3 things to do once the contract is signed and you have the keys
1 - Arrange a meeting with the Vendor
There are so many things you don't know about your house which (we learned the hard way) are very, very important. For example, if you are doing renovation works, it's essential to know where to turn off the electricity, water or gas in the house. Likewise, if you add a new bathroom or have plumbing work done, it's very important to know where the waste system access is.
Here's a list of questions to ask:
- How does the boiler / heating work - is there a manual or warranty?
- Where are the water, electricity and gas meters?
- Where do I turn off the water / gas?
- Where do I turn off the hot water for the radiators?
- Where is the access to the waste system pipes?
- How to I switch on / off the electricy?
- Where is the electric system ground wire?
- How does the alarm work?
- How are the neighbors - any word of advice?
- What are the works that have been done to the house?
- Any references for the usual handyman?
- How can I contact you in the future?
Be sure to have their contact for future questions ... and since they are doing you a favor in meeting you, maybe bring a token of your gratitude: cupcakes, a bottle of wine or whatever you feel would work!
2 - Transfer / register all the utilities and services
Talk with the vendor to have the utilities transferred to you, or just to know who to contact to register new accounts. Keep in mind that the sooner you set everything up (possibly by direct debit), the less you'll have to worry about!
Also, remember to take a meter reading for the electricity, water and gas when you move in!
Here's a 'Moving to a new home' list by Citizen Information; to summarize:
- Electricity (e.g.: Electric Irelend)
- Water (e.g.: Irish Water)
- Gas (e.g. Bord Gais)
- Waste Collection (e.g. Greyhound)
- Tv/broadband/phone (e.g. Virgin Media)
- Television License
- Home Insurance (e.g. KBC Home insurance)
Also remember to change your address for:
- Your bank account
- Health / Life insurance
- Leap card, Dublin bikes, GoCar etc.
- Mobile phone subscription
3 - Make a list of the works you will need to do and prioritize the most urgent / important ones
Write down every work you want done on the house, no matter how small - and ask yourself: can some works be grouped together? Does one work depend on another? What is the most urgent/ important work?
If you are planning extensive renovation works, decide what your approach will be. Do you want to work on the house bit by bit, or do you want to do all the big jobs right away?
To give you an example, if you plan to put a wooden or laminate floor, does the concrete floor need leveling first or do the wooden planks of the upper floor need replacing?
One last advice ... when you enter your house and you start throwing stuff out or demolishing walls, have a skip ready. You can hire one from your waste collection company or any other company (e.g. Skip hire).