After searching for the right one, the deal is done, and you’ve just been given the keys to your very first home. So, what next? We caught up with Gloria Castellanos, Estates Agent at The Agency, to see what tips she has for first-time homebuyers as they settle into their new home.

Tip 1: Safety & Security. When buying a home, one of the first things I recommend the new owners do is change the locks as soon as they have possession. I also suggest that the new owners change the gate code(s) if their new home has a gate. I would consider a security system, even something as simple as a Ring or Nest system. I also recommend new owners have both a first aid kit and tool kit in their new home. 

Tip 2: Garage & Parking. Another tip I have for new owners is to consider adding a remote garage opener on the exterior of the home as you never know when you might leave the key inside, locking yourself out. It’s a simple and secure trick if and when this might happen. Also, be sure to check what day street sweeping takes place to avoid any tickets, as well as the garbage and recycling schedule.

Tip 3: Utilities. New owners should always make sure their utilities are up-to-date with their names and addresses, and to keep the numbers and account information handy.  

Tip 4: Important Paperwork. In addition to having the utility information handy, I recommend they keep the mortgage, contract, HOA documents and any other important owner documents in a safe location. Be sure to send the final closing statement to your accountant for his or her records. Additionally, I recommend the new owners know what their home warranty covers and what, if any, the HOA guidelines are.

Tip 5: Cleaning & Maintenance. I recommend the owners have the house deep cleaned through a professional service. As far as maintenance, your realtor is a great resource for vendor referrals, such as a handyman, gardeners, designers and contractors. If there are design details you want to change or improve in the home, be sure to create a budget for home improvements and furnishings.

Tip 6: Settling In. Make an effort to meet your neighbors, introduce yourself and become friendly with your community. Get to know nearby grocery stores, cleaners, gas stations, hospitals, schools and freeway access for your new route to work.

 Welcome to homeownership, and enjoy your new home!