There’re a num­ber of things you need to do when mov­ing into your own house

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

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.

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