Congratulations, you've bought your new home! There are few better feelings than being handed the keys and being a home owner! With all the packing and moving, it is easy to over-look some basic items that need to be done as soon as you move in to your new house.
- Call the Utility Companies: Gas, electric, cable, telephone, garbage service, and any other providers for your home must be called to ensure service is in your name. You can also double check what day your garbage will be picked up and when your bills will be due. Links to Ada County and Canyon County Phone List to the Left!
- Local County Tax Office: Don't forget to apply for your Homeowners Expemption! You have to do this or your taxes could DOUBLE!:
Link here for:
- Find Your Main Power Circuit Breaker: Take the time to locate the main breaker box for your home and label each breaker correctly. Masking tape and a Sharpie work great.
- Fire Extinguishers: Be sure to have at least one basic "all-purpose" fire extinguisher on each floor in your home and one for the kitchen. It is much better to be safe than sorry! And make sure everyone knows how to use it also.
- Emergency Exits: Get the family together and plan your evacuation routes in case of an emergency such as fire. Just a few minutes of discussion can ease your mind in the long run. For 2 story homes, make sure you have a roll up ladder or a way for the person to escape in case they can go out the door.
- Change your Furnace Filters: During construction they REALLY get dirty, or in an existing home, you have no idea when the previous owner changed them, if ever. Pick up a couple of them and for the 1st few months, change them every 30 days.
- The 1st Aid Kit: Have some type of first aid kit in a central location in your home and make sure everyone knows where it is. Also make sure emergency phone numbers are all posted in one place where everyone can find them quickly in case they are needed.
- Extra Paint: Many new homes will have cans of unused paint left in them. These are great for touch-ups and for getting an exact match when re-painting. Make sure these cans are stored all in one place where they are free from freezing or getting too hot. Write down the paint type and color codes, and put on the inside of your Circuit Breaker Panel for save storage.
- Find the Off Switch: Locate the main water shut-off and make sure all household members know where it is located. It is also not a bad idea to purchase a water cut-off wrench in case it ever is necessary to turn off your water supply from the meter. It is also helpful to know where the gas shut off is, too.
- Protect Those Floors: If your home has hardwood, ceramic, or tile floors, don't forget to put protective covers under furniture legs.
- Smoke Detectors: Make sure there are adequate smoke detectors in your home and all work properly. Buy NEW batteries in them, and then change batteries every six months. In our home, we change the batteries whenever we change the clocks for daylight saving time. It is easier for us to remember that way.
- Your New Address: Don't forget to inform creditors and magazine subscriptions of your new address. In most areas, you can now change your address online through the Post Office.
Link here for USPS Change of Address
- What's Your Number? Make sure your street number is identified and easily visible from the road. Reflecting house numbers on your mailbox work well.