The deal is done. The closing is over, the ink on the huge stack of papers has dried, and you’re a new homeowner. Amidst your excitement, don’t forget these four essentials every homeowner needs for their new home.
New Locks and an Alarm System
Make changing the locks on all exterior doors a priority for your new home. You don’t know how many copies of the keys are floating around or whose hands they ended up in, so err on the side of caution and change the locks. Don’t forget the garage door. In addition to changing the locks, arrange for an alarm system to be put into place. Burglars and other ne’er do-gooders are more likely to hit up a home without a security system. Choose from a DIY security system or sign up for a professional service. As a plus, some homeowner’s insurance policies give a discount for installing a security system.
Your home is likely the largest investment you’ll ever make. It’s imperative that it’s protected by a home insurance policy. And if you have a mortgage the lender will require one. That’s because they must make sure the investment in your home is protected from damage by fire or other natural disasters. Some mortgage companies may require other types of insurance. For example, if you live in a flood-prone area, flood insurance will likely be required. Keep in mind that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau allows your lender to purchase a policy and charge you for it. This may be more expensive than a policy you can get on your own.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
It’s a well-established fact that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors save property and lives. Make sure to install smoke detectors near the ceiling and have at least one on every floor. While most homeowners are vigilant about having smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors are often overlooked. Sadly, around 430 deaths happen every year due to carbon monoxide poisoning, the silent killer. Follow the rule for changing the batteries at the same time you turn the clocks back or ahead for Standard and Daylight Savings Time. A detector with dead batteries doesn’t do anyone any good.
A Disaster Survival Kit
While no one counts on a disaster, you’ll feel more confident in your new home with a disaster survival kit. You can purchase a complete kit online or put a DIY survival kit together. Include flashlights, batteries, a weather radio, matches, warm clothing, ponchos, water for at least three days, and non-perishable food.
Getting your new home ready for your family has many advantages. Be sure to look into the above listed items and more to make your house into a home. All it takes is a little love and patience.