Hey IDEAL, stop cramping our style and talking about the serious stuff over here, we’ve just moved into our new crib and want to celebrate. Well, congratulations, and there’s certainly time for that. But before you settle in to your new sofa and throw a party which tears the house down (metaphorically speaking, of course), first, there are some practical things to do to help you get comfy. And those are these; our 5 IDEAL, practical things to do after you move into your new home.
CHANGE THE LOCKS
You don’t want any Tom, Dick or Harriet wandering into your house, unless you’re into that kinda thing of course, so first things first, make sure your home is safe and secure. While it’s safe to assume that the estate agents surrendered their set of keys and the previous homeowners/tenants aren’t complete weirdos, it’s always a good idea to change your locks when you move into a new house, if only for peace of mind. Indeed, you never know who has a spare key to your new crib, or when they were last changed, unless you get those locks changed. It’s advisable to get a locksmith to do this, rather than tackle the job yourself, as many of our loose, faulty attempts at fitting one will testify.
This is all about taking back control of your security, so do yourself a favour and get it done professionally. We spoke to Loughborough Locksmiths who also highlighted the importance of changing your locks for reasons beyond safety; some home insurance policies require that you have a specific set of locks for your home insurance to be valid. If you don’t take action and get the right type of lock for your new home, you could potentially raise your premium significantly, which brings us to…
CHECK YOUR HOME INSURANCE
Before you hold that epic housewarming party, where tellys get chucked out of windows and someone backflips from the first-floor bedroom window into the flower beds below, you should get your home insurance shipshape and assured. The good news is that if you’re happy with your previous building and contents insurance, you can simply inform the insurer of your new address and they’ll do the leg (and paper) work in recalculating your premium. If for whatever reason you don’t currently have home insurance, then you’re going to want to be insured from the moment you arrive in your new pad, and perhaps even in the transition period. You’ll need to provide your new postcode, address, its market value and the value of items in your property to get a quote. Read this home insurance guide for newbies.
TAKE A METER READING
Almost the first thing you want to do after ceremoniously crossing the threshold of your new house is to head straight for the gas and electricity meter and take a reading. This is nothing more complicated than noting down the digits with a pencil and paper or taking a quick photo on your phone. Unlike the home insurance which you’ve transferred across, your energy providers will be attached to the property, on a ‘deemed contract’. If there aren’t any clues lying about, like bills or a helpful note from the previous tenants, you’ll need to find out who your energy provider is. The government’s Ofgem service can help with this. Should a cursory comparison reveal that you’re not getting the best deal on gas and electricity from your supplier, switching has never been easier with several comparison sites to find the best energy deals. It’s almost as if they really want your custom, huh?
CHECK YOUR SMOKE ALARMS & CARBON MONOXIDE.
Sure, the lights may be on and the devices showing signs of life, but it’s still a good idea to change the batteries in your new place’s smoke and carbon monoxide alarms just in case. If you’re in a particularly prudent mood, it’s wise to buy new alarms so their reliability and efficiency is guaranteed. There’s no way of knowing how old they are without a deep dive into model numbers and manuals. And nobody wants to do that.
MEET THE NEIGHBOURS
“Neighbours, everybody needs good neighbours”. It’s a theme tune that everyone of a certain generation knows and a mantra we should all make an effort to nurture. If the relationship is harmonious, life is so much easier; an extra pair of eyes on your place while you’re away, a tolerance of a bit of late night noise from time to time, a friendly cup of sugar lent when you’re out…you get the picture. On the flipside, should the mood be fractious, then domestic bliss suffers. So, get round there post haste, introduce yourself, smile and project good cheer, maybe invite them to your housewarming party for drinks if that feels right.