday

(Excluding Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve)

1200 Lynch Street

St. Louis, MO 63118

 

For further details, click here.

 

 

Missouri Botanical Garden’s Garden Glow

 

This popular event is a gem of a St. Louis tradition.  Though it only began in recent years, its popularity has caught on quick.  Visitors can walk through the Missouri Botanical Garden and view the gorgeous light display, surrounded by lovely plants and mature trees.  Along the path, visitors can find food and drink stations with a variety of drinks, including the ever popular holiday drinks hot chocolate and egg nog (while also featuring alcoholic beverages, as well).  Along the way, visitors can find themselves around an area with fire pits to gather ‘round while listening to the live carolers featured in this event.  If you have never been, it’d be a great year to give the Garden Glow a visit—you’ll likely make it part of your holiday tradition from here on out. 

 

Missouri Botanical Gardens’ Garden Glow


The Garden Glow opens to Botanical Garden members on Nov. 18 & to the general public Nov. 19, and it runs through January 1.  It is closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Hours: 5-10 pm (last entry at 9 pm)

4344 Shaw Blvd.

St. Louis, MO 63110

 

For tickets and more information, click here.

 

 

Santa’s Express Train Ride

 

The St. Louis Union Station always puts on a great holiday event, and this year it hosts with a ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas theme.  Although the train ride is the main focus of this event, there are plenty of other attractions to make your visit even better, including spectacular holiday décor, North Pole Village and activities, ice skating, and the new Fire & Light show!  The centerpiece of the event, the Santa Express Train Ride, takes ticket holders on a train ride out of the St. Louis Union Station to view the wonderful holiday features along the way. 

 

Santa’s Express Train Ride at Union Station


Wednesdays-Sundays, November 18-December 30

Trains leave the station at:

4:45, 6:15, 7:30, 8:30

1820 Market Street

St. Louis, MO 63103

 

For tickets and more information, click here.

 

 

Belleville’s Chriskindlmarkt

 

Chriskindlmarkts have begun to sprout up all over the country.  They are open-air Christmas festivals based on Bavarian traditions, but Belleville’s celebrations focus more on this area’s German heritage.  The event features European vendors and traditional German food and refreshments, as well as a Children’s lantern parade around this historic square on Friday night, cultural activities, arts, crafts, music, and dancing.  Even the way the vendors have their stations set up is unique, operating in individual wooden chalets and offering German lace, hand-blown glass ornaments, amber jewelry, nesting dolls, and more.  Head down to Belleville this holiday season and see what they have to offer.  You may even get a few gifts while you’re there!

 

Belleville's Chriskindlmarkt


Downtown Belleville

November 25-December 23

Sundays – Thursdays: 10 am – 7 pm

Fridays & Saturdays: 10 am – 9 pm

 

For more information, click here.

 

 

Waterloo’s Glow Parade

 

Each float boasts over 1,000 lights, so attendees know that they are in for a real visual treat at this Waterloo tradition!  The parade starts at Gibault Catholic High School and follows the Porta Westfalica Route to downtown Waterloo.  There’s no better way to get into the holiday spirit than spending an evening in your community admiring all the holiday spirit your neighbors have!  Keep your eyes out for parade marchers in holiday-inspired costumes!

 

Waterloo's Glow Parade

 

Downtown Waterloo, IL

Saturday November 26

5:30 pm

 

For more information, click here.

 

 

Waterloo’s Christmas on the Square

 

This annual holiday event takes place in Waterloo’s historic downtown area.   Visitors have many chances to win great prizes, and Santa will even be in attendance!  In fact, free carriage rides take place from 12 pm – 4 pm each day!  Visitors who also wish to stick around for the GLOW holiday lighted parade can stake out their spots early and ring in the holiday season in Waterloo’s square.  Post-parade, the public is invited to a chili supper at the SPPCS grade school.  Sunday’s attendees get to vote on their favorite decorated lamppost around the courthouse square.  This event will also feature a free concert from the Waterloo Municipal Band on Sunday at 1 pm and a kettle corn vendor!  There is so much to offer to the community!

 

Waterloo's Christmas on the Square

 

Downtown Waterloo

November 26 – 27

 

For more information, click here.



Small Business Saturday


The Saturday following Black Friday has recently been dubbed, "Small Business Saturday," an event all across the country that urges consumers to consider spending their holiday money locally.  Small businesses, boutiques, craftsmen, and artisans all have sales on Saturday to help drive business.  Shopping around your community is more than just an enjoyable way to spend your Saturday, however.  Supporting small businesses this holiday season is such a wonderful choice to make on so many levels.  Money spent in the local economy has a much better chance staying local.  The more successful the businesses in your area, the more valuable homes are in that area.  Spending money at a small business is likened to investing in making someone's dream come to fruition.  There are so many wonderful things that come from spending your money at a small business or local craftsman or artisan.  The best perk about going out and spending money at small businesses this holiday season, though?  The gifts you give will be totally unique, and you're bound to find some things that your family and friends will LOVE!


Small Business Saturday


Your hometown

All Day Saturday

November 26

 

For information on Small Business Saturday and all that it does for your community, click here.


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Photo of The Linda Frierdich Real Estate Group Real Estate
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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