Now That You're A Homeowner
I'm in the process of helping a few of my friends with their real estate transaction. These people are first-time home buyers. As I help my friends prep for their respective closings, here are some of the things I recommended they do when they become homeowners:
1. Change The Locks
Regardless of the type of home your purchase, it's important to change the locks. Call a locksmith and get the locks rekeyed. Your safety is the most important thing.
2. Put The Utilities In Your Name
This is something most first time home buyers overlook. Call the Board of Water Supply, call HECO, and call your cable and internet provider -- put the utilities in your name.
If you purchased into a condo/town house complex, some of these utilities might be included with your maintenance fee.
3. Introduce Yourself
Introduce yourself to your neighbors. This can be an informal thing. If you see your neighbors in passing, say hello.
If you purchased a condo/town house, introduce yourself to the resident manager and or security staff. The condo/town house staff is there to help the residents.
4. File Your Home Exemption Form
If you're an owner occupant, file your home exemption form! You should fill out this form the day your transaction closes. The home exemption form should reduce the amount of property taxes you pay.
When you fill out your home exemption form, you should do it online. If you do the paper form, there's a chance it can get lost in the mail.
5. Save Your Receipts and Take Notes
If you make any repairs or improvements to your home, it's important to save your receipts. In addition, you should make a spreadsheet.
For example, lets say you had to do a plumbing repair. In your spreadsheet, log everything about the repair. What day did it happen? How did the problem happen? Who was the vendor? How the problem was remedied? Etc.
6. Update Your Information
If you are moving into the home you purchased, make sure you inform your bank, credit card company, HR at work, etc. that you have a new address.
In addition, go down to your local post office and ask them how you can forward your mail to your new address.