I'm officially a homeowner – now what?

The papers have been signed, the deal has closed and the moving van is booked. It’s official – you’re a homeowner! Now that the hardest part is over, you’re ready for the next phase of owning your own place.

Here are seven things to do before you’re all settled in to your new digs:
  1. Make copies of all your home documents and store them in a safe place. If you’re keeping them on your property, invest in a small, fire resistant safe (you can also get safes that are water resistant if that’s a concern for you). Better yet, head to your bank and get a safe deposit box.

  2. Make sure you have the right insurance. You might assume that a standard home insurance policy will cover off everything – it doesn’t. If you live in an area that’s prone to flooding or earthquakes, a basic home policy doesn’t include this coverage. You’ll need to add it to ensure you’re covered. Also, if you’re adding some expensive artwork to your new place or you’ve invested in a top-of-the-line bike for your downtown commute, you might want to insure it separately (we tell you more about this in another blog post, “How to look after your most expensive stuff”).

  3. While you’re packing, or unpacking… take inventory and photos of your belongings. This will help you save a lot of time if you ever have to file an insurance claim. Don’t forget to include your clothing!

  4. Introduce yourself. Make a point of introducing yourself to your immediate neighbours. Not only could they potentially become good friends (and offer an extra bit of security when you’re away from home), they could also offer tips on the best places to go and get things done in your new neighbourhood.  

  5. Change the locks. You never know how many people have spare keys to your new home. It’s always a good idea to change all locks and deadbolts when you move in to a new place.

  6. Make any improvements or repairs before you move in. You might be thinking of refinishing the hardwood floors in your new condo or giving each room a fresh coat of paint. Or maybe you’ve got a bigger job in mind, like updating the kitchen. It’s definitely a lot easier to take care of these things before you and your belongings are fully moved in.

  7. Get to know where everything is now so you’re not scrambling later. Make sure you know where the breaker panel, gas and water shut-off valves are located in your new place. This way, if there’s ever an emergency, you know exactly where to find them.

Old or new, your home needs insurance. Check out our coverage and get a quote.