You’ve done it. You’ve gone and bought your very first home, look at you go. Now that you have a place to actually call your own, it’s time to tick off a few extra items and make sure everything’s in check.
Lifehacker has partnered with BPAY to make your financial life a little bit easier, whether you’re buying a home or going on a holiday.
Here are eight things you should consider doing after purchasing your first home.
#1 Do a big clean
Before you fill your new pad with all of your stuff, you should consider doing a nice big clean of the whole place. Even if it’s just a once-over to ensure you’re getting the freshest possible start and to properly sanitise your new living space. It’s not a bad idea to have this done professionally if you don’t mind spending the money.
An initial deep clean will also give you an opportunity to look closely for any hidden damage or issues that might require attention before you start settling down.
#2 Change the locks
You probably don’t know the people you bought your house from very well, and there’s no way of knowing exactly how many copies of your new keys are floating around out there. For peace of mind, change the locks when you move in.
Better to be safe than sorry.
#3 Set up your utilities
Sort out all of the stuff you need to be connected, and preferably before you move in. You don’t want to move in and have no water, electricity or gas, so make sure you’re on top of all that as soon as possible.
Phone and internet also fall under this category, and while these might not be a necessity for staying alive, a week or two without a solid internet connection can be enough to drive you crazy. You might wanna consider lumping these in with the aforementioned essentials for your own sanity.
Once everything’s ready to go, make sure you stay on top of your bills because when you have a mortgage, copping late fees can throw your entire budget out of whack. Paying your bills with BPAY is a great way to stay on top of them. Not only is it an easy way to pay, but you can also set up scheduled payments so you can get on with the things you want to do.
#4 Be nice to the neighbours
Remember, you own this place and moving on isn’t going to be as simple as it was when you were renting, so make sure you have a functional relationship with the neighbours. I’m not saying you have to invite them over for dinner, just don’t keep them up at night because you decided that 2 am was a great time to pull out the death metal records.
Keeping neighbourhood feuds to an absolute minimum will ensure a peaceful existence for all.
#5 Make it your own
Spend some time moving stuff around and trying out different setups for each room. At the end of the day, you’ll want to maximise your space while having a configuration which feels right for how you live.
It’s your place, so make it the best it can be for you and your family.
#6 Stay on top of your mortgage
I mean, this is incredibly obvious, but worth drilling home regardless. Be sure to make your regular repayments on time and if you’re having trouble, always let your bank know.
#7 Make a realistic budget
If you were able to save for a house deposit, you’re probably already well-versed in the art of budgeting, but again, it’s always good to double-check these things.
Make sure you’re budgeting for bills and expenses as well as feeding a healthy savings account, even if it’s only small amounts. Having some emergency money at the ready will ensure you’re never caught out if things don’t go according to plan.
Above all, be realistic with your money and always live within your means.
#8 But remember to treat yourself
You’re a human being, and all work no play can make anyone go crazy, so it’s important to make time for yourself. Treat yourself to something nice every now and then, even if it’s only small.
Set fun goals alongside your serious ones, like saving for a big holiday or a new car. Whatever it is that floats your goat, working towards it will make working towards your other goals a little nicer.
At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you’re coping financially, so be sure to keep on top of all of your bills and repayments above everything else. Oh, and bin night. Don’t forget to put the bins out on bin night. Trust me.
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