After the hard work of finding and moving into the perfect home, you’re finally ready for the best part: exploring your new neighborhood and city! Here’s what you should do in your first week, month, and year in a new place to help make it your home sweet home.
You probably had the essentials switched over to your name so you wouldn’t be without them on move-in day. But you’ll need to make appointments for other services, like cable or home security, right after you move in. Other essentials may also have slipped off your radar, like neighborhood trash pickup dates, suggests Michael Kelczewski, a real estate agent with Brandywine Fine Properties Sotheby’s International Realty in Wilmington, DE.
“No matter how organized you are, there will be items, like extension cords and towel rods, that you will need to pick up quickly to make sure that you feel settled,” says Joan Kagan, sales manager at TripleMint Real Estate in New York, NY. Your first week is the best time to seek out these essentials and more. You’ll no doubt become well-acquainted with the nearby hardware store, but you’ll also want to stock that new fridge at the local grocery store, make friends with the barista at the neighborhood coffee shop, and hit the closest post office to have your mail forwarded.
“This will give you some comfort in knowing who is around you,” says Pat Eberle of RASO Realty in Cape Coral, FL. “Neighbors are a great resource for [discovering] where all the local hot spots are, where to go for necessary services, and more. If you have children, this will also help them meet the neighborhood kids their age and start making friends.”
Nextdoor and neighborhood or community groups on Facebook are an easy way to start following what’s happening in your new neighborhood. A subscription to the local city magazine can’t hurt either. “This way, you can stay on top of community events, safety issues, and meet more neighbors!” says Lisa Sinn, a real estate agent with Keller Williams in San Antonio, TX. Want to untether from the laptop? Head to your local library or coffee shop and scope out the bulletin boards for upcoming events or local businesses to try.
Before you jump into those home improvement projects, make sure they’re not against the rules of your homeowners’ association (HOA) or local zoning laws. If you live in a historic district, you may even have to get your paint colors approved! And be careful not to overlook those easy-to-forget loose ends. “During your home-buying process, there are lots of deadlines and time frames to be aware of,” explains Eberle. “After closing, you will also need to check on items like your property taxes, can you request a homestead exemption, etc.”