You’ve just moved into your new home and you’re over the moon excited. Congratulations on your new home, this is definitely one of the most exciting times of your life, take a moment to soak in the moment, times like these are precious!

With all of the commotion and excitement, you’re likely not thinking straight about all of the things you need to do and consider at this point. In order to make your transition smoother, I have put together this to-do list which includes items you will want to definitely attend to as well as other things you may want to consider.

1) Get your air ducts and HVAC system cleaned! 

You wouldn’t believe how dirty unattended air ducts can get over the years. From inspecting homes on behalf of and with my clients, I have seen some pretty disgusting and disturbing air ducts. From pet hair, household dust, pieces of drywall, insulation and even rodent feces, I’ve seen a lot of really gross stuff. This is why it is important that you have your air ducts and HVAC system cleaned when you first move in and prior to your furniture being moved into your new home. It is much easier for you to have this work completed without furniture in the home as there is typically large equipment and hoses that need to be run throughout your home which could damage your furniture. Make sure you also change the furnace filter after the duct cleaning is done. There are different qualities of filter that offer various levels of protection. You should change this filter at least every 3 months to ensure you are breathing clean air. It is also important that you get the right size of filter for your furnace. If you remove the existing filter, there are typically numbers printed on the side, for example “16 x 25 x 1”, which reflects the size of filter. In some cases, more advanced systems will have different types of filters, if you do not see a filter with a similar number as previously mentioned, take a photo of what you have and show the hardware store the photo to determine what you need for your home. In addition to having your main air ducts cleaned, you should also have your dryer vent cleaned as lint can build up over time and cause a fire hazard. You can view some HVAC filter options HERE.

10 New Homeowner Tips

2) Renovate & paint before your furniture arrives

As much as you may be excited to move your furniture into your new home, I highly recommend completing any needed renovations or painting prior to moving your furniture in. Completing renovations and painting with furniture in place makes it much more difficult to complete the work and you run the risk of your furniture being damaged. Some moving companies provide temporary storage solutions if you need it. They will pick up your furniture from your current home and take it to their storage facility for storage.  When you are ready to have it moved to your new home, they will transport it to your home from their storage facility. This option allows you time to get your work completed without your furniture being in the way or it being damaged.

10 New Homeowner Tips

3) Change the locks!

You will want to ensure that all of your exterior door locks are changed the day you take possession. This ensures that both your belongings, yourself and your property are safe. The last thing you want is a stranger having access to your home. You should also consider hiring the locksmith to install child safety locks while they are there to do the work if you have young children.

10 New Homeowner Tips

4) Make sure the fire & carbon monoxide alarms are up to date and working properly

Once you have possession of your new home, one of the first things you should do is check to make sure the fire alarms and CO alarms are working properly and change all existing batteries with new batteries. You can view some additional fire safety tips HERE.

10 New Homeowner Tips

5) Ensure that your home insurance is set up

This is extremely important. Make sure your home insurance is set up and effective as of the date that you take possession. Hopefully you never have to make use of it but it could be very costly should you have any problems without your home being insured.

10 New Homeowner Tips

6) Get to know your neighbours

Not only is it nice to get to know your neighbours, it’s also helpful from a security perspective. Suggest exchanging your phone numbers and email addresses. This is helpful in case one of you are away and there’s an issue with one of your homes.

10 New Homeowner Tips

7) Have your chimney inspected and cleaned

If you have bought an older home in Toronto and it has a wood-burning fireplace, you should have it inspected by a W.E.T.T certified inspector to ensure that it is safe to use. This inspection should be completed prior to using the fireplace as your fireplace and chimney can be a very serious fire hazard should they not be in good working order. If the inspector has confirmed that it is safe to use, you should have the chimney cleaned prior to having your first fire to avoid any chimney fires due to the build of creosote. Ideally, you would have the chimney inspected as a part of a home inspection, however, with Toronto’s current competitive market, many buyers are forced to waive any inspection conditions and essentially buy the home as is. If you have the opportunity, make your offer conditional on a home inspection and have the fireplace and chimney inspected at that time as the overall home inspection.

10 New Homeowner Tips

8) Test all appliances 

There is a good chance that your offer includes a clause stating that all appliances should be in good working order on closing. If your offer includes such a clause, it is always best to test all of the appliances the same day you take possession. Should any of the appliances not be in good working order, take photos, videos and notes and send them to your real estate lawyer and inquire about what options you have at that point.

10 New Homeowner Tips

9) Test the sump pump or consider installing one

If your new home has a sump pump, make sure you test it once you take possession. Water damage is one of the most common and costly threats to a home. Certain areas of Toronto are more prone to basement flooding so it is important that you take this into consideration. If your sump pump doesn’t already have a battery backup, you should definitely install one as soon as possible. A battery backup will provide your sump pump with the electricity it needs should your power go out and you have a flood.

10 New Homeowner Tips

10) Deep clean your home 

I probably don’t have to point this out but you should definitely complete a deep clean of your entire home. Whether you do it yourself or you hire a professional cleaning service, you will want to make sure you clean all of the bathrooms, kitchens (including the interior and exterior of the cupboards), the interior and exterior of all kitchen and laundry appliances, window sills, door frames, baseboards and floors. If you are keeping any existing drapes that are being sold with the home, you may want to check their tags and wash them in hot water if possible. Benefect Botanical Disinfectant is a natural cleaning product that is as strong and in some cases, stronger than cleaning products with harsh toxic chemicals. It is a commercial grade cleaner which is used by hospitals and restoration companies. I personally use this product for my own home and love it. I have no affiliation with them, I’m just a big fan of their products. You can learn more about them HERE .

10 New Homeowner Tips

Hopefully this list is helpful to you whether you have just moved in or you are moving into a new home in the near future.

Are you thinking about making a move and have questions about the buying process? Contact me any time with your questions or concerns. Whether you are considering a move now or in the future I am here any happy to answer any questions you may have.

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+1 (416) 294-3776 braden@chestnutpark.com