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You’ve signed the paperwork. You’ve picked up your new set of keys and you now have a new home. As you unpack the boxes, and take it all in as the new homeowner, there are a few critical things you should take care of.

Flickr user dave77459

1. Change locks

Unfortunately, you can’t assume the keys you’re holding are the only keys to your home that could exist out there. Play it safe and have all the locks changed as soon as you can.

2. Re-program garage door opener

Again, it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the security of your new home. Most garage door remotes have a reset button that you can hold down to reprogram the opener. If you want more concise instructions, note the make and model of the opener and contact the company to walk you through the steps.

3. Replace furnace filter

Most manufacturers recommend that a furnace filter be changed once a month during the heating season to ensure the most efficient performance. While there are higher-quality filters that may not require monthly replacement, it’s still a good idea to check the filter monthly and, of course, replace it when you move into a new place.

4. Install new batteries in smoke alarm and carbon dioxide detector

You have no way of knowing when the batteries were last changed and if the home has been unoccupied, it’s probably been awhile. Test the alarm and detector and put new batteries in each. This investment of time and a few dollars is well worth it, given the stakes.

5. Replace toilet seat covers

We probably don’t need to go into specific details, but most people insist on swapping out toilet seats.

Did we miss anything else on the move-in checklist? Tell us!

About the Author

Erika Riggs, the Zillow Digs manager, covers home design and trends.

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