SYV Association of Realtors


You have just completed the biggest financial transaction of your life and can now call yourself a homeowner. With the help of a Realtor, you purchased your first home, signed all the necessary paperwork and are about to walk up to your front door, keys in hand.

What now? This is a common question homeowners ask themselves when the time comes to settle into a new home. With all the excitement and work involved in finding a first home, first-time buyers may not have a transition plan or a checklist for the first few days in their new house.

“Some checklist items are as simple as steam cleaning the carpet, while others involve familiarizing yourself with your home’s circuit breakers and water valves. Having a game plan for your new home will give you peace of mind and allow you to settle in quickly and stress free,” said Bob Jennings, president of the Santa Ynez Valley Association of Realtors.

Important items for the transition into a new home include:

  • Change the locks. You never know who else has keys to your home, so it is a good idea to change the locks on all doors. You can install new deadbolts yourself or call a locksmith to ensure proper installation.
  • Set up service. This may not sound like a top priority, but it is important to contact local utilities and service providers, including trash pick-up, to set up a new account and avoid disruption.
  • Know the circuit breaker. It is a good idea to figure out which fuses control what parts of your house and label them accordingly. You will need two people for this exercise: one person monitoring the power as it goes on and off and the other tripping the breakers.
  • Buy the right tools. You probably own the basic tools such as a drill, screwdriver, hammer, level and tape measure. However, homeownership may require a few new ones, such as a pry bar for removing nails, trim or tiles and a ratchet set for adjusting nuts and bolts. When hanging pictures or shelving on the walls, be sure to have a stud sensor handy to detect studs, cables and ducts.