LETTING & ESTATE AGENT

What to do when your purchase is complete

Buying a property, whether it’s your first time or even if you are an experienced homeowner, requires and organised and strategic mind.

Those who plan ahead are often able to negate the stresses and strains of the purchase process, while those who don’t can be left fighting to stem the tide.

We’re great believers in preparation at Martin & Co so here is our guide on what you’ll need to do once your purchase is complete.

Arrange insurance policies

If you are a first-time buyer and have arrived at your new dream purchase from a rented property one thing it is possible to forget is buildings insurance.

After years in the rental sector where this is covered by your landlord, you are forgiven! But when compiling your list of things to do once your purchase is complete, make sure this is on there!

And don’t forget contents insurance. As you look over your new home with all your lovely things inside, make a mental note to protect them as soon as you can after moving day.

Seek out the meters - and the stopcock!

One of the first things you’ll need to do in your new home is engage utility providers. That means finding the gas and electricity meters and taking some readings.

If you are having trouble finding your meters, get in touch with your local Martin & Co branch who will be able to contact the seller for assistance.

And don’t forget to find out where the water stopcock is. In the unlikely event of the worst happening and a leak occurring, you’ll need to act quickly.

Test the smoke detectors

Don’t leave this to chance and assume the smoke alarms left in the property by the previous owners are working. Test them out and replace them if they don’t work.

This should be one of the first things you do when you move in.

Also make sure the burglar alarm is functioning correctly if there is one.

Change the locks

It might seem silly, especially if you met the sellers of your new home during the sale process and only have wonderful things to say about them.

But as the new owner of the property, you won’t be aware who else has a set of keys so it is certainly worth changing the locks as soon as you can after moving in.

Plan your maintenance

Moving into a new property is an exciting time. It’s quite likely you will flit from room to room with amazing plans of how you are going to make your new home your own.

And that means it can be tempting to rush into undertaking work straight away. Make a plan for any maintenance or work you wish to do, including proposed timescales and costs. If you are planning to bring in contractors to do the work for you, take your time to get quotes and get to know the people pitching to complete the work.

Doing the work yourself? Set clear goals and even get a refresher on laying laminate floor if it’s been a while!

Your local Martin & Co office will be happy to put you in touch with their contacts (plumbers, electricians etc) if needed.

Boiler and electric services

While many purchasers will insist the boiler and electrical systems are serviced before completing on a sale, those who don’t should get this crucial equipment checked over as soon as they move in.

If you’ve moved into your dream home in the colder months of the year, the last thing you’ll want or need is a boiler failure. Bring in a qualified tradesperson to check it over.

If you need a service contract for things like your boiler, obtain some quotes and arrange to have it serviced each year. Peace of mind is priceless.

Do a deep clean

Your new home may appear spotless at first glance, but very few sellers will undertake or commission a through deep clean before moving day.

For a relatively small price, you should bring in a recommended professional cleaner to get into all the nooks and crannies the previous owner will have almost certainly missed.

Bathrooms and kitchens are especially important as these are havens for dirt and grime not always visible to the naked eye.

If your new home was vacant for a period of time before you moved in, a deep clean is especially important. It’s amazing how dirty properties can get when they are empty.

Decorate early on

While major work should be conducted with a slow and certain head on, as we mentioned above, getting basic painting and decorating done early can paid dividends.

Of course, you’ll need to plan colour schemes and fixtures and fittings before moving in, which may require a late visit to the property prior to completion day.

But if you can get those walls nicely painted or wallpaper up before you unpack larger items like tables and beds, you’ll save vital time and effort.

Take a good look around your area

While most buyers take the opportunity to look around the area surrounding their new home before making an offer, it’s extremely difficult to take everything in when your mind is fully focused on the property itself.

Within a couple of days of moving in, get out and about and familiarise yourself with amenities like doctors’ surgeries, dentists, coffee shops and bus routes.

Tell everyone your new address

Make a list of all your banks, buildings societies, children’s schools, mobile phone providers and friends and family who will need to know your new address.

Chances are there will be many more to add to the list above and most new homeowners will forget one or two.

With that in mind, it can be worthwhile to pay for mail redirection with Royal Mail, at least for a few months until you’re sure everyone who needs it is aware of your new address.

Say hello to your new neighbours

Once you are starting to settle in to your new home, perhaps after a three or four days, pop around to your neighbours to introduce yourself.

You will be living in close quarters so getting off to a good start with them is important – and you never know when you might need their help. Feeding the cat or watering the plants while you are on holiday, perhaps?

Thinking of becoming a landlord?

As you’ve now bought a home, you may be considering property as an income source. There are lots of factors to consider before deciding to enter the landlord market, both legal and personal, but Martin & Co’s guide to becoming a first-time landlord can help.

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