Top 13 Tasks to Complete After Closing on A New Home

Top 13 Tasks To Complete After Closing On A New Home

There are many steps to buying a house that buyers are often aware of. On the other hand, there are also many steps that buyers should take after closing on a new home that many buyers aren’t aware of.

It’s important that when buying a house you realize that the work doesn’t stop as soon as you close on your new home. In fact, in many cases, the work is just beginning.

Working as a real estate agent in Olympia WA for over 20 years, I find it extremely important to educate buyers on what to expect as a homeowner. Being a homeowner comes with new tasks and responsibilities, many of which should occur right after closing on a new home.

Below you’re going to find out 13 of the top tasks to complete after closing on a home. It’s extremely important that when buying a house you consider completing the following tasks after closing. By completing the following tasks, new homeowners greatly improve the chances they’re happy with their home purchase for many years to come!

1.) Make Copies Of Documents & Store In A Safe Place

When buying a home there are a lot of documents that will be signed and executed. Many of the documents that buyers receive when buying a home maybe needed in the future for a variety of reasons.

For example, if a buyer decides to put up a privacy fence on their property, a local municipality is likely going to request to see the survey map of their property prior to agreeing to a permit. Yes, getting permits for additions and improvements is vital!

After closing, it’s important that you get copies of all the documents from the buying process as well as the closing. Make sure that you store these documents in a safe place, such as a safe or private filing cabinet.

One tip for first time home buyers or buyers purchasing their fifth home is to also store these documents on a secure cloud based website or software such as Google Drive or Dropbox.

2.) Change or Re-Key The Locks

One task to complete after closing on a new home that most buyers are aware of is changing the locks or re-keying them. A common mistake made by new homeowners who’ve recently closed on their new home is they decide to not spend the money to change the locks.

Changing the locks on a new home is highly recommended for security purposes. One of the ontingencies in a real estate purchase offer is that all keys to a property are delivered to a buyer at closing, however, it’s impossible to truly know if every key is accounted for.

The cost of changing the locks or having them re-keyed should not be more than a couple hundred dollars, depending of course on the number of locks. A couple hundred dollars is well worth the additional “peace of mind” that comes with knowing you have the only keys that can gain access to your new home!

Change Or Re-Key Locks After Closing On A Home!

3.) Update Any Keypads

Homes nowadays are being equipped with smart home technology features. One of the most popular features that today’s buyers are looking for in homes are keypad door locks. If you’re buying a home with keypads that lock and unlock the doors, after closing, you need to update the keypads and codes.

Most home sellers will leave instruction guides to electronic keypads which have instructions on how to change keypad codes. If not, you can find most instruction guides online.

In addition to keypad door locks, another keypad that should be updated after closing on a new home are garage keypads. Garage keypads have been around for decades and it’s important that if the garage can be opened by a keypad, you change the code on that as well as the any door keypads.

4.) Start A Home Maintenance List

Being a homeowner comes with maintenance tasks. Regardless if a buyer is planning on completing maintenance themselves or plans on hiring a professional, it’s important that after closing on a new home that buyers start a home maintenance list.

It’s a good idea that when starting home maintenance lists that the tasks are broken up by seasons or months. For example, there are many spring home maintenance tips that should be completed once the gloomy winter months are finished.

Whether the home maintenance list is one piece of scrap paper or on a detailed spreadsheet, it’s very important to start planning the upcoming maintenance tasks. By keeping up on maintenance tasks, buyers can greatly reduce the number of huge repairs and expenses that come with deferred home maintenance.

5.) Alert Important People & Companies About Your Move

After closing on a new home, another important task to complete relatively quickly is alerting important people and companies about your new home. Within a couple days after closing on a new home, a buyer should first alert the United States Postal Service. This will ensure that important mail will not go undelivered!

The USPS is only one of the important people and/or companies that should be aware of a change of address. Below are a few of the other important people and/or companies to alert of a new address.

  • Friend and relatives
  • Work
  • Financial institutions
  • Insurance companies
  • Phone, internet, and cable companies
  • Schools
  • Medical offices – dentist, physician, etc…
  • Accountant
  • Church
  • Newspaper subscriptions

Buyers who understand who to alert about their new address after closing on a new home will make moving less stressful. Buyers who have to worry about losing mail or not having insurance because of not alerting the proper parties about their new address are adding unnecessary stress and anxiety.

6.) Check The Water Heater

One of the top reasons to complete a final walk through before closing on a home is to check that the home still has hot water. While you may have hot water at the final walk through, you still should check the water heater temperature and water pressure in the home after closing.

Everyone prefers their own temperature of water and also pressure, so make sure you evaluate these items after closing. Most water heaters have dials where you can adjust the temperature of the water. Here is a handy guide from Energy.gov that provides some tips for adjusting water heater temperatures. It’s also recommended that once a year you drain your water tank to get rid of collected sediment in the bottom of the tank.

There are a few different ways to adjust water pressure in a home. One of the most common ways to adjust water pressure is by adjusting the water pressure reducing valve. The water pressure reducing valve is generally found near the water main coming into a home near the main shutoff.

Make sure before adjusting the water pressure reducing valve to drastically in a home, you’ve read up on ips for adjusting the water pressure. Skipping the proper steps to reducing the water pressure reducing valve can lead to some major issues in a home, such as burst pipes.

Check Water Heater Temperature & Pressure After Closing!

7.) Check The HVAC Systems

One of the most important reasons to have an inspection when buying a home is so that the HVAC systems can be looked at. Assuming that the HVAC systems check out after an inspection, there are still a couple tasks that buyers should complete after closing on a new home.

It’s possible a buyer will request a seller have the HVAC serviced prior to closing, but if not, one of the first tasks to complete after closing is to have the HVAC serviced by a professional. The cleaning of a furnace and central air conditioning unit is recommended every year and can help prolong the life of them.

Another task to complete after closing on a new home is to make sure the filter is new in the HVAC system. Old and dirty furnace filters can drastically impact the efficiency of an HVAC system, so replacing them regularly is recommended.

8.) Freshen The Interior Walls & Ceilings

One of the first things that many buyers will complete after closing on a new home is freshly painting the walls and ceilings. It’s a smart idea to complete any painting of the walls and ceilings prior to moving in personal belongings, if possible.

It’s critical to understand that the type of paint is dependent on the type of room being painted. For kitchens and baths, semi-gloss paints are suggested because they’re easier to clean when comparing to a gloss paint. As a homeowner, understanding ow to select the right paint is important.

9.) Complete A Deep Cleaning

Real estate contracts request that homes are in “broom-clean” condition upon closing. “Broom-clean” condition can mean two very different things, depending on who you’re talking with.

After closing on a new home, completing a deep cleaning is suggested. It’s possible that the previous owners did a fantastic job so a deep cleaning may be relatively easy.

In some cases, hiring a professional company to complete a deep cleaning may be required. If a buyer prefers to complete the deep cleaning themselves, some of the tasks to consider completing after closing include;

  • Wash all windows, inside and outside
  • Steam clean carpeting
  • Wash any draperies or valences that were included
  • Clean included appliances
  • Clean and polish wood flooring
  • Scrub tile grout

10.) Consider An Energy Audit

13 Recommended Tasks To Complete After Closing On A Home – Complete A Home Energy Audit!

If you’re buying a new construction home, an energy audit is likely unnecessary. If you’re buying a home that’s older, you may consider an energy audit after closing.

Older homes are notorious for poor efficiency, especially if they haven’t had an energy audit in many years. One task to consider after closing on a new home is having a local company perform an energy audit.

There are many companies in the Greater Rochester NY area who perform complimentary energy audits on homes and this is likely the case in most cities. During an energy audit the homes insulation levels, heating systems, cooling systems, and a variety of other areas and features will be inspected to see if there are areas that could be improved.

It’s important when considering an energy audit that a reputable company is being used. The Residential Energy Services Network, RESNET, can help you find a contractor who’s a qualified home energy professional in your area.

11.) Investigate Smart Home Technology

Each and everyday it seems like a new piece of smart home technology is being released. Bigger, better, smarter, and even more impressive. The possibilities seem endless when it comes to smart home technology. The impact of smart home technology on real estate cannot be understated.

After closing on a new home, buyers should explore smart home technology options that may interest them. Whether it’s a thermostat that can be adjusted by a mobile phone or sensors that can detect if there is water in a basement, after closing on a new home it’s a good idea to at least explore the incredible technologies that are out there for homes.

12.) Research All Tax Deductions & Discounts

Many homeowners don’t realize that there are some great tax deductions for home buyers. After closing on a new home, it’s important to explore all of the tax deductions and discounts that are available in your area, city, and state.

A great person for homeowners to consult with is their accountant. An experienced accountant can help a buyer understand any deductions, discounts, or implications of owning a home.

After closing, it’s also important to contact the local municipalities and state about discounts that maybe available. In New York State, homeowners are eligible for the STAR exemption which is a discount on the local school taxes. The discount amount varies from school district to school district.

13.) Meet The Neighbors

When a new homeowner moves into a neighborhood the surrounding neighbors are usually curious to meet the new owners. After closing on a new home, get out and meet your neighbors!

Not only is meeting the neighbors the “neighborly” thing to do, it’s also a good opportunity to exchange contact information with them just in the event of an emergency. Homes with security systems can be secure, however, sometimes the best security for a home are the surrounding neighbors!

Final Thoughts

Being a homeowner is an amazing feeling and as you can see, there are things to do, even after closing. The above 13 tasks are all very important and will improve the overall home buying experience.

As the years go by in a home, the list of tasks typically continues to grow but owning a home is a great investment and accomplishment! An additional tip for homeowners is to use the home inspection report, if one was performed, as a resource. An inspection report often provides detail as to when certain things should be serviced, maintained, or replaced.

Gutter Cleaning Reminder

Gutter Cleaning

Description

What Gutters need to be cleared of leaves and debris that may have accumulated in order to function properly. Why Clogged gutters can wreak havoc on your roof, siding, and foundation. These repairs can be extremely expensive. How Many homeowners opt into a service contract with a gutter cleaning company that schedules twice a year. We recommend these plans because they are typically affordable and there is potential danger involved with accessing the gutters on many homes. Generally these specialists will get up on a ladder and check & clear the gutters & downspouts of debris. Clearing them can often be challenging due to baked on foliage (spring) or frozen leaves (winter) attached to the insides of the channels, so if you are doing this yourself, make sure you have a good ladder and a spotter helping you out. Water is generally run through the system after the channels are cleared. Make sure that all of your downspouts are extended away from the foundation at the ground level. Often, it may be necessary to regrade your soil in some spots so that all water is directed away from your home.

6 Reasons to Renovate Now !

Selling Your Home This Year? 6 Reasons To Renovate Now!

Face it. Your home’s not perfect. You may keep up with general maintenance, and perhaps you’re meticulously clean. But how old is your kitchen? Do your paint colors reflect current trends? Could your living room use some updating?

When it comes to selling your home today, it’s got to be perfect, or buyers will simply move on to the next option. Doing some renovations, whether that means overhauling areas that are long overdue for a facelift or making some simple changes that freshen up the place, is typical. But if you’re thinking they can wait until you’re ready to list your home, these 6 reasons may make you rethink that plan.

1. You get to enjoy the new stuff

“A worthy update can either serve to reduce your cost of living while you remain in the home or add significant value to the home’s sale price when you decide to put it on the market,” said Scott McGillivray, a real estate investor and host of the HGTV show Income Property to US News.

But if you’re going to spend some cash on updating and renovating your place, you should at least be able to get some enjoyment out of the updates before turning the house over to someone else, right? If you’ve been waiting for 10 years for new appliances, it would be a shame to not have the opportunity to at least cook a few meals and throw a dinner party or two.

blue kitchen

2. They always take longer than expected

It’s a fact of renovation. If your timeline is six weeks, it’ll take 12. At least. Giving yourself plenty of time before you’re ready to list your home will help you avoid a stressful scramble at the end when you’re trying to get it on the market.

3. There may be issues you’re unaware of

Your Realtor will point out areas that need to be addressed and recommend changes to make your home more saleable. But, getting your home ready to sell might be harder than you expect if problems like mold or termites are uncovered. Getting a jump on any big issues or anything that goes beyond the cosmetic will give you the time you need to fix the problems and hold onto your sanity.

4. They don’t have to be huge

No one said you have to take your home down to the studs. Sometimes, a light touch is all that is needed. “Start by thinking small,” said Realtor.com. “Minor cosmetic upgrades go a long way in getting more buyers through the door for a quicker sale – and time on market is key to determining what you’ll net at closing.”

Fireplace-beforeafter-1024x6755. You’re going to need them

You may not love the idea of having to do anything to – or spend any money on – your home, especially if you already have your eyes on a new one. But, most every home needs a little upgrading, updating, or, at least staging. You don’t want to have the one place in the neighborhood that won’t sell because potential homebuyers see a project house, without the project price.

6. You’ll get a return on your investment…if you renovate smart

Speaking of price…updated homes typically sell faster and for more money, if the updates have been done well and they’re the ones buyers are looking for. If you’re not sure which renovations to consider, take your cues from the Cost vs. Value Report, which tracks the “average cost for 29 popular remodeling projects with the value those projects retain at resale in 99 U.S. markets.” It’s a great way to look at national trends but also break down what’s trending in individual areas. “How much work you’ll need depends on your home’s value, your market, and the comps in your neighborhood,” said Realtor.com.

US News also has a great list of “popular updates that are worth the money,” including adding a backsplash in the kitchen and updating bathroom vanities.

Blue Bathroom Vanity # 1000+ Ideas About Blue Vanity On Pinterest | Vanities, Gold Faucet photo gallery

Moving with kids

Moving With Kids

 Summertime is moving time for a lot of American families, and while moving may be exciting for adults, it can be downright traumatic for the kids. In the midst of preparations, packing, looking for a new house, often parents forget that special care must be taken with their children to ease the transition. Following are some tips to help make your move with kids as smooth as possible.

Before the move l Attitude is everything. Even if you are less than thrilled to be moving (if your spouse has been transferred to someplace you swore you’d never live, for instance), you must project a positive attitude to your kids. They will pick up on whatever signals you send and act accordingly. 

l Manage your stress level. You will be stressed out, of course. But you must concentrate on getting enough rest, proper nutrition and exercise during the transition so that you will be able to handle the stress in a healthy way and be available to your children.

 l Reassure your kids that they will not lose contact with their friends. This is especially critical for pre-teens and teens. Buy a special address book so your child can gather addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses.

 l If possible, bring your kids along when you look at houses so they feel involved in the process. This will help them to accept that the family will be moving.

 l If you’re moving to another part of the state or to a different state, get out the atlas and show your child where you’ll be moving. Put together information on climate, topography, local attractions and land features (mountains, ocean, lakes), historical data. Get on the web site of your destination and look at it together.

 l Gather information on the sports or other extra-curricular activities that interest your child so you know how and when to sign up. For older children involved in high school sports, look at area newspapers to read up on the teams’ activities.

 l Encourage your child to take part in the moving process as much as possible. Younger children can help pack their favorite belongings themselves to help them realize that although the family will be in a new home, their stuff will stay with them.

 l Before you move, hold a going-away party for your child. Encourage your child to keep contact with his or her old friends while encouraging new friendships.

 l Put together a scrapbook/photo album of the old house, with a journal recording special memories—holiday gatherings, favorite spots in the house, etc.

 l Before you leave, let each child say goodbye to the old house in their own way. Provide them with the closure they need so that they can move on.

 When you arrive  

l Keep to a routine. Have dinner the same time each night and make sure the kids are in bed at a specific time. While difficult in the midst of unpacking and other moving-in chores, it’s crucial to settling the kids in as soon as possible.

 l Be consistent with discipline. Don’t let misbehavior slide just because you’re too tired and stressed out to deal with issues. The sooner you establish that this home is just like the old one, the better.

 l Take your child to visit his or her new school and arrange to meet the teachers.

 l Supply your children with several copies of your new address and phone number.

 l When you move into your new home, begin a new keepsake and encourage your child to write about his or her hopes and expectations at the new home.

The Top Dates for Listing a Home Revealed

The Top Dates for Listing a Home Revealed

Home listings are most likely to debut on Thursdays and Fridays, with Fridays being the most common listing day by a slight margin, according to research by the National Association of REALTORS®.

What are the most popular dates to list? Half of all new listings in 2016 were first listed between March and July, which supports that the spring season is indeed real estate’s busiest time.

The most popular month for new listings is April, followed by March, May, June, and July, according to NAR.

“While home closings exhibit a strong tendency to get done at the end of the month, listings are much steadier throughout the course of the month with a slight tendency to be posted earlier rather than later,” NAR researchers note at the Economists’ Outlook blog.

OPEN HOUSE

Tags

, , , , , ,

Open House – Saturday February 11th – with Brooke Kolar – 11:00 am to 3:00 pm 

Come out and view this beautiful home…  8325 Jamieson Ct SW Olympia WA 98512  MLS 1074522

Open House – Sunday February 12th – Mercedes Smith – 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm – Refreshments served…

 

 

 

How Much Does It Cost to Sell a House?

Show me the money! Admit it, that’s what you’re thinking when you consider selling your house. In fact, chances are good you’ve mentally spent much of the proceeds already—on a new house you’re buying, and maybe even a nice vacation this summer. Slow down there—while selling a home can indeed bring in some sweet profits, not every dollar goes into your pocket. You also have to pay the professionals who help you unload your property. So now the question in your mind is probably: How much does it cost to sell a house? Really?

On average, home sellers pay their listing agent a commission amounting to about 6% of the price of their home (although that percentage can vary). On a $250,000 house sale, this amounts to roughly $15,000.

That might seem like a huge chunk of change, but don’t go assuming you’re getting ripped off! Here’s where that money goes, and why it’s totally worth it.

The real estate agent commission, explained

If you’re picturing your real estate agent pocketing the whole sum, think again.

“Sellers are often confused by the often-quoted ‘6% commission fee,’ and it’s because many agents don’t explain clearly why it’s being collected,”!!

In fact, that commission is split between the buyer’s agent‘s brokerage and the seller’s. They might split it evenly, or the seller’s agent’s side might get a bit more. From those splits, the respective brokerages take their cut—which, again, varies—and the remaining amount goes to the agents.

Remember, most agents don’t receive a salary, so that fee pays for all that time the agent spent marketing your home. It also includes costs like photographs and signage, as well as the cost to list it on the multiple listings service. And if your house doesn’t sell, the agent doesn’t get reimbursed for those costs—or paid for her time.

How much sellers pay in closing costs

While buyers tend to pay more in closing costs, sellers aren’t completely off the hook. You can expect to spend an additional 2% of your home’s price on this expense.

Closing costs tend to be fixed, including transfer taxes, escrow expenses, and notary fees. You’ll also pay at closing any outstanding property taxes, a prorated share of the water and sewage bills, and the remainder of your mortgage.

Yet you may have control over a few closing costs, says Gumbinger. If you hire a real estate attorney to oversee your side of the transaction, it’s worth shopping around to compare rates. You might also be able to avoid a $100 to $200 reissue fee for the title search if you can provide a copy of your policy.

Should I just sell my house myself to save money?

In a hot market, many sellers may think they can sell their house themselves to avoid the commission fees.

However, most people don’t realize that if you sell your house on your own, you still have to pay for the buyer’s agent’s brokerage fee.

“Since over 93% of active buyers have a real estate agent representing them, it’s the only way to attract these agents—and thus their buyers—to even consider your home,” Nelson says.

What about that cash they would still be saving by selling their home as “For Sale by Owner,” or FSBO?

Consider what your agent brings to the party:

  • Marketing, signs, advertising support, and professional photography
  • The time and “hassle factor” savings of not having to be present for showings, manage calls, host an open house, set up legal representation for paperwork, and conduct the negotiations
  • The legal protection that comes with working with a licensed real estate agent
  • The professional market knowledge that can help you wisely price the house
  • Negotiating expertise that allows your agent to extract the best terms and price from the buyer
  • A wider pool of potential buyers that comes with listing your home on the MLS
  • Access to other agents, who have or know potential buyers. In fact,  many sales can happen before a home is even listed, because agents will reach out to one another.

“In the end, that ‘savings’ to list a home yourself doesn’t usually save you any money,”. “In fact, it can cost you in terms of time, stress, and often a lower price for your home.”

You know the saying “you get what you pay for”? Well, you also earn what you save. Think long and hard about your limitations in terms of time and expertise before heading down the home-selling path solo. After all, this home sale may be one of the largest financial transactions of your life, so it’s not exactly something you should cut corners on with the hopes of saving a few bucks.

Low Inventory – Sellers Needed!!

Tags

, , , ,

feb

Hello February !!
Low Inventory – Sellers needed !!
There is next to nothing for sale in Multi-Family Homes in the area.
If you are a Seller looking to sell your investment property we have pre-approved buyers who are looking to buy.
Please call 360-701-5688 or message us at philharlan@philharlan.com.

Help your clients settle into their new home

You just helped your client find the home of their dreams. But as soon as they move in, they realize they’re missing everything they need to keep the major appliances running smoothly.

You can be the hero!

With just a few clicks, create a library of appliance manuals and warranty documents that will be waiting for your clients the day they move in… all easily accessible anytime through HomeKeepr.

Inspections and walk-throughs

The next time you’re at an inspection or finishing up a walk-through… here’s what you do:

  • Open the My Clients section of HomeKeepr for Professionals
  • Select a client (make sure you’ve invited them first)
  • Click  Add Appliances 
  • You’ll be prompted to snap pictures of the appliance ID tags (model and serial number)
That’s it! Within 48 hours your client will find a library of appliance manuals they’ll have at their fingertips anytime they need it… and they’re going to be thrilled to learn that you’ve gone the extra mile for them.