Friday, December 9, 2011

35 Questions About Your New Home

This has been moving week as we shuffle our stuff into a rental place until our new place is finished in a few months.  After traveling for almost a year, I needed to make myself a list of things to check in our new place when we moved in (the old memory ain't what it used to be...).  Here's the list:
  1. Are the smoke alarms working?
  2. Are the carbon monoxide alarms working?
  3. Have all of the door locks been re keyed?
  4. Have all names been taken off the mailbox and replaced with just an address?
  5. Has a home inspection been completed (you can do this yourself if it is a rental but when buying a place, a professional inspection is definitely worth the money)?
  6. Have any problems (especially with a rental) been well documented and repairs been requested?
  7. Has the place been thoroughly scrubbed from top to bottom?
  8. If you notice signs of pest or rodent infestation has this been treated?
  9. Have all window locks been checked to be sure they work?
  10. Has the alarm system been reset with a new pass code?
  11. Have all services been put into your name (water, gas, sewer, electricity, cable, etc)?  If you are living on the down low, have these services been put into your agent's name?
  12. Have you checked the fire extinguishers to see if they exist and if they are fully charged?
  13. Do you know where the emergency shut offs are (water, gas, electricity) and are there tools nearby to allow you to shut off these things?
  14. Have you purchased insurance (home owners or renters) for your new digs?
  15. Did you make a list of local emergency contacts (hospital, pharmacy, etc)?
  16. Did you check all of the appliances to make sure they are in good working order?
  17. Did you perform a safety check to make sure there aren't any dangers lurking in your new home (wobbly stairs, electrical problems, etc)?
  18. Did you change all of the filters in your appliances (furnace, water purifying system, etc)?
  19. Have you created a fire escape plan and practiced it with your family?
  20. Did you give all family members their new info (address, phone number, etc) in case of emergency?
  21. Did you photograph your new place before you moved in (especially if you are a renter)?
  22. Have you walked around the outside of your new place in the day time and at night time to check for anything that may impact your safety (blinds that are too thin, exterior lights that are burnt out, etc)?
  23. Did you immediately tidy up your landscaping to make your new home look less inviting to thieves?
  24. Did you create a 'safe room' in your new place?
  25. Did you paint, re-carpet, re-floor, etc before moving in (it's much easier than doing this after you move in)?
  26. Did you create a file for all of the documents related to your new place (rental agreement, appliance warranties, etc)?
  27. Did you do a walk-around and/or drive-around of your new neighborhood to look for potential problems?
  28. Did you put in a change of address with the post office (skip, of course, if you use a ghost address)?
  29. Did you change the address on your: driver's license, voter registration, CCR, bills, etc?
  30. Did you check out your home and yard and make sure it will work for your pets (ie: fence is secure, there are no potential dangers for your pets, etc)?
  31. Did you find out about your water supply (if from a well, has it been tested recently, if from a municipal source, is it fluoridated, etc)?
  32. Are the first five things you placed in your home: toilet paper, flashlights in each bedroom with fresh batteries, basic food stuff, a bit of cash hidden somewhere, spare house key (hidden well somewhere outside)?
  33. As you unpack, have you started a box of things you no longer want/need that you can get rid of before it takes up residence in your new place?
  34. Have you introduced yourself to your new neighbors?
  35. And all the other stuff: register your kids in their new schools, find a local doctor/dentist/vet, get a library card for the local library, review the rules of your HOA, give your friends and relatives your new contact info, etc. 

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