The first thing on your possession day checklist, after you’ve unlocked your doors, is to go through the house and do a thorough walkthrough of the property.
Consider checking the following parts of the home and surrounding property:
- Are all doors, windows, electrical outlets and plumbing fixtures operational?
- Is there any new ceiling or wall stains or damage that wasn’t present at the time of your home inspection? Include the basement and look for any signs of water damage.
- Are all of the home appliances (laundry, central vacuum, stove, air conditioner) operational?
- Test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors as you do your walkthrough.
Although it may seem like a lot of double-checking, you want to be sure your new home is ready for you to move in and that you don’t accidentally take on any additional costs that are the previous owners’ responsibility.
If you haven’t already done so, the first few days upon moving in is the time to get all of your utility connections set up, including electricity, internet and cable. It’s best to do this before you move in, but sometimes in the business of packing and signing paperwork, we might not get around to them until after we move in – and that’s okay. When you move into a new home, it can take time to become acquainted with all of the areas that may be essential if any emergency were to occur. In the weeks following possession day, take time to prepare for any emergencies by locating your circuit box and breakers, gas shut-off valves and main water shut-off valves. You should also keep all of the mortgage documents that you will receive in the weeks following possession in a safe place like a safety deposit box. It also recommends keeping a ‘sinking fund’ (aka emergency fund) which is savings for housing-specific emergencies, like a flood or broken appliance. An emergency fund for your home can help save you from having to spend money out of pocket when an unexpected expense comes your way.
When you move into a new neighbourhood, it’s always a good idea to introduce yourself and get to know the surrounding area and community members. The first thing you could is to walk around local paths to get comfortable with the location and start to get a feel for the atmosphere you could expect.