After the Move: 6 Mistakes First-Time Homeowners Must Avoid

Finding a house, applying for a mortgage, closing the deal, relocating all of your belongings—you’re finally done with all of these steps and are now officially a homeowner. But wait, the struggle is not over yet (unfortunately). There are still a lot of things to do before you get settled into your new home. With that, it pays to avoid the mistakes that can make this process unnecessarily longer.

Here are some of the most common mistakes that first-time homeowners make after moving in—and how you can avoid them:

1. Buying every piece of furniture you need at once

Furniture is more expensive than you think. Unless you have a bottomless bank account, you might want to wait before buying every piece of furniture that you need. Either that or buy one at a time, starting with the pieces that you need the most. After all, your finances are probably still reeling from paying the down payment, closing costs, and moving expenses (and everything in between)—you don’t need to add more strain to your bank accounts by splurging on furniture that you probably don’t need right away.

2. Going overboard with décor

You’re excited about your new home, and rightfully so. That said, you may be tempted to blow a good chunk of your budget on décor. But similar to overspending on furniture, now may not be the right time to make unnecessary expenses—at least until you get settled into your new home.

However, you don’t have to abstain from buying home décor completely—just make sure you have a reasonable budget for it. You can also shop at discount stores, buy refurbished pieces, or make use of what you already have. Don’t worry, you’ll make your house feel like home soon enough, so don’t be too eager to spend a lot of money on décor just yet.

3. Not doing an inspection

A home inspection was already done before you bought the home, so why do you need to inspect your home again? For starters, a home inspection is not perfect. There may be some things that the inspector missed and thus did not put in the home inspection report. Although it is unlikely that they would miss anything major, little things may have gone unnoticed.

With that in mind, take the time to go around your home and scrutinize every nook and cranny. Look for potential repairs or signs of brewing problems. For example, there may be a teeny tiny leak in the upstairs bathroom that did not make it into the home inspection report. If you spot the problem soon enough, you can prevent it from getting worse and not have to pay for any expensive repair bills.

4. Not socializing with the neighbors

There’s nothing wrong with not wanting to socialize with the neighbors, but you should at least introduce yourself as the new owners of the home. It’s common courtesy and can help you integrate into the neighborhood faster. But mostly, it is for your own safety. If the neighbors know you, they can tell you apart from strangers and thus be able to alert you if anyone is trespassing on your property.

Furthermore, if something happens to you inside the house, they will notice if you’re suddenly not coming outside and can alert the authorities if needed.

5. Not changing the locks

Changing the locks should be the first thing on your to-do list after moving in. If there are copies of the keys out there, anyone would be able to enter your home.

6. Not helping your pet integrate

No matter how busy you are with unpacking, don’t forget to pay special attention to your pets. It’s not only you that has gone through a major life change—pets also feel stress if they are in an unfamiliar environment, and they may start experiencing negative health effects if you don’t help them integrate into the new home.

Here are some tips to help your pet get settled in:

  • Allow them to sniff every corner of the house to familiarize themselves with their new home
  • Try to maintain their old routine as much as possible (feeding times, bathroom times, etc.)
  • Set up their own space to give them a small territory; you can put their bed here, along with their toys and other belongings
  • Walk them around the new neighborhood at least once a day

Moving can be a particularly stressful event in one’s life. But now that the hardest part is over, you can start getting settled into your new home. In doing so, avoid these mistakes after moving in so that you can adjust to your new environment much faster.