This post was contributed by our friends at Ladder.
If you’re a family with young children, summer is a prime time to focus on buying a new home, so you can get everything squared away before the start of the school year.
Once you’ve found your home, done the inspections, figured out your financing and closed the deal, here are 4 things you may want to consider to make your transition as smooth as possible.
1. Replace keys and locks
Your home is your castle and you want to make sure it’s safe. Consider updating all the locks on your new home so you don’t have to worry about old keys floating around with people you don’t know. Installing new door hardware can be fairly simple, and simple door knobs and deadbolts can be found at most hardware stores, making replacement a DIY job. After you install your new locks, make enough keys so you can leave backups in safe places. Also give a key to someone you trust so you don’t have to pay oodles for a locksmith if you lock yourself out as you get used to your new routine.
Depending on your location, this is also a great time to consider installing home security features such as alarm systems or doorbell cameras.
2. Kid-proof your home
If you have small children or pets at home, spend some time identifying potential dangers and addressing them. Keep cleaning chemicals in cabinets with secure latches and check cords on blinds and window treatments to make sure they are not within reach of children who may get tangled Putting bumpers on furniture and making sure larger pieces are anchored to the wall in case of earthquakes are also good ideas. It can be helpful to switch out outlet covers or use outlet plugs to make sure the wrong objects don’t wind up in an electrical socket. Create a fire plan for your new home, and make sure your family knows where to go if there is a fire, and where the fire extinguishers are located. It’s also a great time to brush up on how to effectively use a fire extinguisher. For pets, make sure to minimize the number of exposed cords or wet spots (pools) or hot spots (e.g., electric heaters) that pose a risk.
3. Update your address
Not only do you want friends and family to mail you at your new home, you also want to make sure important things like DMV notices, bills, and mortgage reminders are sent to the correct address. Your local post office usually offers a mover’s guide and you can request an official change of address with the US Postal Service. Don’t forget that mail forwarding ends after a certain amount of time, so sending a change of address email or card to those you want to hear from is a good idea.
4. Revisit your life insurance coverage
While you’re finalizing your home purchase and homeowners insurance, take a look at your life insurance plan to ensure that your family will have the financial stability it needs to enjoy a long and memorable life in your new home. Your life insurance coverage needs usually depend on the size of your mortgage, your income, the value of your other assets that help support that mortgage, and some individual preferences. Having life insurance that covers at least the balance owed on your mortgage ensures that your partner won’t have to shoulder the burden of large monthly mortgage payments if something happens to you. Your family would receive a lump sum payment that could be used to pay off your entire mortgage.
If you’ve been putting life insurance off for a while, your new mortgage is a great reason to get covered. The benefits of doing so are many, including invaluable peace of mind as you settle into your new home, knowing that your family will be financially secure.
With Ladder, getting and managing life insurance is simple. Apply in 5 minutes online and get an instant decision. If approved, you’ll enjoy reliable coverage with maximum flexibility. With just a few clicks, you can lower or apply to increase your coverage as needed. Ladder’s calculator makes it easy to figure out how much coverage you might want to get.
Check off some of these homeowner to-dos and rest easy with these long summer evenings. More importantly, enjoy making memories in your new home.