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What You Should Expect When Moving From a Condo to a House
Dated: February 24 2021
So you’re ready to make the big move from a condo to a house! Congratulations! All you need to do is sign the paperwork, get the keys and you’re done, right?
Not so fast! There are a few things to keep in mind when you leave condo life behind and we’re here to help make sure you don’t forget any of them.
Get Your New Home Move-In Ready
It’s much less stressful to take care of certain tasks without furniture or boxes in the way. Steam clean the carpet, mop the floors, wipe out all the cabinets, paint the walls, and spray for pests. It might never be this easy again, so take advantage while you can!
Don’t Forget About the Critters
Speaking of pests, you may not have had to deal with insects, raccoons, or rats before, but unfortunately, they are a possibility when you live in a house. Consider building a secure home for your garbage, recycling, and green bins because raccoons are clever and persistent about getting into your bins. You could also hire a pest control company to vermin-proof your home if you’re concerned about insects or rats.
When you’re taking care of your front and back yards, don’t forget about the trees! Keep an eye on them to ensure they’re healthy and that there are no roots or vines that could cause issues with the foundation or create cracks in the brickwork. Make sure to remove dead branches, which can be deadly during a storm. Investing in items like a lawnmower, hedge trimmers, garden hose, and rakes now will pay off in the long run.
When the weather shifts from cold to warm (and back again), take some time to check your windows and door frames for any cracks, chipped paint, or gaps. Make sure that the caulking and weatherstripping are intact. This will help prevent drafts and dampness (and save on utility bills, too).
Budget For Larger Utility Bills
Although you may have to pay slightly larger utility bills when you upgrade, the good news is that you will no longer have to pay condo fees. You can also save money by investing in energy-saving appliances which will ease the sticker shock.
Now that you are responsible for property maintenance - both inside and out - it’s a good idea to make a checklist in advance before something slips through the cracks. Divide the list into monthly (clean garbage disposal), bi-annually (test carbon monoxide and smoke detectors), and annual (clean gutters) items to make tasks easier to remember.
There’s Always Something to Fix
One of the great things about living in a condo was that if something was broken, someone else would fix it. However, learning to fix things yourself in your new home will pay off in no time, especially when you need something done right away. Tip: budget for unexpected expenses every month to avoid expensive surprises
Change Your Furnace Filter
It’s a good idea to change your furnace filter at least once every three months. You could try to improve your air quality by changing it more frequently or investing in a higher-quality filter, especially if you have recently renovated or if you have pets.
Winterize Before it’s Too Late
Make sure you’re fully prepared for winter before that first freeze hits. Empty your garden hose, stock up on salt or sand, buy a shovel, and put away outdoor furniture. Buying an extra pair of winter boots couldn’t hurt, either.
Remember Garbage Day
Missing garbage days can be a hassle when you can’t count on the garbage chute down the hall. Learn about which items are picked up on which days, what can be recycled, and what is considered organic waste.
Learn How Your New House Works
Be prepared for emergencies! Locate the main water shut off, the electrical panels, and thermostat before a flood or a power outage takes you by surprise and you’re left scrambling in the dark with a flashlight (or rain boots).
Parking Your Car
Be sure to find out well in advance of your move exactly where you are and are not allowed to park, especially if you live in a neighbourhood where not every house has a driveway or garage. If you need a permit, apply for one as soon as possible, especially if you own more than one vehicle.
It seems that every homeowner thinks they know where the property line ends until a tree falls or a fence needs to be installed. Review the land survey which indicates any encroachments or wandering fences. Check bylaws to see who is responsible for trees located on or near the property line. This will mean a lot less conflict with your neighbours in the future if trees need attention or if you want to build a fence.
Meet Your New Neighbours
And speaking of neighbours… a neighbourhood has a different vibe from a condo building and you’ll likely see your neighbours for more than just a few seconds passing them in the hallway, so it’s a great idea to start building a positive relationship with them right away. Find out about any Homeowners Associations or neighbourhood groups and get involved!
More Space Shouldn’t Mean More Clutter
When you move into a larger home the temptation to fill up all that space with stuff will be strong. Try and think long-term when purchasing items and invest in high-quality pieces that will make your home more functional and comfortable.
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So you’re ready to make the big move from a condo to a house! Congratulations! All you need to do is sign the paperwork, get the keys and you’re done, right? Not so fast!