Moving from an apartment to a house is a major transition that requires careful planning and preparation. Whether you’re moving for more space, an expanding family, or just a change of scenery, there are a few things to consider before upsizing. We’ve compiled a list of six actionable steps that can help make the move from an apartment to a house easier.
1. Make a list of renovations to complete before the move: If you know that your new home will require fresh paint, new flooring, or other interior improvements, note these changes and plan to get started on them as soon as possible. As soon as you have access to your new home, work on getting these projects done before moving in your belongings. Doing so will save you the hassle of relocating or covering your furniture during renovations.
2. Remember to save money for home repairs: A house will usually require more upkeep than an apartment, both short and long-term, especially if you are purchasing the home. Unexpected events are bound to happen, often costing you money out-of-pocket. Because home repairs can be expensive, it is vital to set aside money for emergencies.
3. Make a note of room dimensions: Since houses are generally larger than apartments, you’ll probably need more furniture to fill up your more spacious new home. Jotting down the measurements of the main rooms of your house before moving in will you help you plan ahead for furniture placement. Draw a rough floorplan or plug the specs into an online room planning tool to make this task even easier.
4. Prepare for landscaping tasks: Because apartment owners aren’t typically responsible for outdoor maintenance, you may need to purchase a few tools before moving into your new home. These items could include a lawnmower, rakes, hoses, sprinklers, gardening tools, and other outdoor items.
5. Consider changing the locks: The previous owners of the house may have handed out keys to anyone from friends to maintenance workers—and they probably didn’t get them all back. To be on the safe side, consider having new locks installed. Doing this is relatively easy and inexpensive, and if you’re the do-it-yourself type, you can probably tackle the project yourself.
6. Complete a thorough home inspection: Possibly the most crucial step you can take before moving into a new home is to complete a full home inspection to check for any structural, electrical, or systematic issues. The home inspector should inspect your home well before your move-in date. This step is usually required by law and financial institutions during the home purchasing process anyway. If you need to make any repairs after the inspection, ask your new neighbors or local friends for professional recommendations in your area. Even if you’re going to be renting, you can still hire a home inspector. At the very least, inspect the home yourself with a critical eye, noting any problems on the tenant checklist.
While you’re preparing for this exciting new chapter in your life, don’t forget to set up utility services at your new address and have the post office forward all your mail. In addition to completing the mail forwarding form, you should individually update your address on important correspondence such as bank statements, credit card bills, and insurance statements. Moving can be stressful but planning and preparing in advance will ensure that your local move goes as smoothly as possible.