Published: 01/06/2023Before you organise the house-warming, let’s get homeownership off to a smooth start. Here are the first 12 things to tick off after moving into your new place.
- Start with the quick and easy things, like taking meter readings, finding the fuse box and saying hi to the neighbours
- Then get stuck in with changing your address, browsing energy deals and organising insurance
- Track your home to see how its value is changing and what the neighbours are selling for
The stressful part is definitely over. But there are still a few things you can do to finish off your move and kickstart your new chapter.
So put the kettle on (or pour the champagne), grab a pen and paper, and get comfy in your new lounge.
Let’s start ticking things off the to-do list after moving into your new home.
The quick wins
You’ll whizz through these small but essential tasks – they take just a few minutes each.
Bonus points if you can get them done the day you get there (but we totally get it if you just need to crash).
1. Take meter readings
You don’t want to end up paying for the last owners’ usage, so check your meter readings as soon as you can.
Jot them down and contact the current suppliers to tell them you’ve moved in.
Taking gas and electricity meter readings
You might be thinking about switching providers (more on that later) but first up, send your gas and electricity readings to the current supplier.
You’ll have separate meters for gas and electricity. There are different types of meters, but they all work in broadly the same way.
They’re normally located in boxes outside your home, under the stairs or in kitchen cupboards.
If the previous owners didn’t tell you which suppliers they’re with, you can check your energy supplier online. It’s even easier if the previous owners left you a smart meter.
The supplier will automatically get the latest readings through, so you just need to let them know you’ve moved in.
Taking a water meter reading
Whether you’re on a water meter or not, you’ll need to take a reading and send it to the supplier.
Most water meters are fitted outside. It’ll be under a small metal or plastic cover in your driveway, garden or a nearby footpath.
Write down all the numbers you see on the odometer, including any with a black background.
If you are not on a water meter, it could be an option to save you money. Anyone can get one and it means you’ll only pay for what you use.
2. Find the fuse box and water valve
Get your bearings with your fuse box so you can turn the electricity on if it trips or off in an emergency. It’s usually located in the utility room, porch or cupboard under the stairs.
The same goes for your water valve, so you can turn the supply off if you ever have a leak or a burst pipe. It’s normally under the kitchen sink or in the airing cupboard.
3. Give the whole house a good once-over
Take a good look around your new home and check everything’s in order. Keep an eye out for anything that looks faulty or that you didn’t expect to be there.
You’re winning if you find:
- old tins of paint that match the colours on the walls
- spare bits of carpet or tiles from a renovation job
- instruction manuals and warranties for electrical items and white goods
- the thermostat
- light switches or plugs that aren’t working
- windows and doors with missing keys or broken locks
- leftover belongings or mess from the previous owner that you need to get rid of
4. Check your bin day
With boxes piling up and more rubbish than you can shake a stick at, you won’t want to miss your first bin day.
Find your local council to check the waste and recycling schedule
5. Say hi to the neighbours
Don’t be shy. Everyone appreciates a new neighbour popping in to say hello and introduce themselves.
It’s a great way to feel part of the community right away. And you might pick up some tips about the local area.
We’re not saying you have to be best pals, but knowing your neighbours definitely comes with its benefits. You could take deliveries for each other or keep an eye on each other’s homes when you’re on holiday.
6. Track your home’s value
Want to check how good your deal *really* was?
Head to My Home to see how your property’s value has changed and what it sold for in the past.
Explore what’s on the market nearby and what your neighbours’ homes are worth.
And keep an eye on the local housing market with the latest data and unique insights, just for you.
The bigger things
Now you’re in the mood, let’s get stuck into some of the meatier things to do once you’ve moved in.
If you’ve bought your home with someone else, it can be a good idea to work through this list together. That way, you can agree on the next steps and split up the responsibilities.
7. Tell everyone about your change of address
Change your address to make sure your details are up to date and you don’t miss any important post.
You’ll need to change your address for:
- your workplace
- your bank/s and credit card companies
- your insurance companies, including car, contents and life
- your private pension company
- your doctor
- your dentist
- the local council
- the electoral roll
- TV Licensing
- DVLA (for your drivers licence)
- HMRC (for national insurance, income tax, state pension, tax credits and Child Benefit)
8. Set up your broadband and TV
If you’re super organised, you might have already sorted your broadband before you moved.
But don’t worry if not – you can still do it now. You might just have to wait a week or so to get it set up.
Broadband prices are almost always cheaper for new customers than existing customers. So switching your broadband when you move home could be the way to go.
Or, if you’re happy with your package and you’re still in contract, you can save money on a termination fee by sticking with your existing provider.
Most will let you transfer it to your new home, as long as they have coverage in your area.
9. Get insured
You might’ve already sorted buildings insurance, as most mortgage lenders require you to have it in place from the date of exchange.
But if not, it’s a good place to start. Buildings insurance covers the bricks, mortar and windows of your home. It also covers any permanent fixtures and fittings, such as bathroom suites and kitchens.
You’ll also need to sort contents insurance, which covers everything that’s not fixed in your home.
If you already have contents insurance, you might just want to change your address and add any new belongings to your policy. But it could be worth shopping around to see if a new deal offers better value.
10. Switch energy providers
Moving home is a good time to look into new energy suppliers and deals. The current energy market might mean it’s hard to find any better deals, but it’s still worth a look.
There’s no obligation to stay with the current supplier. And you’ll have no exit fee as you’re automatically put on a deemed contract when you move in.
You can switch supplier or tariff from the day you become responsible for the property.
If you decide to switch, your new supplier will handle everything for you. They’ll let you know if they need a meter reading or anything else.
They should switch you within 15 working days. You’ll normally have to pay at least one bill with the current supplier.
11. Change the locks
There’s no way of knowing how many people have held keys to your home in the past.
So a lock change will give you certainty that your home is safe and secure.
You might want to change your window locks as well if you’re missing keys – or if you just want extra peace of mind.
12. Set your new budget
Moving home can be a step change, and that might mean you need to adjust your budget to fit.
Start with working out your new monthly mortgage payment as it’s probably your biggest outgoing each month.
After your mortgage, factor in the essential monthly costs for your home like:
- gas and electricity
- building and contents insurance
- phone and broadband
- TV licence
- other debts or loan payments
Then work in the rest of your must-pays, such as:
- health, life and pet insurance
- public transport
- car insurance, road tax, servicing and fuel
- food and household essentials
You might also want to set a budget for the fun things, like:
- extra TV subscriptions like Netflix, Prime or Sky
- eating out and takeaways
- activities and days out
- clothes and treats
Well done if you made it this far. All the admin is done and you can start on the fun stuff, like these quick ways to make your new place feel like home.
Now, how about that house-warming?