Once you’ve purchased a new home, there is a lot to do before you move in - schedule movers, pack up, change your billing address with banks and utility companies, and much more. It’s definitely a busy process leading up to the time you get to move into your newly-built home.
It is no surprise at this hectic time, the less obvious tasks regarding inspections, clarification on warranty and how your home’s systems work, maintenance, etc. can fall by the wayside. For this reason, we have listed a few friendly reminders of things you should do prior to your possession date.
1. Inspect Your Home Before Possession
An important step towards taking possession of your home will be the inspection in last few days leading up to moving in. While they want to have the pleasure of touring you through your new home, it’s not only so they can see the smile on your faces.
Firstly, they want to demonstrate to you how the different components of your homework - such as the thermostat, furnace, and hot water heater. You’ll also have new appliances you’ll need to know how to operate, maintain and service, such as a washer and dryer, and dishwasher.
Secondly, the builder needs to ensure every detail of the home is completed the way you had requested them to be. They will provide you with an inspection sheet during your walk through - anything that requires attention will be indicated on this document, which you will sign at the end of the tour.
If you see even minor corrections that need your builder’s attention, be sure to write it down. Smaller issues will be taken care of before you move in, with larger items being fixed as soon as possible (but likely after you move in). There are plenty of checklists online to give you a few suggestions as to what to look for.
The written inspection sheet will remove any debate later about who is responsible for fixing an issue with the home.
2. Know The Nuts and Bolts
Regardless of what kind of home you purchase, whether new or resale, it’s important to have a good understanding of how your home works. The better you know how to use the systems and appliances, the easier it will be to adapt and know what to do in the event something isn’t working quite right.
There is another valuable reason for educating yourself on how your newly built home works - avoiding the risk of invalidating your new home warranty. This protection will save you money should anything malfunction or simply stop working. However, should you break your hot water tank because you didn’t know how to operate it properly; the builder will not cover these damages. Avoid costly repairs because you didn’t know how to work something - learn the basics.
As mentioned above, your builder will instruct you how to use these during the inspection prior to taking possession of your home. However, if the excitement of moving into your new home caused you to miss out on some important details, never fear! Your home builder will provide you with a homeowner’s guide that will outline all the important information you need about your home and how to maintain it properly.
3. Post-Possession Processes
What do you do if an issue arises with the home after you’ve moved in? Will it be covered from faulty construction or malfunctioning components? Not to worry; as long as the issue was not caused by the homeowner’s misuse or from general wear and tear (as mentioned above), your new home warranty will protect you from paying for costly repairs.
Consult with your home builder to learn the process for dealing with these after-sales service issues. Because the first year is when a new home typically settles, there may be some minor repairs required. This is completely normal so there is no need for concern. They will advise you at to what types of issues may arise, as well as how quickly you can expect them to fix it.
Unless it’s an emergency, you can usually expect minor issues to be corrected fairly quickly, while larger repairs may require some time to schedule contractors to perform the work.
4. Take Care
A new home is arguably the largest purchase you will ever make, so it’s important to take care of it. Doing so will maximize your enjoyment of your home, as well as increase its value when it comes time to sell.
In addition to ensuring you understand how to use the heating, electrical and water systems and other appliances in your home, you will want to be aware of seasonal tasks you can complete to ensure it is well-maintained. This could be as simple as testing your fire detector regularly or checking your furnace filter on a monthly basis, or as big as cleaning eavestroughs annually.
The timeframe leading up to the possession of your new home can feel quite hectic and rushed. Despite how pressed for time you may feel, be sure to spare some in favour of learning to operate and maintain your home. Not only will this keep your home running smoothly, but most importantly, provide you with some well-deserved peace of mind.