So you’ve bought a house – congratulations!
However, before you can completely relax, there are a number of other things that you should take care of after the settlement. It’s not just ‘move stuff’ into the house – there are more matters than that to consider!
Rates and Levies
Council rates, water rates, land tax, and strata rates should have already been adjusted and take care of at the settlement. Your solicitor or conveyancer should have lodged a notice of sale that will inform these authorities that you are now the new owner of the premises.
One of the first things you should do is change the locks to the front door, the back door, and all other doors that lead outside the property. You just do not know who else has keys to the property, and it’s better to be safe than to be sorry, and replace all the locks in the house.
While water rates should have been taken care of at settlement, you will still have to connect other utilities such as the electricity, gas, internet, and telephone. If you are currently renting, the sign-up or connection process will probably be familiar to you. A majority of utility suppliers also have a ‘moving house’ service, in which they can transfer their services to your new home.
Before moving you should contact your utility provider in advance of the move and tell them when you intend to move into the new home, and also to let them know that you no longer require services at your old home. You should also check if your current utility provider provides services to that area.
You should consider a number of matters when you are choosing a utility provider, whether it is an electricity, gas, internet, or telephone provider. Many providers offer fixed term contracts. Many providers also charge connection fees. Make sure you know what you are getting into, and if you are really getting the best value from your chosen provider.
You should obtain insurance over the property, both public liability and home and contents insurance. As you now own the property you bear all the risks and liabilities associated with the property – and you should consider insuring yourself to protect yourself against unfortunate events.
We would recommend that you should consider reviewing your Will. Generally it is a good idea to review Wills after the acquisition (or disposal) of a substantial asset, like a home.
You should update your contact details with the appropriate authorities and service providers. In addition to updating your driver’s license and your electoral details, you should also inform your bank, Medicare, and insurer of your new address. If there is anyone else that you may have missed out, you should consider if you may need your mail to be redirected temporarily.