“I love moving!” said probably no one ever.

But when “moving” means ditching your landlord and settling into your first home, things do get a little sweeter. That was the story for 35% of all homebuyers in 2016, and it may be the case for you soon when you leave apartment life behind and become a first-time homebuyer.

As with any move, good preparation is worthwhile preparation. You may use a moving checklist to keep things organized and accounted for. However, there are differences between a house and an apartment that you need to consider and that affect what you need to do to make your big day successful. Renting is different than owning, after all.

Sound stressful? It’s not. Just use this new home checklist and you’ll be primed for move-in day. 

Your First Home Move-In Necessities:

  • New locks and an extra set of keys. Changing the locks should be the first thing all new homeowners do. In the process, make a few sets of extra keys to share with a trusted family member or close friend. It could come in handy in an emergency.
  • A cleaning service. It’s usually the landlord’s responsibility to clean an apartment before a new tenant moves in. With a home to call your own, you can’t count on anyone else to clean it for you. Whether through an actual cleaning service or your own elbow grease, get your new home clean before move-in day.
  • Tools. With a new home to care for, you may need to upgrade your old apartment-sized tool kit, especially if you’ve purchased a fixer-upper. Make sure you’re equipped with the essentials: a hammer, a variety of screwdrivers, a few wrenches, a tape measure, and a pair of pliers are a good place to start.
  • Yard supplies. Got some green space at your new home? Taking care of it is a must. Get yourself a lawnmower, hedge clippers, and a good pair of garden gloves to keep your landscaping looking pristine.
  • Essential contact information. When water started pouring out of the electrical sockets in your apartment, your landlord was the one to call. Now, you’ll need contacts for a plumber, electrician, and exterminator for life’s unexpected problems. Ask loved ones or neighbors for some recommendations.
  • Lighting. Apartments generally come equipped with overhead lights in every room with little need for additional lighting. That might not be the case in your new home. Make sure your bedroom, living room, and dining room are covered for move-in.
  • Light bulbs. Come equipped, or face the possibility of a dark couple of first days in your new home. Keep it lit in all its glory!
  • Window treatments. If you’re lucky, your new home will be complete with newer blinds and curtain rods already attached to the walls. If not, putting up some sort of window coverings should be priority, especially in the bathrooms and bedrooms (for obvious reasons).
  • Appliances. If the appliances in your new home weren’t written into the deal, you’ll want to plan to purchase them ASAP. Living without a fridge can’t be fun, right?
  • Smoke/carbon monoxide detectors. Check to make sure your smoke and CO detectors are in working order. If they’re not working, or older than 10 years, replace them. It’s not just about satisfying code; it’s about your own safety.
  • Batteries. For your smoke detectors, flashlights, appliances, and everything in between. Batteries will come in handy in unexpected ways, so it’s better to have them on hand.
  • Air filter for AC. If you have central air conditioning in your new place, it’s a good idea to change the air filter when you first move in. The recommended replacement schedule for the average home is once every 90 days.
  • Food. A new home checklist isn’t complete without it. Go food shopping early – nothing says “home” like a fully stocked fridge.

Feel like an accomplished new homeowner yet? Don’t worry, it’ll come with time. Download this first home move-in necessities checklist and keep it handy to help (just don’t forget to enjoy the moment!).

Download the First Home Necessities Checklist

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