Digital Journal

New Homeowner’s Checklist


New York City, June 3, 2024 – While the journey of homeownership is different for everyone, there are a few key steps homeowners can take immediately after moving in that can help establish security, comfort, and peace of mind in a new space. From safety measures to considering the financial implications of this investment, this guide can help new homeowners cover their bases during their first days.

1. Deep clean

“Before unpacking, homeowners can take the opportunity to clean every nook and cranny,” said Mariana Paiz, financial representative for Northwestern Mutual’s Dallas office. “With the house empty, this is the easiest time to scrub floors, wipe down surfaces, and clean inside cabinets.”

2. Unpack essentials

Unpack things like bedding, toiletries, a few kitchen items, and clothing for the next few days. It can help to have these clearly labeled in the packing process or to pack a bag of essentials.

3. Change the locks

Changing the locks on all exterior doors can ensure that the homeowner is the only one with access to the house.

4. Check Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Homeowners should ensure that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working and have fresh batteries. This small task is crucial for the safety of everyone in the home.

5. Locate the main water valve and circuit breaker box

Knowing where these are can save time and prevent damage in case of an emergency, such as a burst pipe or electrical issue.

6. Update addresses

New homeowners should remember to change their address with the postal service, their bank, doctors, work, and any subscription services to ensure they receive their mail without interruption. Homeowners can also consider setting up mail forwarding for their old address.

7. Set up utilities

New homeowners can contact utilities to ensure all services are transferred to their name and are fully functional. This includes water, electricity, gas, and internet services.

8. Plan for an emergency fund

“Homes can need repairs. This can be a good time to start setting aside money for improvements or unexpected home repairs with an emergency fund,” Paiz said.  “A financial professional can certainly help create a plan to account for those expenses.”

9. Consider life insurance

“Life insurance can mean that, even if a homeowner passes away, their family can still pay the mortgage and continue living in their home,” Paiz said. “Many new homeowners get a term life policy equal to the length of their mortgage. Consider what kind of policy is appropriate and start looking at life insurance quotes.

10. Meet the neighbors

For new homeowners, the move-in period presents an ideal opportunity to introduce themselves to their neighbors. Establishing a friendly rapport with those living nearby can foster a welcoming atmosphere and lay the foundation for a supportive community network.

11. Organize important documents

Keeping important information stored in a central place can mean it’s easy to find if needed. All important documents related to a home purchase, including mortgage information, insurance policies, and home warranty details, should be stored in a safe and accessible place.

12. Plan for waste and recycling pickup

Garbage and recycling can differ by neighborhood. New homeowners can take some time to learn about the waste management schedule and recycling guidelines. This can ensure they’ll manage waste disposal correctly from the start.

Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance
Company (NM) and its subsidiaries in Milwaukee, WI.


Contact Info:

Organization: Northwestern Mutual

Name: Don Klein

Phone: 1-800-323-7033

New York City

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