The prospect of moving into a new home can be very exciting (and sometimes very stressful). You may have finally purchased your dream home that’s already equipped with all the bells and whistles, or maybe you just purchased a little fixer-upper as a starter home.
Regardless of how far along you are in your experience with homeownership, there’s always some necessary preparation involved when it comes to moving into a brand-new place, and it’s easier to make improvements before all of those boxes are unpacked. If you make the following home improvements before moving in, it will save you from a lot of hassle in the future.
This may sound like an odd place to start but financing your home can play an important role in making repairs. While a home mortgage is often a vital step that must be taken in order to obtain homeownership, mortgages can be used for more than funding for the cost of purchasing your home.
They can also be used to pay for the costs of necessary home improvements before moving in. There are five primary types of mortgages that you can choose from.
Conventional mortgages include jumbo loans (which are used when you are purchasing an expensive property and need to borrow more than federal limits allow) and are not FDIC insured, but they can be a good option if your credit is intact, and you have a stable employment history.
Another option is choosing a loan that is insured by the federal government such as a VA loan, FHA loan, or USDA loan. These are viable alternatives to conventional loans that can make homeownership a reality for those with lower credit scores and income levels. Other types of mortgages include fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages.
If you are having a new home built from the bottom up or are purchasing an older home that needs thousands of dollars in repairs done, you can also consider taking out a construction loan provided you can afford this additional expense.
Ok, just imagine this scenario: The moving crews have finally left, and your spouse just finished unpacking that last box of dishes and brings a cold soda into the living room for you. The sweat is dripping off your face, and you are utterly exhausted.
Before you sit down in your recliner, you walk over to the thermostat and switch it to the on position, but nothing happens. You try again. Still nothing. This is why ac services are one of the more important home improvements to make before moving in.
Air conditioning service is handled by professionals known as HVAC services providers. Although they have the skills to install brand-new units if you have bought an older home that still uses window air conditioning units or requires box fans, HVAC providers also play a vital role in home maintenance.
While you can complete some basic tasks of AC maintenance yourself such as changing filters every few months, checking the lines for leaks, and bleaching the drainage line periodically, it’s still important to schedule annual maintenance with a professional.
Your HVAC services provider will conduct a complete inspection of your AC system, remove any debris that could clog the lines, check the settings on your thermostat and your condensation drain, lubricate certain parts, and check the electrical hookups, fuel lines, and exhaust outlets.
Annual HVAC maintenance will help ensure the long-lasting performance of your heating and air conditioning unit. You definitely don’t want your AC system to give up on you during a sweltering summer or freezing cold winter, so it’s best to complete these types of home improvements before moving in.
Property Damage Restoration
Hey, it’s a fact that purchasing a home that has damages is much more affordable than buying a brand-new home that’s in perfect condition. However, this is definitely a situation where you would need to make home improvements before moving in.
If your new home has been previously damaged by severe weather such as a hurricane, you may need to have the roof replaced. Surely, you wouldn’t want to spend your first night in bed with a leaky roof dripping on you and keeping you awake after having had a long day of moving in.
When choosing a type of roof, you have several options including metal roofing, asphalt shingles, slate, or clay tiles. While metal roofing is the sturdiest option in the event of future severe weather, each type of roofing comes with its own benefits with asphalt shingles being the most popular choice.
Storms aren’t the only event that can result in the need for property damage restoration. Fires and flooding can also result in a home being damaged. A home that has survived fire must be declared safe for entry before the restoration process can begin.
The most important aspect of restoring a home after a fire is to improve the air quality that can become hazardous due to mold and corrosion. You will also need to have any debris removed and cleaning stains caused by soot.
When it comes to water damage, the first step in restoration is to identify the source of the water and repair any piping that has contributed to the damages. You will also need to replace any drywall that has been damaged by water as mold and mildew could accumulate.
Let’s face it. You don’t really know exactly when the previous homeowner had the septic tank pumped. You can only go by what they told you and you can’t trust their reported date to be accurate.
I mean, it’s doubtful that they would’ve admitted to the realtor that they haven’t had the septic tank pumped for ten years. They could easily claim that the tank was just pumped the previous year and the realtor would be none the wiser.
It’s best to play it safe and go ahead with having the septic tank pumped yourself if you are purchasing a home that uses a septic system.
Septic pumping should be done every three to five years. Failure to have the septic tank pumped regularly could result in back-ups, clogging, slow drainage, foul smells, and even the accumulation of raw sewage in your yard. That’s why septic pumping is among the most important home improvements before moving in.
If your home utilizes an alternative system, then you should obtain an annual service contract to maintain your system. You can reduce the frequency of septic pumping by taking steps to use your water source more efficiently which will lower the impact on your septic tank.
Ugh, that is what you may be thinking at this point. Homeownership is supposed to be the American Dream, but after reading about the level of responsibility entailed and the number of maintenance tasks involved it may be beginning to sound more like a nightmare than a dream.
That’s the reason for home insurance is a part of the necessary home improvements before moving in.
Homeowner’s insurance may initially just sound like one more bill to be paid, but it’s just as important as your automobile insurance even though it may not be legally required by anyone except for your mortgage provider.
This type of insurance protects both your property and your possessions in the event of theft or fire. It also covers any damages incurred to both the interior and exterior areas of your home.
The cost of home insurance typically depends upon the condition of your home and any history you may have of filing claims. There are three common coverage levels ranging from the reimbursement for cash value to the cost of replacement.
Fencing is the most common way that homeowners protect their privacy, and it also offers an additional level of security. Chain link fences are among the more affordable options, but they don’t offer a good visual appeal.
If you decide on having a chain link fence installed, you can resolve this issue by having shrubbery planted around your fence line. The stereotypical white picket fence is the most appealing form of fencing, but it doesn’t provide much security, so you will need to supplement with a quality alarm system.
Wrought iron fences provide a good form of security and give off the vibe of an elite residence, but with good reason as this type of fencing is extremely expensive.
If you love the look of wrought iron but are balking at the price tag, aluminum fencing may be a viable alternative. Regardless of the type of fencing, you choose fence installation as one of the home improvements before moving in that’s wise to have done.
Love the house, but not the old wooden front door? Not necessarily a deal-breaker as exterior doors are reasonably priced and easy to replace. A new front door is one of the simplest ways to give your home a fresh look, and yet it is frequently overlooked.
Another point to bring up is that you really don’t know who the previous homeowner gave a set of house keys to. While this could be resolved by having the locks changed and not replacing the entire door, why not go ahead with these home improvements before moving in? True, the lock is a must.
The door isn’t. Yet when you think about it, replacing the door provides an added sense of security while also improving the appearance of your home. While you are at it, you may also like to consider having a sliding glass door installed for access to your backyard and patio area just in case you decide on a pool later on down the road.
It’s a fact that improving the exterior landscape can increase the property value of a home, so this task may have already been completed before you signed the deed or were even shown the property.
If it wasn’t, then landscape design would definitely be among the desired home improvements before moving in that should be completed. This may simply involve the laying of fresh grass, or you may wish to have some flowers and trees planted and accented with wood chips.
While only a few select people may ever see the interior design of your home, everyone (even a random passerby) notices the appearance of your exterior landscape, so it’s best to make a good first impression when moving to a new neighborhood. Unless you are the type who enjoys riding the lawnmower around the yard on a Saturday, it’s also wise to schedule regular landscape maintenance as well.
Since it’s a no-brainer that it’s best to have your driveway paved prior to parking cars on it, blacktop paving has made its way onto the list of home improvements before moving in.
Blacktop paving is similar to asphalt paving except that it’s more commonly used on driveways as opposed to roads. This option is more affordable than the alternative of having a concrete driveway installed, but it does require a higher level of maintenance.
The planning involved in the paving process is dependent upon the condition of the current driveway. Provided the driveway is in halfway decent condition, you can have the pavers lay the blacktop on top of the current driveway, but if the driveway is full of potholes, that’s a different story. You will probably need to have the driveway torn out with the new blacktop laid on top of the underlying soil.
Once you have these tasks completed, you should be good to go with moving into your new home, walking in through your new exterior door, and relaxing in the AC while the moving van pulls up onto your newly paved driveway and the crew begins to unload the boxes. This moment will make all the preparation and hard work well worth it, and you can begin to live the American Dream in your new home free of worries.
- About the Author
Alex Grigoryan is a Professional Home Improvement and Lifestyle Writer. He has been in the industry for over 6 years and has been writing for Chique Home Living since 2019. His work has been featured in prestigious blogs such as Spruce Home, Better Homes & Garden, and more.