There’re a number of things you need to do when moving into your own house
MOVING into a new home can be daunting, especially if you are firsttime home buyer.
To help smooth the way there are a few things to do when you walk through the door, says Dr Simphiwe Madikizela, head of special projects at FNB Housing Finance. “Take a few steps back, decide on a plan and don’t rush yourself – this will put you in a good position to enjoy your new home.”
It is unlikely that your home will ever be completely empty again, so once you have the keys and step into your place for the first time, take some time to go through all the spaces.
Go through each room and clean any dust or dirt in hard to get places. It is also a good time to examine the structure carefully for any issues you may have overlooked when viewing. This includes any problem areas with the floors, walls and built-in cupboards. Be sure to keep a note of any issues
Before any of your household goods arrive decide which room certain boxes and furniture need to go into. When the furniture van arrives assign those boxes to those areas, which will make unpacking simpler.
Furniture is a big expense, and the first instinct in the excitement of buying a new home is to rush out and buy everything in one go.
Madikizela says this is a temptation to be avoided at all costs as not only is it a fast track to indebtedness, but furniture should be build up over a long period. You need to choose pieces that go with your home, and fit your own style, not bought all at one store, on hire purchase.
“As long as you have the very basics, such as a place to sleep and somewhere to sit, the rest can come later,” he says.
Introducing yourself to your neighbours is important. It’s a good way to keep an extra set of eyes on your place, and can warn you about things such as a gate left open or any suspicious activity. It is also important to establish a relationship to sort out any possible problems, such as noise levels, before they become an issue.
“You will probably be living in your street and with your neighbours for several years,” says Madikizela. “So make an effort to introduce yourself and exchange phone numbers for a good start to this relationship.”
You can’t inherit a municipal rates account, so one will need to be opened in your name. An account should be automatically opened when the property is registered at the deeds office, but it is your responsibility to open the water and lights accounts. “Opening an account is your responsibility and should be done as soon as possible. It could result in a bill shock if you wait too long,” says Madikizela.