So, you’ve taken the leap and bought your first home. Before you get settled in, check these seven steps off your list to get off to a good start in your new space.
- Get the right home insurance. You likely purchased property insurance before you took out a mortgage on your new house — but if you went mortgage-free and bought your house or condo outright, talking to a licensed insurance broker and getting the right home insurance coverage is the first thing you should do before you move in.
- Sound the alarms. Make sure there are working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in your new place — and check that they are all in good working order. You could also consider installing a company-monitored or self-monitored security system to keep your home safe and maybe even get you a discount on home insurance.
- Store your homeownership documents somewhere safe. This includes original copies of your title certificate, your mortgage loan documents, your home insurance policy, and any other closing documents that prove you own your home. Consider buying a small, fireproof safe if you plan to store your documents yourself, or get a safety deposit box at your local bank.
- Change the locks. When you move into your new place, change all of the deadbolts and door locks — you never know how many spare keys are floating around out there, and you don’t want to find out the hard way. While you’re at it, consider installing a keyless entry pad or smart lock for added convenience.
- Take a detailed home inventory while you unpack. It’s a good idea to keep an up-to-date list of your belongings on hand at all times, and unpacking day is the perfect time to make a simple home inventory list or snap photos of all the stuff in your new space. Not only will it relieve some stress if you ever need to make an insurance claim, but it’s also a great way to take stock of what you own and identify items that require extra coverage — high-end jewelry, for example, may go above the limits of your policy.
- Plan for emergencies. Completing a few simple tasks when you first move into your new space can help keep your whole household safe if the unexpected happens. Learn how to open all of your windows from the inside, map out potential escape routes, and create an emergency preparedness plan.
- Get to know your neighbours. Not only could they provide tips for what to do in your new neighbourhood, but they could also offer a little extra security when you’re out for the day or away on vacation.
If you’re still in the process of shopping for a new home, consider these three tips for first-time home buyers before you seal the deal — and once the deal’s been sealed, remember to reach out to your licensed broker to make sure you have the coverage you need.
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