4 Things to Do Immediately After Buying a Property
As soon as you've signed your name on the paperwork to become the new owner of a property, your business isn't done. You'll still need to handle a lot of administrative tasks to protect yourself, your property and your rights as a property owner. Follow this list of four things to do immediately after acquiring a property.
1. Obtain Insurance
No matter what type of property you've just purchased, you need to insure it. Property owner's insurance provides you with liability coverage if someone gets hurt while on your property. If they were to file a lawsuit, and you didn't have insurance, they could come after your personal assets. Those assets include the property you just purchased. Homeowner's insurance and business insurance provide coverage for the structure and its contents. If you have valuable items or rare items, you'll need a rider for the insurance policy. If the home is located in a flood, hurricane or earthquake zone, you'll need separate insurance policies for those potential disasters.
2. Get Utilities Connected
Once the property is yours, you'll need to contact the utility companies and have them connect your services. You'll also need to contact the city to set up the water and sewer service in your name. Don't forget to have internet service set up in your new home. If you package the utilities, such as cable, data, phone and internet, you could save money.
3. Change the Locks
It's impossible to know how many people the previous owner may have given a key to, so you should have a locksmith come to change the locks as soon as you gain ownership of the property. Be sure to change all the exterior locks as well as the lock between an attached garage and the house. You should also change the passcode on the garage door opener. If the home has a built-in safe, have its combination changed.
4. Update Your Address and Forward Your Mail
You'll need to fill out a change of address form with the post office. This allows the United States Postal Service to forward mail from your old address to your new property for one year. You should also update every account with your new address. This includes any accounts where you shop online and have items delivered. All billing accounts for your phone, subscription services, credit and debit cards, bank accounts and your driver's license should also be updated. Remember to register to vote based on your new address.