Congratulations! You Just Bought A New House – What’s The First Thing You Do?
Before you spend the night in your new home, before you move your belongings, or before you have any work done, CHANGE THE LOCKS!!!!
As Realtors, we usually mention this at some point during the transaction, but in the long list of things people have to take care of, this one little item often gets put off until ‘later’. Please don’t wait. Change the locks the minute you get your new keys and definitely before you, your family or your stuff moves in to the home.
House keys have a way of multiplying and there is no way to track them all down before the home changes hands. Keys go to pet-sitters, house-sitters, house-cleaners, babysitters, neighbors, family members, contractors…the list could go on for days.
Trusted, well-meaning people who probably put the address on the key chain, so they can remember what that key is for, keep these keys for years. Long after you've needed their service or help. Then the keys get lost or thrown away – still with that handy tag attached and next thing you know - - it’s in the wrong hands.
This even applies to foreclosed homes that appear to have new locks on the doors. Foreclosures have many people coming in and out during the foreclosure process - inspectors, appraisers, workman, etc. Just because the lock appears new, doesn't mean copies, maybe several copies, of those keys have been made and distributed.
Just last week, one of our clients had a 'visitor' in his new home. Thankfully, he hadn't moved in yet and the home only suffered some muddy footprints on the newly cleaned carpet, but it could have been so much worse.
Please change every exterior lock in the home at the earliest possible moment. If your home is a little older, maybe even update the door handles to spruce up and update your entry ways and make it just a little more yours. If you need help finding a locksmith or handy person to make these changes, just let us know.