Buying or Renting Your Home

If one of the top three things on your to-do list is "find more boxes," you're probably well into the moving process. A new home can be an exciting and overwhelming time, so whether you're purchasing your first house in the country, buying a loft in the city, or plan on calling an apartment "home sweet home" we have some tips to help you.

Even before you've crawled out from under the sea of packing peanuts, you'll need to understand your mortgage and learn how to protect your investment.

Tips Before Closing on Your Home

In the hustle and bustle of the closing process, don't forget to make time for the following important tasks.

  • Set up a home inspection and make sure you understand the final report
  • Schedule a final walk-through 24-48 hours before closing to ensure the condition of the home has not changed
  • If you will have a Home Owners Association, read their paperwork and understand the requirements
  • Determine if your home is in a flood zone
  • Set up your homeowners insurance policy

Why do I need homeowners insurance?

Aside from the requirement to carry it by most mortgage lenders, it will help you sleep easy in your new home. Fire, theft and accidents can happen to anyone. Homeowners insurance will help protect you from these threats.

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You're a homeowner! Now what?

Once your hand has recovered from signing your name over and over at closing, sit down and complete the checklist below.

  • Change your locks
  • Set up all utilities in your name
  • Make sure all smoke detectors have batteries and are in working order
  • Look through your home inspection and carefully prioritize what projects should be completed first
  • Don't forget to update your address with banks or other companies you receive mail from
  • Gather all of the appliance manuals, warranty information and insurance paperwork together in one easy to access file

Tips for Renters

Maybe owning a home isn't right for you. But you still own a lot of cool stuff. Furniture, TVs, computers, game consoles, clothing, and much more. Even though your apartment complex will cover the building itself, you're still responsible for what's inside. Here are some tips when you are moving into a new apartment:

  • Document any pre-existing damage before you sign your lease
  • Keep your apartment safe with smoke detectors
  • Take a renters insurance inventory
  • Get a free quote for renters insurance
  • Maintain a file with your lease, all correspondence between you and your landlord, along with copies of your insurance policy and inventory