So you found a home, started packing and are almost ready to move. Congrats!
Before you load up that moving truck though, consider what it is you’re actually moving into. Whether the home is older or newer, chances are good that you’ll inherit a few quirks and issues. Most problems should be pointed out during the home’s inspection prior to the closing. After reviewing the issues, you may be wondering which home problems to fix before moving in and which to wait on?
After all, some issues are worse than others. Problems such as damaged window treatments and broken light fixtures can probably wait to be addressed until after you move in. However, other issues are best remedied before moving a truck-load of furniture and belongings inside.
A home inspection is extremely important before you buy a house, or you will spend a lot of money on fixing problems you could have identified before. Some of the most common problems are plumbing issues. On the other hand, sellers may conceal a problem in order to secure a sale. However, even though you carefully inspected a house before buying, there are some things you should check regardless of the house. Below, we’ve included six common household problems that need to be fixed before moving into a new home.
- Pest-proof your house
Before you move into the new house, hire a professional pest control company to make sure you get rid of pests. Then you can start pest-proofing your house. First of all, install door sweeps at the base of all exterior doors. Caulk the bottom outside edge and sides of door thresholds and any cracks around windows and doors. Seal all utility openings where pipes and wires enter the house with urethane expandable foam, steel wool, caulk, cement, or copper mesh. Invest in wire mesh over the roof, the attic and crawl space vents and install a chimney cap.
- Fix squeaking and creaking
You can de-squeak your doors by applying surfboard wax, petroleum jelly, or lubricating oil on the hinges. You can also use vegetable oils. However, avoid canola oil as it can attract pests. The main cause of creaking floors is wood shrinkage around the nails on the floorboards. You should locate the creaking floorboards and re-screw and tighten the nails.
Water pipes can become noisy due to a water hammer. Shut off the main valve. Turn on the lowest tap in the house in order to drain all water from the pipe. Turn off the lowest tap and reopen the main valve. Another reason for banging water pipes is high water pressure. Invest in a water-pressure regulator or a pressure-reducing valve.
- Drafty Windows
Moving in the winter when drafty windows affect the inside temperature? It might not be a bad idea to replace old windows with new, energy-efficient ones. While some homeowners wait to do this, we recommend doing it prior to moving in. After you close on the house, enlist a window company to come to the home, take measurements and provide a quote for new windows. If you decide to move forward, arrange to have all the new windows put in the home before moving day. The reason? Removing old windows and installing new ones is a time-consuming process – one that will most certainly inconvenience anyone living in the home.
- Have The Heating And Cooling Systems Cleaned
You should have the heating and cleaning systems cleaned once a year. When it comes to the heating system, you should definitely call professionals if you can smell mold, if you notice excessive debris in the ducts, or if you and your family members experience allergy symptoms. You should also clean an air conditioner by cleaning and replacing a filter, keeping condenser and evaporator coils clean, and keeping outdoor equipment clear of debris.
- Change The Locks
You’ll never know how many keys are floating around for your new home unless you get new locks or re-key the existing locks. The previous owners may have given a key to neighbors, workmen, relatives, or cleaning services, and you’ll get some peace of mind if you get new ones. This is a project to do just before or soon after you move in.
- Use your inspection report as a ‘to-do’ list for maintenance
After you buy a house, address any issues that were flagged on your home inspection report that the seller didn’t fix. Using the home inspection report as a guide, make a list of things to repair, update or maintain for the future, ranking them from most to least urgent. You’ll want to address items that can potentially blow up and cost you money later, such as dirty gutters, leaky pipes, or doors and windows that need to be resealed.