Congratulations on your new Orange County home! While we do everything we can to make home-buying as easy a process as possible, you still have to move in. And that’s something you and your family need to do on your own. To make that go easier, here are the top 10 things to do.
1. Inspect the home.
We know you’ve already gone on a walk-thru with one of our staff. And we do our best to make sure that the space you move into is spic and span. But it won’t hurt to go on a private inspection just before you move in. Make sure that we’ve adequately addressed any issues you initially pointed out. Look for any last-minute concerns that need to take care of, such as a spot of dirt here or a non-working smoke detector there. If you uncover any problems that you can’t address quickly, let the management office know.
2. While you’re at it, check the utilities.
You did remember to sign up for utility services so they’re turned on before move-in day, right? Make sure they’re all working. Turn on light switches, run a faucet or two, check the cable TV, and browse the Internet.
3. Install the window coverings.
Unless you want to reveal the inner workings of your family to the neighbors, make sure the window coverings are installed before the move. You can then always pull down the shades when you want a bit of privacy.
4. Unpack with a plan.
If you organize your unpacking, you’ll make your house into a home faster. Take care of the kids and pets first by first unpacking rooms in which they can stay out of way. Then do the bathrooms because you’ll need them throughout the day. Bedrooms will give you a place to retreat to in the evening. Save the kitchen for last because it is the most complex area to organize and you can always eat out.
5. Childproof the home.
Depending on the age of your children, use protective gates at the top and bottom of stairs, install safety latches in the cabinets and drawers, and put covers on the outlets. Attach bookcases, dressers, and other heavy furniture to walls using brackets, so they can’t fall over.
6. Read the rules.
If your neighborhood has an HOA it might take care of your front landscaping but you’re responsible for your backyard. These rules are all spelled out in the CC&Rs (Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions.) Read them thoroughly, so you know what your rights and responsibilities are.
7. Update your documents.
Update the information for your driver’s license, car registration, and voter registration. Forms for these are available online.
8. Case the community.
Check out your new community by walking or driving around. Look for the nearest grocery stores, restaurants, ATMs, gas stations, hospitals, shopping centers, and playground. Find out how long it takes to drive to the nearest freeway entrance or to your child’s school.
9. Say hi to the neighbors.
If the neighbors haven’t greeted you yet, go say “hi” to them. If you need an ice-breaker, ask them to recommend some great restaurants nearby or where your kids should be meeting the school bus.
An open house or housewarming is the traditional way to publicize your new home.
Please contact us if you want more moving tips or want to tour our developments.