Once you’ve crossed the finish line (aka closing) the real fun begins. Let’s take a look at what you need to know in your transition to homeownership—the first 30 days.
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If you haven’t signed on the dotted lines yet, hold the champagne for just a sec.
Your entire homebuying process is situated around one very specific day—Closing. This day will usually occur 30-60 days after the sellers of the home have accepted your offer. In that month or two, a lot happens: the entire loan process, inspections to verify there are no faults with the home, and appraisals to find the value of the home. Once everything is almost complete, your agent and lender will get together to schedule what’s called Closing.
While there are many ways to close on a home, we’ve stuck with the traditional in-person closing, as it’s almost always an option no matter who you work with or where you are. There are other types of closings, like fully online or hybrid, but for the sake of knowing the basics, in-person is the most common.
As things with the loan process are wrapping up, your agent will be in touch to schedule a time for you to come in to sign all the papers required to purchase the home. This will likely take place at a title office.
You signed on the dotted line a few hundred times, and you’re ready to celebrate. Before we get to popping bottles, you’ll first need to select your bubbly. Not to worry, we’ve done the research. (A lot of research 😉) Find the type of home you’re buying below and see its matching champagne recommendation.
Brut Reserve by Usual Wines
Bottled by the glass for a modern take. You’re so cool and fancy.
Costco Kirkland Prosecco
Does it have bubbles? Check. Is it a great deal? Check. Why overdo it? The unofficial champagne of HOAs.
St. Agrestis Non-Alcoholic "Phony Negroni”
Because power tools and alcohol don’t mix. Thank us later.
Moet & Chandon : Brut Imperial Rose (aka Pink Champagne on Ice)
A niche audience, for sure, but you’re definitely going to want something pink.
And here’s how to open your bottle of bubbly in an epic fashion:
(Use these pro tips from an actual wine sabering expert if you’re getting serious about it.)
Of course, you can always just use a wine bottle opener, but it’s likely buried in the one moving box you can’t seem to find.
Pop! Fizz! Clink! You did it! Now that you’ve gotten to celebrating, it’s a perfect time to use all that energy to do some of the less exciting but very important items.
These two may not seem related, but they’re arguably the most important. (We said arguably, okay?) You’ll want to schedule movers to get your items to the new place, and you’ll want to set up your internet service so you can do everything else on this list that requires going online, like updating your address, changing subscriptions, and taking a break from unpacking to do some binge watching.
Buying a house means starting with a clean slate. This is the time, before you’ve moved all your furniture, clothes and belongings, to do some big projects if wanted. Things like painting walls or changing floors are a lot easier when you don’t have beds, shelves and boxes to move. Plus, no one wants to sleep in a freshly painted room.
If for some reason your home didn’t come as clean slate and the previous owners left some belongings or a mess behind, you’ll want to take care of that before moving in. Scheduling a cleaner or hiring a trash removal service can help if it’s in your budget. But you can do things the old fashioned way, too. (Think of it as an opportunity to get to know your home better!)
Snail mail is still a thing, so grab a cup of coffee, sit down, and notify the post office, banks, credit card companies, and even your grandma of your new address.
Let this list be a guide, not a prescription. For example, if you don’t use social security benefits or have an account with the social security office, you probably don’t need to let them know of your address change.
You won’t likely want to sit and do all of these in one session, so make a list or use this one and save some of that champagne for the next round.
We’re putting this one first to save you a ton of hassle. It may not be as important as changing your voter registration, but you definitely don’t want your monthly subscription of dog food delivered to your old house. (Pup agrees with us on this one, too.) Update your profile with companies you shop often with to prevent your next order from no-showing.
Update your address with the United States Postal Service. You’ll want to do a Change of Address, which, as of this writing, has the option to do multiple changes at once: address, mail forwarding, and voter registration.
Change your address on any of these accounts you may have: banks and credit unions, car loan provider, student loan providers, investment accounts, and insurance providers.
Get your W-2s and other documents on time by letting your HR manager (or similar) know of your address change.
You’ll want to give them your new address to either cancel or transfer service from your current place of living. Gas, water, electric, internet, cable, trash, and recycling if you have them.
Review this list of utilities and services to see what you might need. This includes cancelling services from your current residence, setting up service for your new residence, or transferring service if using the same provider.
If you’re lucky, the previous homeowner left you a list of service providers for the area, but we can’t bank on that. To find the different service providers available in your area, you can ask your real estate agent as they’re an expert in homes in your area. Typically, you'll find just one option for electricity, gas, water, sewer, and trash as they are basic public utilities. But when it comes to security, Internet, cable TV, and phone services, you've got more room to pick and choose from.
If you’re so inclined, you can reach out to your new neighborhood’s group on social media for recommendations on services with multiple options. Check for these groups on sites like Nextdoor and Facebook. Chances are, your new neighbors have dealt with the local services and can give a jumpstart to your research.
1. Water and Sewer Services:
Contact the local water department to set up water and sewer services. They will guide you through the process, including any necessary paperwork and payment arrangements. In some cases, you may need to provide a copy of your lease or proof of ownership
2. Electricity and Gas Services:
Reach out to the local electric and gas companies to establish service at your new address. They will assist you in setting up accounts and may require information such as your identification, address, and sometimes a deposit.
3. Heating and Cooling Services:
Consider scheduling a maintenance check or tune-up to optimize efficiency and identify any potential issues.
4. Internet, TV, and Phone Services:
Research local providers for internet, TV, and phone services. These vary widely depending on location. Compare packages, prices, and customer reviews to choose the best option for your needs. Schedule installation well in advance to ensure connectivity when you move in.
5. Trash and Recycling Services:
Contact the local waste management or sanitation department to arrange trash and recycling services. Obtain information about collection schedules, recycling guidelines, and any special requirements for your area.
You don’t know where the keys to your new house have been, if they’ve been copied for relatives or service technicians. A good item to tackle right away is replacing your locks. You could even spring for a more tech forward system if that’s your thing.
Also, if you’re considering installing a home security system, research and contact reputable companies to discuss your options, including alarm systems, surveillance cameras, and monitoring services.
Take a good look around each part of your home and property. Keep an eye out for any hidden issues that might've gone unnoticed in your pre-purchase tours and inspection. While you’re at it, find the circuit breaker, the water shut-off valve, and other emergency features. Having a good lay of the land could save the day if a crisis comes up.
As you’re nearing the first 30 days of homeownership, pat yourself on the back, and celebrate again. Keep this article handy while you’re sorting through the transition.
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