What to Expect: First Year in a New Home

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The first year in a new home is an exciting, transformative experience. It's a blend of practical adjustments, home improvements, and settling into a new community. Here's what you might expect in each phase of your first year. 

First Things First: Set Up Your Home
Before you even start unpacking, there are some crucial steps to take to ensure your new home is safe and functional:Secure Your Home: Change the locks on all exterior doors for security. You never know who might have a copy of the keys from the previous owner.
Set Up Utilities: Ensure that essential services like water, gas, electricity, and internet are set up and functioning.
Safety Check: Install or check smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Ensure they are working properly and have fresh batteries.
Find Essentials: Locate the main water shut-off valve, circuit breaker, and any other critical home systems. Knowing where these are and how they work is crucial in case of an emergency.
Deep Clean: Consider a thorough cleaning of the entire house. This is easiest to do when the house is empty, ensuring you're starting fresh in your new space.
Home Warranty: Consider purchasing a home warranty for peace of mind, covering appliances and systems that may break down.
Months 1-3: Settling In
In the first few months, it’s all about unpacking and arranging key areas like the bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom. This is also a great time to start exploring your neighborhood, finding local amenities, and meeting neighbors. This period can be an emotional rollercoaster, so it's important to allow yourself time to adjust to this new chapter. 

Months 4-6: Establishing Routines
By now, you're likely establishing daily routines and making further personal touches in your home. Consider starting smaller home improvement projects or a garden. This is also when you might start purchasing major items for your home like furniture, appliances, and home furnishings. 
Tip: Start a regular home maintenance schedule to keep your property in good condition.

Months 7-9: Deepening Roots
By now, your focus may shift to larger projects that make the space truly yours, such as painting or planning significant renovations. This is also a time to invest in items that bring comfort and functionality to your home. Homeowners often buy window coverings, furniture, and lawn care or gardening supplies during these months. Tip: On average, new home buyers spend around $12,000 on alterations and repairs in the first year, so it's wise to budget carefully and prioritize essential projects with a good ROI.Months 10-12: Reflection and Planning 
As you approach the end of your first year, you might review the changes you've made and start planning for future renovations or improvements. Consider the investments you've made in your home and how they've enhanced your living experience – what's comes next? 

Tip: Review your home-related expenses over the year and adjust your budget as necessary. Your first year in a new home can be a whirlwind of adapting to a new environment, personalizing your space, and embedding yourself in a new community. Embrace each moment of this journey. Here’s to the many memories you’ll create in your new home!