You’ve only just stepped on the property, but you can already see yourself having your morning coffee on the front porch. Before you even show an interest in the house, your kids are already picking out their bedrooms and where the best hiding spots are. It’s easy to jump the gun when you’re ready to plant those roots. This article will give you the rundown of everything you need to do before and after you decide where you’ll settle down.

Before You Buy

Listed below are the necessary steps to take before purchasing a home. Some of these should come before you begin looking for a home, and come after you’ve already found a home, but haven’t drawn up the paperwork or bought in yet.

Consider Your Finances

More often than not, those seeking to buy a home begin the search process before considering what they can afford. Don’t get yourself excited about a home before you’ve taken a long look at your finances. In order to buy a home, you’ll usually need a credit score of at least 580, but you might get lucky and bag a home with just a 500, although it won’t be your dream home. Interest rates and the likelihood of approval depend on this score. Also, keep in mind that you’ll need someone to approve you for a loan, so any black marks on your finances could affect this.

Home Inspection

After you’ve gotten pre-qualified by a bank and know how much house you can afford, you can then begin shopping around. Now, it’s just a matter of finding the home that suits you and your family. When deciding, take into account the following details:

  • Amount of traffic in the surrounding area
  • Amount of parking space
  • How well-kept the neighborhood is
  • The convenience of location to points of interest
  • Plumbing, electrical, and structures of the house work properly

It will behoove you to get an inspection checklist from the experts at to make sure no important details get skipped when you’re inspecting your home. After you’ve performed your own personal inspection and decided on a house, you’ll need to get a professional home inspection to make sure there are no damages you missed that should be repaired before buying. This is a crucial step in buying a new home because you can either request the repairs with the seller or renegotiate the price of the house.

Negotiating the Price

Hopefully, you will have shopped around quite a bit before deciding on which house to buy, which should’ve given you an idea of the housing market. If this is not the case, then getting advice from a realtor is a good idea. Many do not want to pay the extra cost of a realtor, but they do come in handy when you’re negotiating because they’ll know exactly what’s fair and what’s not.

However, if you’re buying on your own, then it’s fair to offer 5% less than the asking price. Be prepared for the counteroffer and ready to haggle a bit until you both arrive at a price you’re comfortable with. The seller will also be prepared for this and will start at the highest possible price because of it, so it definitely makes sense to wheel and deal a bit before settling.

Don’t Celebrate Until After Contracts Are Signed

Not to kill your spirit, but there are still many agreements and terms each party will have to come to before you go popping bottles. You’ll need an attorney to look over everything and spell out the details with you to ensure you understand every line on the contract. Titles will need to be handed over, and loans will need to go through before you can move in. So don’t celebrate until all the final steps are complete!

After You Buy

The process is complete, and you’ve moved your family into the place where you’ll carry out your lives for the foreseeable future. There are many things you’ll need to secure upon moving into your new home, so continue further to find out how to complete the move-in process.

Change Your Address

More often than not do people’s credit get tarnished because they were late on bills that were not sent to their new address. You just bought a new home, and the last thing you need is a big black mark on your credit. Write down a list of all the bills you will continue to pay, and change your address as soon as you move into your new place. Update the U.S. Post Office and your HR department at work as well. You’ll likely be able to change all of these online, so there’s no reason for procrastination.

Homeowners Insurance

Your home is probably the most costly purchase you will ever make and will house everything you own. Why not do all that’s in your power to protect it? If you’re wondering if it’s really worth the hassle, then the answer is yes. It will protect your home and assets in the case of a storm, fire, theft, vandalism, and anything else covered under the policy. There are many factors to consider when choosing an insurance company, and the options for what is most suitable for your home are vast. So, selecting a company and policy might be a little time consuming, but the representatives at each company will surely get you set up with something that is affordable and fitting.

Move in cleaning

The final step before actually moving your furniture into your new home is a thorough pre move-in cleaning from top to bottom. After all the work you’ve put into getting things settled at the new house, cleaning is the last thing you want to do; however, this is a necessity.

We spoke to the folks at CleanMyTribe, an Indiana residential cleaning company who pointed out: “You might think the house looks perfect because the previous owner had the place cleaned to a showroom standard. Unfortunately this also means the house was prepped, and visited by many prospective buyers & realtors over a short period of time. The carpets need to be steam cleaned again so any accumulated dirt and dust is fully removed. As for the rest of the home, we recommend performing a moving in cleaning just because prospective buyers have touched items everywhere as they checked out the place. From counters, kitchen appliances to faucets, you can be sure it’s been tested by each visiting buyer and the people they brought along.”.

A pre moving in clean is exactly the same as what you do in a moving out clean. The entire empty place is deep cleaned and wiped down to ensure your family is moving into a pristine cleaned home. Later when your belongings are moved in and things are all settled, you may consider another surface level clean up. If you are swamped with the moving in process, do consider hiring a moving in cleaning service since they can have it done for you in a single afternoon. This saves you time to spend on other more important matters when moving into a new house. Congrats! Your house is now ready for moving in.

Security and Safety

Change the locks to prevent the possibility of previous owners, or friends of prior owners, from still having access to your home. This includes the garage or any lock codes around the house and alarms. Write down all your new codes in a secure document, and make copies of all your new keys in case you get locked out.

Inspect all your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to assure that they’re functioning and don’t need new batteries. It’s common that local firefighters will come to your house to inspect your detectors and install new ones if need be, and absolutely free of charge. Take advantage of this noble service they provide because these are of course your first defense against fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. Lastly, put a fire extinguisher on each floor of your house and get a first aid kit. Make sure everyone in your family knows where these are located.

Now, since you’ve settled in and taken care of securing the safety of your family and house, you can kick your feet up and enjoy all the benefits of owning your own home. Keep in mind the necessary maintenance you’ll need to stay on top of. Also, be aware of the weather in your new area so you can prepare your home (and insurance policy!) for that.