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7 Things to Take Care of in Your New Home

Finally, the move is over! The boxes are (mostly) unpacked, the kids’ rooms are in order (for now) and you can rest your weary bones.   Not so fast.

Here are some things you should do first:

Change the locks or pass code for electronic locks. While it’s unlikely the previous owners will break in to rob you, there’s still a security risk if your locks are the same as they were for past residents.

Find out locations of water mains shut-off, power panel and gas shut-off. If your new home develops a leak, has electrical problems, or has a gas supply issue, you need to shut it off quickly. Don’t wait until something happens to start fumbling around.
Prepare an emergency escape plan. This is one of those things that often get placed on the “tomorrow” list, which turns into the “I didn’t get around to it” list. Before you need it, have it. Practice it until everyone knows what to do in a real emergency.

Find out when garbage pick-up days are. You undoubtedly have tons of garbage from those boxes you used or from cleaning out the place. Find out the protocol for garbage separation and pick up. Check out the city’s website or ask the real estate agent.

Figure out the best route to work/school to avoid traffic. If you’re starting a new job, you should stick to the main roads on the first day. After that, talk to your coworkers, use Google Maps or drive around after dinner to get a feel for the neighborhoods and street layouts. Vary your route until you figure out the least traffic-ridden (and most scenic) routes. 
Meet the neighbors. Neighbors can look out for you, help jumpstart a dead battery, make sure your home is secure when you’re not there, call for help in emergencies, and sit on the porch and chat when the kids move away. Don’t overlook this simple task when you move into your new home.

Find a good plumber, contractor, landscaping professional and anyone else you’ll need to maintain your new home. You need to know who to call for emergencies like a sewage backup or a broken furnace. Research online, look at reviews, and talk to coworkers and parents of other children at your kids’ school to get recommendations. Call and have an initial chat so when you need their services, you’re comfortable with them and aren’t scrambling.

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