1. Change the Locks
You really don’t know who else has keys to your home, so change the locks. That ensures you’re the only person who has access. Install new locks and deadbolts yourself for as little as $30. They also have some new door locks that use a code instead of a key. Or, call a locksmith. I have a great one if you need a recommendation.
2. Change your washer hoses to metal braided hoses.
Nothing is worse than having a rubber washing machine hose break. It’s so inexpensive to change them over to the metal braided hoses (about $20 at the hardware store). Remember, these things typically go when you're away on vacation. Nothing like coming home to 4 inches of water in the basement. Also, keep an eye out for dripping faucets and running toilets, and check your water heater for signs of a leak regularly. A running toilet can coast you hundreds in water bills over a quarter.
Here’s a neat trick: Check your water meter at the beginning and end of a two-hour window in which no water is being used in your house. If the reading is different, you have a leak.
3. Steam Clean Carpets/refinish hardwood floors
Do this before you move your furniture in, and your new home life will be off to a fresh start. You can pay a professional carpet cleaning service — you’ll pay about $50 per room; or you can rent a steam cleaner and do the work yourself. If your hardwood floors are scratched consider having them sanded and refinished before you move in….it really makes a mess.
4. Install New Toilet Seats
No explanation needed.
5. Introduce Yourself to Your Circuit Breaker Box and Main Water Valve
Have someone at the box and someone in different locations and label the box so you know what circuit breaker controls which outlets/lights & appliances. Do NOT trust someone else's labels, at least confirm that they are all still correct. This will take two people: One to stand in the room where the power is supposed to go off, the other to trip the fuses and yell, “Did that work? How about now?
You’ll want to know how to turn off your main water valve in case you ever have a plumbing emergency, if a hurricane or tornado is headed your way, or if you’re going out of town. Just locate the valve — it could be inside or outside your house — and turn the knob or lever until it’s off (perpendicular if it’s a lever). Test it by turning on any faucet in the house; no water should come out.