Contracts have been exchanged, you’ve moved in and cracked open some bubbly, what’s next? A lot of responsibility. Once you’ve moved into your new home you’ll need to do a number of things within the first month, as well as regular home maintenance during the months and years to come.
New home checklist
Upon moving into your new pad there are a number of home maintenance tasks you should do almost immediately, or at least within the first month.
1. Make sure your contents insurance covers all of your possessions, including any new purchases.
2. Check that the gas and electricity are connected in your name. You should do this on move in day and again a month later to check that your details have been updated correctly on the energy providers’ databases.
3. Wait before undertaking any serious renovation or decoration work. You should live in the property for a while before conducting any major changes, this will help you make decisions about how you want to live in the space including how you want to decorate it.
4. Make a will or update your existing one. You should document officially who you want to leave your property to, just in case.
One of the biggest costs of owning a property is maintenance. You should budget to spend about 2% of the property’s value on maintenance each year. This may sound like a lot, but it’s cheaper to make running repairs and keep your property in good condition than letting it fall into disrepair and then having to bring it back up to scratch. I am a big advocate of maintenance, not only does it make your home easier to sell it also makes your property a nicer place to live in while you’re there.
Home maintenance checklist
In terms of regular home maintenance, here’s my list of things you need to undertake to keep your home shipshape.
1. Clean your windows. Wooden windows in particular need to be kept clean to prevent the frames from rotting.
2. Boilers should be serviced on an annual basis. Check when the boiler was last serviced and if there isn’t a record of this, employ a local Gas Safe registered engineer to give it a once over. This is important because an inefficient boiler wastes energy, pushing up your bills, as well as putting you and your family at risk from dangerous carbon monoxide gas.
3. Check the smoke alarms and install additional ones if they haven’t been installed in the correct locations or there are not enough of them around the home.
4. Inspect areas of the property that you use less frequently, such as the basement and the loft, to make sure there isn’t any mildew. If you find any get it sorted quickly before the problem escalates.
5. Clear the guttering and downpipes of leaves and debris and remove moss from the roof. This should be done on an annual basis to prevent leaks and damage to the structure of the property.
Owning a property is a huge financial responsibility, so don’t overstretch yourself with your mortgage. You need to be able to put money aside to maintain the property as if you neglect doing this and let your property fall into disrepair its resale value could be affected.
For professional help with your home maintenance why not hire a cleaner or heating engineer to make sure your home is in tip-top condition? Post a job on Rated People to receive quotes from trusted local tradespeople in your area.