When you buy your first home, you go through a huge learning process. You research local realtors and neighborhoods, learn about everything that goes into applying for a mortgage, and spend days or weeks comparing different homes. But the learning process doesn't end when you're handed the keys at your closing. Countryside Self-Storage has put together a list of SIX things you should know when moving into your first home.
1. Your new home's measurements. Knowing exactly how much space you have to work with is going to make moving in so much easier. Are you going to need to buy more furniture or get rid of some? Are all of your pots and pans going to fit into the kitchen cabinets? If you decide to repaint the upstairs hallway, how many gallons of paint do you need? Get the measurements of each room, and don't forget to measure all of your closets and cabinets while you're at it.
2. When to reserve a self-storage unit. Maybe your closet space is smaller than expected. Maybe Mom and Dad decided that since you're now a homeowner, you can finally take those boxes of middle school trophies and stuffed animals off their hands. Maybe you suddenly have two of everything because you've just gotten married. Whatever the reason, even new homeowners are going to need extra space. Most public self-storage properties such as Countryside Self Storage in Joplin, Pittsburg, and Frontenac offer 24-hour access to your storage unit, so you'll always have access to your belongings, day or night.
3. Who has the keys. You never know how many copies of your house keys are floating around out there. The previous owners could have handed them out to friends, relatives, neighbors, or cat-sitters. It's best to just change all of your locks and change the access codes on your garage door and/or security system.
4. Your budget for the first month. Your first month as a homeowner could be a little pricey, so it's best to be prepared. You may have to put down some deposits to set up your utilities, and you're going to have to buy some items that you didn't need when you lived in an apartment. Make sure you have enough cash on hand for a lawnmower, snow shovels, garden hoses, and other maintenance items.
5. What needs immediate maintenance. Every home needs maintenance, and you'll want to do some checks after you move in so you can address problems when they're still small. Check for any leaks, cracks, or drafty windows or doors. You're also going to want to test or even replace smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors and clean vent covers and registers. It's always a good idea to have a professional come to your place to check your HVAC, sump pump, and water heater. And while you have a professional in your house, why not ask them about item number 6?
6. The Location of Your Fuse Box, Gas, and Water Valve Shutoff. This is one of the smartest things you can do as a new homeowner because emergencies and accidents will happen. Locate these items as soon as you move in and label them so you'll know right where to go in case of an emergency.