Moving from an apartment to a house can be an exciting but daunting task, but we’re here to help with a complete guide.
This type of move brings a whole new array of responsibilities. There’s a lot to look forward to when you own your own house, it’s yours to decorate and furnish however you see fit.
Whether you’re moving for a change of scenery, more space for your expanding family or you’ve been promoted to another branch, there are lots of things to consider before you upsize.
We have put together a full guide to make that move from an apartment to a house a lot simpler.
Use this checklist of to-do’s to ensure smooth sailing before you move from an apartment to a house
1. Complete a Home Inspection
This is probably the most important step before you move into your new home; completing a full home inspection to check if there are any structural, electrical, or systematic issues with your house.
Do a little research and schedule a home inspector to visit your new home prior to your move-in date. This will give you some peace of mind. During the home purchasing process, a home inspection is usually required by financial institutions and by law.
2. Create a List of Pre-Move Projects
Getting organized and writing a list can make you feel so much better during the pre-move process. Think of all the projects that need to be done and write it all down!
The best way to do this is by jotting down all of the rooms in the house. Then you should try and work your way through them. The home inspection will also give you an idea of what needs to be prioritized.
3. Manage Those Savings
Homeownership can present some unexpected expenses. If it’s your first time moving from an apartment to a house, you might now realize that there’s a lot more financial responsibility that comes with owning a house.
Take a look at your budget and try to budget for extra unexpected expenses that you might not think you may need.
The home inspector may have indicated what needs to be done, but sometimes you can’t foresee a pipe bursting in the basement during the first night in the house. So make sure you save a little rainy day fund to cover unforeseen circumstances.
4. Pay Attention to the Extra Space
As houses are generally larger than apartments, you will probably need more furniture to fill your new home. Take note of the measurements and layouts of the main rooms in your house before you move in. You can then use an online room planning tool to position your furniture before moving in. This way you can plan ahead and you’ll know what needs to be purchased before move in day.
5. Visualize Your Outdoor Space
Usually, apartment owners don’t need to think about garden maintenance. So you may have to think about purchasing new tools you need to get before moving to a home like gardening tools, lawnmowers, sprinklers, and any other outdoor items such as a grill, seating or an outdoor fire pit. Does your new home have a pool? Consider what needs to be purchased for the maintenance of a pool.
6. Change the Locks and Make Spare Keys
Previous owners of your home may have shared keys with neighbors, friends, or maintenance workers and not received them all back.
For this reason, you may want to consider having new locks and keys made for your home, since it’s a relatively inexpensive task and it can be done by a locksmith.
Also, make sure to have a spare key made and leave it with someone you trust in case you ever lock yourself out.
7. Check That Your Home is Fully Covered
It’s important to make sure that your chosen home insurance policy covers all the things that you need it to. A bigger space means more stuff that needs to be covered. If you have any jewelry, art or musical instruments you might need extra valuable items coverage.
For more information get in touch with your chosen insurance provider.
8. Collect Recommendations for Maintenance Professionals
It’s great to get organized so ask around for recommendations for plumbers, electricians, appliance repair people and other professionals so you don’t have to scramble to find a plumber in an emergency. Before you need them is the best time to ask friends, family and neighbors.
9. Hire Some Help
So maybe you’ve chosen to take the more budget-friendly option and stay clear from a professional moving company. No problem, that can be a great way to save money. You will just have a few other things to keep in mind.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve decided to buy a trailer, rent a pick-up truck, or use a portable storage container to move your belongings from an apartment to a house. No matter which you choose, you’ve got to unload boxes one way or the other. If you’re lucky enough to have friends or family in the area, ask them for some help.
But maybe you’re in a brand new state and you know no one, so you can hire some professional help to help you. You can do this from services such as HireAHelper, an affordable service that sends local professional helpers to unload your boxes for you.
Having an extra pair of hands on board can help you focus on the things that really matter and help alleviate some of the moving-day stresses.
10. Gather Items for a “First Day Box”
Is there anything worse than getting to a new home and having to eat subway off an unpacked box for your first meal?
Put together a “First Day Box” that contains all of the essentials so you don’t have to spend time rummaging through all the boxes thinking “Which box did I put the forks in?”.
Some things to consider are toilet paper, dinnerware, paper plates, trash bags and essential toiletries. Having them all in one place will make your first day and night in your new home a nicer experience.
After the Move
Use this checklist of to-do’s to ensure an easy first few days after your move from an apartment to a house is complete.
1. Get to Know Your House
Familiarize yourself with your home’s heating and electrical systems. Label the breakers in your fuse box, if it hasn’t already been done by a previous owner, so you know which one to reset if you blow a fuse.
2. Learn How to Shut Off the Main Water Valve
Household appliances can cause water damage, and an accident like this can be an extremely costly repair. In certain instances, it can also be easily avoided if you know how to shut off the main water valve.
As a new homeowner, make sure you know the location of the water valve in your house and learn how to shut it off.
3. Write and Schedule Your Maintenance List
It’s easy to take for granted all the maintenance your apartment complex took care of. As these jobs will longer be automatically done, you should compile a list right from the start, to prevent these maintenance jobs from being forgotten.
Some suggestions of annual maintenance jobs would be; a termite inspection, a chimney clean, plumbing inspection and service and maintenance of the heating and cooling systems within the house.
4. Fire Protection
Check if smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are installed, and make sure to test if they work. Aim to test your fire and carbon monoxide alarms once per month. If you have more than one story, you may want to consider purchasing a roll-up ladder.
Here’s one that we recommend, it is one of the most affordable ladders on Amazon, and it can hold up to 1,000 pounds.
5. Keep Records of Everything
The improvements you make can increase the resale value of your home. Try to keep track of the paperwork for all the maintenance and home improvements that you undertake. Make sure to file and document the paperwork in a safe place for future use. If something breaks or if there is a product recall, it can be helpful to have the paperwork or instruction manuals on hand.
6. Meet Your Neighbors
Take some time to meet your new neighbors. Don’t be afraid to knock on their door and introduce yourself, exchange contact information too so you can help one another if someone is out of town.
Having a good relationship with your neighbor means that they’ll look out for you. For instance, they may notify you of unfamiliar cars in your driveway when you’re out of town, helping to prevent burglaries.
7. Explore and Enjoy Your New Neighborhood
Discovering and driving around your new neighborhood is such an exciting part of moving. Finding a new favorite restaurant or exploring the nearest park.
Getting out and about and meeting people in the community is the best way to help your new location begin to feel like home. Enjoy it!
I hope this guide for moving from an apartment to a house alleviates some of the pressures that come with moving from renting to owning.
There’s a lot to look forward to when you own your own house, and it shouldn’t have to be such a stressful time. Enjoy your new house, and happy moving!