What to do when your purchase is complete

The stress and strain of buying a home is well documented. And it doesn't always end once the keys are in your hands.

The days, weeks and months after moving day involve long to-do lists and many hours.

But some early preparation can pay off and at Parkers, we're always on hand to help.

Take a look at our guide to the most important things you'll need to do once your purchase is complete.

Take out insurance

Protecting your new home and the things inside it is hugely important.

Start looking at buildings and contents insurance policies as soon as you can after moving in.

If the lovely things you have placed in your dream home became damaged or stolen, you would be rightly devastated so ensuring they are protected provides great peace of mind.

But insurance is easily forgotten as the stress of moving in takes hold, particularly if you are a first-time buyer and used to your landlord providing a buildings insurance policy.

Know where the meters are

You'll need to take meter readings for gas and electricity as soon as you can, particularly if you are looking to switch providers to save money.

As soon as you move in, have a look to see where the meters are located and take some readings for the property's current energy providers.

If you have trouble finding the meters, contact your local Parkers branch who may be able to help.

And most importantly, find out where the water stopcock is. A leak can be devastating and knowing how to shut off the supply quickly is vital.

Fire alarm testing

Perhaps at the same time as seeking out the energy meters, make a point of testing any existing smoke alarms in your new home. Not doing so simply isn't worth the risk and testing early on will make sure you can have working smoke alarms fitted throughout your home from day one.

Get the locks changed

As the latest owner of the property, you can never be sure when the locks were last changed or who still has keys to the property. With that in mind, calling in a locksmith to change the locks can be a good idea. It is an expense, yes, but at Parkers we believe it is money well spent, particularly for properties boasting many owners and those that haven’t had new locks for a number of years

Take time with major work

Buyers can be tempted to rush when it comes to major work at their new homes.

It's understandable. After all, you want to make the property your own as soon as you can.

But a patient approach when it comes to big jobs can pay off.

If you are bringing in the experts to do work for you, take some time to get quotes and investigate the contractors. Are they recommended on sites such as TrustPilot or Checkatrade?

If you are planning to undertake work yourself, work out how long it will realistically take you and draw up a budget plan.

Your local Parkers office will be happy to put you in touch with their contacts (plumbers, electricians etc) if needed.

Look after your boiler...

... and your boiler will look after you. While the sellers of your new home may have had the boiler serviced prior to your purchase, consider a service contract with a reputable contractor.

The boiler is probably the most important part of your house, especially when winter bites hard, and they can be costly to replace.

Looking after them is key and the best way to do that can be taking on a service contract.

As with anything, consider the options and obtain some quotes before making any decision.

Do a deep clean

One way to make a property feel like home straight away is to undertake a deep clean. While your new home may have been left spotless by the previous owners, the chances are they didn't bring in the professionals prior to completion day.

For a rather modest sum, you can engage a local, recommended cleaning company to perform a deep clean on your new home, ridding it of any dirt or grime not visible to the naked eye.

Parkers doesn't recommend you try this yourself - professional cleaners have professional kit and know all the tricks of the trade to bring your home up to scratch.

Early decorating

While major work, as we said above, requires a more patient approach, if you are planning to simply decorate your new home with a lick of paint it can save a lot of time and effort to do this early on.

Building a bed only to collapse it a week later so you can paint is wasted energy at a stressful enough time - consider a few nights with the mattress on the floor so you can paint before unpacking and building lumpy furniture like beds. You (and your back) will be thankful, we promise!

Take a look around

Take some time to explore the area you have moved to. You'll need to know where things like the doctor's surgery and dentist are and, even though you probably took a tour around when viewing your new home, it's unlikely you would have had time to find these key people.

As well as the two surgeries, also take some time to try out some coffee shops or bistros - moving to a new area is a fun and exciting time and discovering new social gems is just as important as knowing where your new doctor is!

Does everyone know where you are?

As well as informing your bank, building society, child's school or mobile phone provider of your new address, make a list of the people you know who will need to be aware you have moved.

Parkers recommends you sign up for Royal Mail redirection which will ensure none of your mail ends up in someone else's hands. Once you have received a few months of post and informed everyone you forgot to tell when you moved, you can cancel.

Everybody needs good neighbours

When all the unpacking is done and everything above sorted and in place, pop around to say hello to your neighbours.

Having a good relationship with the people around you can make your time in your new home as pleasant as you would have hoped.

And if you need someone to feed your cat while you take a well-earned holiday, being on good terms with the people next door could mean Tabby remains well fed while you relax in the sun!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact your local Parkers branch who will be happy to help.

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