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Buying a House – What You Need to Do Before You Move

Buying a House

Moving into a rental is stressful enough, but if you happen to be buying a house and planning a move, your list of things you need to do is multiplied. Even if you have a couple of months to prepare, there are often a lot of little tasks that are forgotten. Your mind is already occupied with work, family, and other responsibilities, so it is natural to become overwhelmed when you add on the stress that comes with buying a house, too.

Buying a House

Assuming that you have already found your dream house and have been approved by a lender, there are still a lot of little steps before you take over ownership.

  • Hire a qualified home inspector.
  • Start a homeowner’s insurance policy, if you don’t already have one to transfer.
  • Shop for title insurance.
  • Hire an attorney for the closing process.
  • Obtain a certified check for your down payment.
  • Ask your lender for a detailed list of closing costs, and take the time to review them.
  • During the final walkthrough check all appliances, turn on faucets, flush toilets, and test outlets, heat, air conditioning, and smoke detectors. If there are any issues, negotiate a closing credit for repairs.

Moving Responsibilities

  • Register children at new school, if applicable.
  • Look for a new doctor, dentist, daycare facility, vet, etc.
  • Schedule utilities to transfer or be turned on in the new place.
  • Take measurements to make sure furniture you have or buy will fit.
  • Go through all rooms in your home, and donate, sell, or trash items you don’t need. If time allows, have a garage sale.
  • Schedule a change of address with the post office.
  • Obtain free boxes for packing from local restaurants, bars, and stores.
  • Dismantle large items early, so you are not overwhelmed close to moving day. This includes the swing set, trampoline, above ground pool, hot tub, and home gym.
  • Cancel or transfer newspaper and magazine subscriptions.
  • Deal with hazardous waste.
  • Have car serviced, if you are making a long move.
  • Make sure you have all prescription medications you need to get through the move and transfer prescriptions to a new pharmacy if moving out-of-town.
  • Do not wait until the last minute to start packing. There are a lot of things you do not use that can likely be packed away.
  • Compare rates, choose your movers, and schedule your moving date.
  • Arrange to have trash picked up in your new place.
  • Pack an essentials box for every family member to get them through the first day after a move. Always pack more than what you need for babies.
  • Arrange to drop your children and pets to someone until the movers are done, if possible.
  • Make sure you have healthy snacks packed with your essentials boxes, so you are not tempted to binge on unhealthy options.

Although this list gives you a good idea of things you need to do every person has a unique situation. The single most important thing you can do is create your own detailed list that you can check off as tasks are completed. You will want to add to this list as you think of things too. Not a buyer? We have a similar helpful guide for renters, as well.


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Unpakt Team