Don't buy anything for the first few months as your new home will surely have some problem requiring that money. Even brand new houses, in fact a lot of times brand new houses have little things they forgot to finish off. Old houses of course, even with warranties often have dumb stuff break. I've never heard of a warranty that covered a front door knob or lockset but sure enough we had the lockset break internally and the key be stuck there - not what we had in mind at night time. We nailed the door shut from the inside for the night but still had to fix it to use it again.
Rekey all locks. When a home is for sale, often it is on a lockbox, so multiple people have access to keys. Or contractors are allowed in to do work. Or previous owners gave a key to neighbor for emergencies/kids, etc.
If moving locally, pack plates by just putting one of the cheap styrofoam plates between each plate, and sit in a box. Works well cushioning them, plus you don't get newspaper ink all over the plates, and you can reuse paper plates.
Learn where you water shut off main is, and don't block access to it if it's in the garage. Also locate circuit breaker box, and label it if it isn't already labeled.
If you have a lot of stuff and are having pro movers move you, pick a room you aren't planning to use (like a spare room) to be your "box hub". That way, instead of having piles of boxes blocking everything and feeling like you're living out of a damned box, you can unpack at your leisure and your house can still look like a house and not a storage unit!
If you're at all inclined to garden, now is a great time to do some prep on the yard. Also a good time to plant bulbs so you can have something pretty in the spring!
Being fall, be sure to properly winterize--if you have an AC unit, get a cover, turn off water to outside spigots, etc.
I am a fan of introducing myself to next door neighbors and exchanging phone numbers in case of an emergency.
A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.
Try to start saving some money ($200 - $500 a month) for all of the things that can and will need replacing over time. That way you won't need to put a hot water heater on your credit card, or get a bank loan for a new roof. Nothing lasts forever, even with proper care.
up the hill from the little river (that floods alarmingly often)
Do the home maintenance stuff: paint your porch, stain your fence, trim your hedges (in the non-Inverness way), powerwash your siding, find and fix that leak that only shows up when the wind blows the rain under the eaves in just the right way, etc.
And don't get engineered hardwood floors unless you want your dogs to give them the distressed look over time.
Make sure your homeowners insurance policy is for replacement value and not depreciated value. I had a friend who learned about this the hard way.
Also, ask your insurance agent what surprises you might encounter should you have something like a house fire. For example, we have a boatload of insurance on our old (1757) house and asked our insurance agent what we would not be covered for and she told us that if we had a "partial loss", our insurance would not pay to bring the house up to code. So, they would not pay to bring the wiring or anything else up to code in order to make the repair unless the whole house burned down, For example, if we had a kitchen fire and there is knob and tube wiring between the kitchen and basement and they have to upgrade all the way to the box, it is not covered. We were also told that sometimes the town will condemn the septic system if there is a house fire and that is not covered by insurance unless you have a separate rider.
I'm thinking its a good thing we wont be getting the house until after this storm! Hoping we won't be responsible for any of the damage that may or may not happen Were expecting a lot of trees to come down. Hoping we have power back by Friday.
We are actually replacing a door that has a lot of wear on it and the locks first thing, I knew that one! One of the few things haha
I am SO ready to start some flower beds. I have bags and bags of bulbs to get in the ground and also spent an afternoon digging up things from my Mom's place that my Grandmother had given me.
Start a permanent file for all household instruction manuals, warrantees, etc. and add in the info for any appliances (large or small) that you buy. Also start a list of any contractor (locksmith, roofer, painter, etc.) who works on your property, and how well you think they performed.
Enjoy your new home! I hope your neighbors aren't creepy or annoying.
I agree 100% with - don't buy anything big for a while. I think that is one of the big mistakes new homeowners make...they are so excited to have all this room that they spend way too much decorating it all. New furniture, wall art, etc.
For one thing, you might not know how you will use the house just yet. You might not use rooms you thought you would; or you might have a great idea for a room in a few months after living there. You have lots of time to decorate....save your money for a while.
I have friends who have decorated a new house for thousands of dollars on new furniture and then sold it all in a year or so and started again. What a waste!
Start saving for home repairs and don't neglect the easy stuff (gutters, windows, down spouts, etc.) They can turn ugly pretty fast.
We had a termite inspection done, thank goodness that was all good news!
We also lucked out a bit... our gutters have those gutter-guards on them, yay to that! I know we still need to maintain and make sure they are working/cleaned out but that seems like such a luxury! Who'd of thunk
We have been REALLY lucky... a few older friends were selling houses and GAVE us a lot of furniture and kitchen extras... all we have left to buy are a washer and dryer. I am excited to decorate, but I would rather it be things we collect over time that have meaning to us.
The file to keep all receipts/manuals and business cards/notes on hired out work is a great idea, we will definitely have to do that.