7 Steps to Take After You Move to a New Home


Once the stress of the house-hunting process is all over, you might wonder what to do after you buy a house. After all, no manual tells you the next steps for these kinds of novel situations. Being a new homeowner can be one of the most exciting seasons of your life. Whether you’ve been renting homes for years or you are purchasing your dream home after spending years in your starter home, you may not know where to start when it comes to preparing your new house for you to move all of your furniture and belongings into the space.

If you’re an ecstatic new homeowner, you probably want to run through your new home and move your furniture in right away to make it feel official. Before you dive right into your home, you should make a to-do list of what to do after you buy a house. Beyond the practical side of the list of different steps you could take after you purchase a new home, there are also fun steps that you could take.

Now that you have a home of your own, you are free to decorate it however you want. As long as you don’t have a Homeowner’s Association or ordinance dictating what you can and can’t do to certain areas of your home, the sky’s the limit for what you do first. Whether you want to paint your house a dreamy shade of pink or stick to practical improvements like installing a pet door to the back door for your four-footed family member, there’s no right or wrong answer to the question of what to do after you buy a house.

1. Consider Your Priorities

Before you decide what to do after you buy a house, you should take a minute to think about what matters to you as you move into this new chapter of your life both literally and figuratively. A new house is a fresh start. In many ways, it symbolizes a new beginning while offering a practical new beginning to the new homeowner. Taking a moment to check in with what your values will be as a homeowner can set the tone for what your to-do list will look like in the coming weeks as you prepare your new home for your special move-in day or begin living in this new space.

If you value safety above everything else, it may be most important to you to schedule inspections with a skilled licensed home inspector who won’t leave any rock or shingle unturned in their inspection review. If the most important thing to you is having the coolest-looking house on the block, you will probably want to either hire interior designers to take care of the aesthetic aspects of your home or do your research to figure out what styles would best fit your flair. There’s no right or wrong way to prioritize your to-do list. Of course, we recommend getting legal responsibilities as a new homeowner out of the way before moving on to the fun ones. Still, you can decide what makes the most sense for you to complete on your to-do list as a new homeowner.

2. Inspect Every Part of the Property

Once you’ve officially bought your new home, it’s important to make sure that every part of the home and property is running smoothly. You should also make sure that the house and other elements on the premises aren’t violating any local housing laws or ordinances. For a proper housing inspection as a homebuyer, you’ll want to call in professional house inspectors who offer the right combination of skills, training, experience, and certifications to appropriately inspect your home.

For a home inspection that’s an after-purchase home inspection, you’ll want to set aside two or more hours of your time for the inspection to be completed. Before scheduling a home inspector, review their credentials to ensure that they’re a licensed home inspector by training and by trade. Once you’ve set that up, you can expect the licensed home inspector to tour the home and scrutinize every nook and cranny. After this review, they’ll send you an online report for your records and for you to start making a list of any aspects of the home that need to be fixed or improved to meet standards. On top of a summary that covers all of the essential priorities that the home inspector notices, you’ll also receive a decent amount of photos to compare the current state of the home with what it looks like after a repair.

If you have a well for water, you’ll want to schedule a well inspection. If you’ve never had one of these done before, an article on etrlabs.com explains them pretty thoroughly. According to etrlabs.com “The inspector will examine the components, remove the well cap, run the pump, check the water level, and test the water. Running the pump is always done for a period of time, so any changes or abnormalities can be identified. After all these steps have been completed, the inspector should present you with their findings.” On top of presenting their findings, there’s a chance that the person conducting the inspection will give you professional recommendations for the next steps you should take.

Based on what they discover, they may want you to put some repairs on your long-term to-do list. These would be repairs that aren’t urgent for the function and safety of your well. They could make your well function more efficiently or give you a more reliable supply of water. On the other hand, some recommendations may be more pressing. If your well contains lead or other contaminants, the contractor will take this seriously and may give you advice on what you should do at this time.

No matter what the outcome of inspections on your property may be, you’ll be glad that you had them done. Even if they seem like a hassle, they’re certainly worth it. When your whole new home and yard have been inspected, you can rest easy and enjoy your new home to the fullest. You won’t have to worry about a random problem developing outside of your awareness. And even if an issue comes up, your home inspector may have a list of references for local contractors who are qualified to do the tasks you need. Your previous real estate agent may also have a network of contractors and companies they would recommend if you reach out.

3. Restore Any Worn Aspects of the House

If you’ve bought an old house, one of the most rewarding processes in which you can take part is restoration home repair. Sometimes, when you want to know what to do after you buy a house, you need an answer that’s tailored to your unique needs. As the proud owner of a historical property, you will have plenty of options for what you can do after you buy your house. You can always keep it as it is and make repairs on an as-needed basis to keep the home safe and functional. On the flip side, you can make your home more aesthetically pleasing or update it to create a melding of the old style of architecture with modern improvements. No matter how old your home is, you should take care to update anything in the home that seems so worn out that it’s at risk of breaking down or unsightly.

4. Replace the Flooring

Whether your new home has matted carpets or gorgeous hardwood floors, there are many reasons why you might consider replacing the flooring in the property. For some folks, the choice to replace the flooring has to do with the feel and look of the flooring. For others, it may have to do with how intensive of a cleaning process they’re willing to put into their floors. Regardless of why you’ve decided to replace the flooring in your new home with luxury vinyl plank floor tile or another choice, you’ll want to call your local flooring contractor well in advance of moving into the home.

As apartmenttherapy.com shares, “‘All in all, to give yourself ample time, we recommend starting a flooring replacement project at least one week prior to your move-in date,’..It’s not just timing, though. Refinishing floors — particularly the sanding aspect — can create a lot of dust you don’t want to breathe in.'” This practical advice is also partially rooted in common sense. From a moving perspective, no one wants to move their new furniture into their home only to have to shuffle it around as the floors are getting finished. On top of that, you don’t want to have the health risk of breathing in particles from the newly sanded floors as apartmenttherapy.com explained. Overall, if replacing the floors matters to you, you may want to prioritize that and put it at the top of the list of what to do after you buy a house. Although it could technically wait, it might not be convenient, healthy, or even safe to get the floors done after you move in unless you have other arrangements for where you could stay for a couple of weeks while the floors are being finished.

5. Make a Grand Entrance

When thinking about what to do after you buy a house, don’t forget the entry doors. From a great first impression to a lousy one, your door has the power to make an impact on how neighbors and guests perceive your home. For a positive first impression on any visitors, you should select a door for the front door that reflects this level of taste and style. A classic front door in a neutral tone can be a practical choice. Since it matches any other colors on the home’s color scheme, it won’t clash with most other tones if you decide to repaint the house or aspects of the house down the road.

Black, brown, and other dark colors can mask dirt and provide a sleek look for your exterior. Cream and other bright colors have the advantage of standing out against a darker or medium-toned exterior, but they do show dirt and grime more readily than their black and brown counterparts. For a bold look, go with a bright color to show that you’re not afraid to express yourself in your home design.

6. Put Your Favorite Art on Display

In your new home, you should make time to hang metal art or other decorations as you contemplate what to do after you buy a house. From sculptures to tapestries, there are plenty of options to decorate your home. You can either buy decorations from a department store and build them around a specific theme or you can get a collection of interesting thrift finds from the consignment shop that go together uniquely. Of course, a family portrait is always a great decor choice! You certainly don’t need to have your entire house decorated before you move in, but it can make your home feel all the more like a home sweet home if it reflects your style.

7. Check Out the Plumbing and Electricals

While it’s not as fun as decoration, you should make sure your house’s utilities and other facilities work well. By inspecting the sewer and calling a sewer repair technician as needed, you’ll potentially save thousands of dollars in unexpected repairs down the road. You should also make sure to call an electrician to inspect the wiring of the home. The last thing you want to do is discover that your home has major electrical or plumbing issues that create damage or safety concerns later in the list of what to do after you buy a house.

Before you drive the moving truck up to the side of the house, though, you should take some time to pause and reflect on what to do after you buy a house. What you do now can determine whether living in your new home is a comfortable experience at first or one that is full of unexpected hiccups. Although you can’t prevent or predict every issue that could occur in your new home, you can take some steps to ensure that the major predictable problems for new homeowners are prevented as best you can.