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When you first get the keys to your new home, everything is both exciting and overwhelming. It can be challenging trying to figure out what’s next once the negotiating and waiting is over. Here are 5 important things you should do as you settle into your new home.

1. Change your address

As soon as everything is finalized and you have keys in hand, you need to make an official change of address with the USPS. Go to your local post office and ask them for the necessary forms. The process is fairly easy, and it will ensure that any mail you receive at your old address gets directly forwarded. You should also notify friends and family of your address change as well as accounts that use your mailing address such as your bank account, Amazon, magazine subscriptions, and utility companies (don’t forget to get those utilities turned on!)

2. Deep clean everything

Whether you do it yourself, rally the help of friends and family, or you hire a company to do it for you, it’s a good idea to deep clean every area of your home. It’s best to do this before you start moving things in so that you can start with a clean slate. Carpets, cabinets, and bathrooms, in particular, need to be washed thoroughly. The previous owner probably did some cleaning before they left, but you might as well make the most of the fact that everything is empty already and do a deep clean!

3. Change the locks

Not knowing who all has keys to your home can cause you to be unnecessarily on-edge. As soon as you get the keys to your new home, get the locks changed. You can do this yourself or pay a lock technician to do it for you. Put your worries to rest knowing you are the only one that has the keys to your new home.

4. Locate shut-offs & exits

It’s good to know out the gate where the main water valve is, the circuit breaker box, and any and all entrances/exits to your home. This is just good general homeowner knowledge that keeps you safe and makes things easier if there’s a dead outlet or a leak or an emergency such as a fire. (Be sure to buy a fire extinguisher for your home as well and make an exit map. It’s better to be over-prepared than under-prepared!)

5. Meet the neighbors

Some neighbors may make the first connection, but if not, don’t be shy! Feel free to introduce yourself and ask questions about the neighborhood. It’s good to establish a positive relationship with your neighbors early on as this strengthens open communication, encourages sharing of resources, and builds mutual trust.

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