Before Moving in to New Home Checklist of What to Do - Any Tips?

eldemilaAugust 18, 2009

We're waiting to hear if we'll get this short sale home we have an offer on. I'm trying to plan ahead, if we do get it, we'd have a quick closing and won't have too much time to "think" about what has to be done.

Would like to know if anyone who's moving, or recently moved made a good checklist of what they did after closing and before they moved in to their new home, what you may have forgotten to do, or wish you'd done before moving in.

So far, with this particular house and its condition I have:

Call electric, water and garbage p/u companies (will do phone at a later date as I won't be living there right away)

Change locks

Change code on garage door (don't think they have the remotes)


Chimney Sweep

Dumpster rental (lots of stuff to throw away)

Call glass/window company (few panes are broken)

Cleaning company (this house is filthy and needs 3 cleanings, this would be the first one!)

Post Office to forward mail (won't be living there for a while)

Call Fence company (needs to be fenced in)

The home needs work/remodeling so I won't be living in it for a while.

When we start living there I know the usual that has to be done, what I'm trying to find a good list for would be things that I need to make sure I do before we move in.

Thanks for any input/ideas!!

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You'll need water, electric, and garbage right away to do all the other things on the list, so don't put that off even though you won't be moving in.
Check with the waste removal company - one of ours would bring a dumpster up to twice a year on request as part of the regular paid service (no extra $$$), you just had to give them the drop off & pick up dates.

Also, I've never had good experiences with cleaning companies (I've tried at least 4 in different cities). Personal references have always worked out better for me. I had to hire a friend's housekeeper to clean up after a company that I called back twice, and I'm not even particularly fussy, just how hard can it be to pick up scraps of paper in an empty house?

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 11:25AM
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I'll have to check waste mgmt. We get 2 free p/u a year where I live but it has to be put out by the street. It would be great if they offer a dumpster AND it would be included!!!

Was going to find someone on CL to do the initial cleaning -figured after the fireplace/chimney cleaning and the fumigating and removal of carpets/floors, all the stuff they've left behind - it's going to need a good pre-cleaning. I can't work in there the way it is - filthy!

Then I can start with renovating, then will follow with another cleaning, more professional. Last cleaning will be before we totally move-in - by me.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 11:33AM
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Also check the window screens to see if they are intact or missing. Do you have working A/C in the house? I see you're in Florida, so you must. You should replace any kind of filters...sounds like they weren't very clean. If you have air ducts for your heating/cooling system, that might be another thing to have cleaned, given the level of other filth. What kind of remodeling are you doing?

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 4:44PM
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I counted 15 screens missing during my last visit, 2 panes of glass broken that I know of. I'm (unfortunately) in FL but the house is in SC. I'm sure the filters are filthy, like the rest of the house. I've never dealt with floor registers and will have to figure out how to clean those.

For the remodeling, going to gut the master bath and put in all new tiles, replace tub to shower only, new vanity, sink, etc. etc. Doing the same in the other bathroom but leaving the tub in there, 1/2 bath gets updating - entire kitchen needs to be redone, just going to see if there's a way to salvage the wood cabinets and have them refinished if they can be, and if they can, only if they'll look good. Painting, flooring, replacing doors, garage door, windows, just about everything needs to be done in this house.

The people just up and left and while they still legally "own" the house and can come back and clean up the mess, it's doubtful. They left so much stuff, that alone is going to take me quite a while to go through. Just take a gander at the mess!

Just look at the carpet - not that I'd even think about keeping it, but just thinking about being in the same room with it disgusts me!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 5:33PM
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You certainly do have your work cut out for you....bless ya!! I hope you are able to get this for a real bargain...lots of work to be done, but you will need the water and electricity to be turned on before you even start....and a big dumpster!

Was it a forclosure that was trashed when they left? I wouldn't even think of walking on that carpet, let alone trying to clean it....pull it up and throw it away.

I wouldn't do anything unless you are absolutely certain that the owners won't be coming back trying to reclaim it..good luck!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 7:00PM
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Get a bug guy in and spray it well. At least the piano looks decent. Might be worth something.


    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 7:16PM
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Oh, seeing the paneled wall, did people smoke in there? In terms of cleaning, that can be a bear. When my parents moved to FL, the place they bought from smokers had a film of tar over the paneling. I think my mother used (among other things) Scot's Liquid Gold to clean it, and threw out the rags she used because it was just too disgusting for words. Definitely get the screens done-- the place will definitely need an airing... or two.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 8:31PM
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Depending on where this house is, you might be able to freecycle a lot of the stuff.
When we remodeled, we were able to recycle nearly everything, except chunks of drywall, not surprisingly. Of course the carpet was in great shape. But they even took the broken up tile (mosaic artist), recessed lighting fixtures, sink & faucet, particle board kitchen cabinets, fake plastic shutters, iron railing, window, drapes, you name it. (we re-used the wood)
freecyclers will usually pick it up so you don't even have to haul it off, just stick it out by the curb

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 7:37AM
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Phoggie, it's a short sale, but foreclosure has already begun on it. They just up and left a bunch of stuff. From what I was able to find out about the people, it doesn't surprise me. I'll be securing the house like never before if they even THINK about coming back.

Jane, it's an old piano, not worth that much, but not worth anything with the mold beginning to grow on it - too humid in there to keep this house boxed up the way it is - they better do something quick before there's a mold problem that can't be fixed easily.

Kelpermaid, no, thankfully, no smokers. I can't even view a house that had smokers living in it! Yuck! Isn't that paneling terrible. Not sure what I'd do in there and what would be easier, removing paneling or painting it. Just one of the many things that needs to be done in that house.

C9pilot - I'm a freecycler and will definitely give away stuff - just hate it when people don't show when they should. I'll probably have a garage sale and whatever I don't sell will offer to FC, otherwise, it goes to the dump, to the dump, to the dump, dump, dump!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 10:15AM
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Before the fence goes up I'd make sure of where the property lines were. A survey should be put up on the list AND you should check to see if there are any deed restrictions on any of the plans you have.
Some stuff like restrictions aren't always disclosed by the banks because they either don't know or don't care. Their JOB is to get the house off their hands so their attitude is buyer beware!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2009 at 1:19PM
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Believe it or not, it doesn't look that bad considering the circumstances. Lots of people REALLY trash a home when they leave. That just looks like a big mess without much serious damage.

If you have any big jobs you plan to hire out, I'd have those people lined up. You can save yourself some headaches and time by thinking through what needs to be done and the proper order for it. Example, if you are going to recarpet the place, get a quote for that in advance and find out what is included. The installation may include removing and disposing of the old carpet. You don't want to find that out after you paid a cleaning company to rip it out and the dumpster people to haul it away. Things like electrical, plumbing and HVAC work should be done before you do finish work - like painting and final cleaning.

good luck

    Bookmark   August 20, 2009 at 1:54PM
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Bill, thanks so much for mentioning that floor installation may also include removal of old flooring - forgot about that - too many things to think of!

Well, I think the deal is probably dead. The bank, or someone representing them, came back with a counter-offer for all parties of $115,900. I'm not budging. My first offer was $101,990 and was told to put in my best and highest offer, which I did at $105,900.

I wrote a letter and wanted to include an attachment for pictures but was told the bank will only look at faxed papers, so had to forego the visual.

I wrote the problems that I'm aware of, trying to keep it short and to the point and told "whoever" that with all the problems there was at least $40K worth of work that I know of, at a price of $115K I didn't feel that the price was warranted and asked that if they reconsider my offer to let me know. Hopefully, the listing agent will submit it.

If it's meant to be, it's meant to be - maybe they'll come back to me if no one bids any higher or makes a better offer than I did - otherwise, it goes in foreclosure.

Thanks all!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 8:47AM
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Not sure if this was mentioned but make sure your hazard insurance company knows the property will be vacant. If it is vacant and something happens like a pipe break or vandalism, they will deny the claim.

It is a simple phone call to change the status once you move in.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 2:29PM
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Cleo, this post is FOUR YEARS old.
I think it has been taken care of by now.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 3:45PM
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That's weird-it was on page one of the moving forum. Maybe I am crazy. Sorry

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 9:38PM
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