(Estimated reading time: ~4 minutes)
First Time Homebuyers: What You Really Need to Know – Pt. 2
After years of hard work, scrimping & saving, and Heaven knows how long of actual searching, you’ve finally bought your first home... Exciting times!
In the midst of collecting and packing boxes, organizing (and perhaps even purging) your belongings, hiring a moving truck, and all the legal purchasing paperwork, you suddenly realize you’ve neglected 1 crucial thing: Making sure your new home is actually habitable when you move in!
That’s right – having a roof over your head and a room for your bed is great, but not if you’re freezing in the dark! You need to make sure your new place has all the utilities and services needed to survive in the 21st century.
Suddenly you have a whole new category on your “to do” list, but your mind starts spinning at the thought. After all, who has time or energy to sort through this too, what with everything else you need to worry about already?
Well don’t you fret, dear first time homeowner – we’re here to help!
The Calgary real estate experts here at Elite Home Real Estate have more decades of combined experience helping first time homebuyers than we care to actually count… (But needless to say, it’s a lot!)
We’ve helped hundreds of first timers in the Calgary real estate market navigate all the to-dos and to don’ts of buying and moving into their first property. Here’s our list of things you need to set up for a comfortable and hassle-free transition to your first new home.
This is a big one and should be first and foremost on this portion of your overall to-do list... Because there’s no surprise as rude as arriving to your new place with all your worldly belongings in tow, only to realize that the power’s shut off.
Once you know your official move-in date, contact your electric company of choice and arrange for either your account to be switched (if you’re an existing customer) or register for a new account with a start date that corresponds with your move-in date.
It’s easy enough to do, takes less than an hour, and will save you a massive headache further down the line.
Just a friendly reminder that we live in 2018, which means internet access is pretty much a necessity of life for almost everyone.
From paying bills and coordinating residential utility services to updating friends & family on the success of your relocation and finding that perfect move-in playlist, we rely on the internet more than we care to admit.
We recommend that you contact your internet provider as soon as you know when you’re moving into your new home so they can schedule your connection service in time for your first day in your first home.
Moving day takes a whole lot of energy, builds up quite the appetite, and can all-too-often be exhausting.
Now, you can go three routes when it comes to feeding yourself (and others) when you first move into your new home:
- Have groceries ready and get to know your new kitchen immediately by using it right away… because you won’t already be super tired from the day (just kidding – you’ll be exhausted!)
- Have some previously prepared homemade meals ready to warm up and enjoy.
- Order pizza (or chow mein, or whatever).
Our personal recommendation is option #2, but also to have a few non-perishables in the cupboards – just in case.
In our years of helping Calgarians transition to their new homes, we’ve learned that there’s nothing quite like enjoying a warm, homemade meal that you can just warm up when you first move into your new home.
… And is a kitchen really a kitchen if there’s no food in it?
How nice it is to move into a nice, completely clean home! But sometimes the previous owners/occupants have a different definition of “clean” than you will... This is why it’s always a good idea to do a thorough 1-over (or, if you can afford it, hire a professional cleaning company to do it for you)!
Keep in mind that even if the floors seem swept and the carpets look vacuumed, there can still be dust, dirt, debris, and dander lurking just below the surface. After all, you don’t want to move into a first home that still has the detritus of the previous person in its nooks and crannies.
5. Heat & Water
Heat, water, and electricity are the 3 utilities you’ll absolutely want to have set up immediately upon moving in. We’ve already covered electricity in item #1, but you’ll want to take care of your new home’s heating and water services ASAP as well!
Most homes in Calgary will use either natural gas or electricity to heat a home, so you’ll have to figure out which your furnace uses. Depending on which type of heating your new home has, you’ll want to register for an account with the appropriate service provider of choice (here’s a great resource that will give you a list of the service providers and their respective rates: https://energyrates.ca/alberta/)
)6. Spare Keys (if not entirely new locks)
The thing about moving into any previously occupied residence is that you are very likely not the only person to have door keys for it! This is particularly true if the property was previously rented out or has changed ownership multiple times in a small span of time.
It’s always a wise move to install new locks on your doors once you’ve moved into your new home. It’s also fairly quick, easy, and inexpensive to get new locks installed (depending on the type of doors that are having their locks replaced).
7. Home Insurance
When it comes to insuring your first home, the rule of thumb is to make 100% sure that your current home insurance policy ends the day after you’ve moved out of your old place and the day before you move into your new one.
Some home insurance providers will automatically insure your old home, your stuff while it’s all in transit, and your new home for an agreed upon period of time. Give your insurance company a call to see if they offer this and to let them know about your upcoming relocation.
8. Update Your Contact Info
While not the #1 most urgent matter to attend to, updating your contact info – specifically, your address – with all relevant parties is something you’ll want to do at your earliest opportunity.
But moving can be hectic and stressful, and your everyday life to still requires tending to, so a good interim option is to sign up for mail forwarding with Canada Post. You can find more information on doing this here.
9. Plan for Tots and Pets
Nobody actually enjoys physically moving all their things from one place to another (or, at least, nobody we’ve met!) However, for small children and pets, relocating homes can be a traumatizing experience.
The chaos and stress that usually accompanies moving day, combined with the strange faces (and smells) can be beyond disorienting for little kids and fur babies. We strongly recommend arranging for a family member or good friend to keep these wee ones happily distracted.
The team here at Elite Home Real Estate have decades of combined experience with first time homebuyers in Calgary and can give you the guidance and insight you’ll need to make the right decisions.
Ask us about the risks and challenges that first time homebuyers face. Pick our brains so you can gain a better understanding of what you need to do in order to find the perfect first time home for you.
Contact us today to get the ball rolling and start learning all you need to successfully find, buy, and move into your first Calgary home!