You’re about to close on a new home, and you couldn’t be more excited. In no time at all, the keys will be in your hands, so you’re making a to-do list to get your new place move-in ready.
Considering the current housing market, you likely had to shop around for a while and pay top dollar to finally secure your dream home. You’re not alone in this issue, as 59% of home offers written by Redfin agents faced competition in August 2021, according to data from the real estate brokerage.
If you ended up spending more than anticipated on your home, you might be a bit strapped for cash. Therefore, it’s important to have a breakdown of common move-in costs on hand, so you can budget accordingly.
In some cases, you can save cash by performing certain move-in tasks on your own or putting them on hold — if the costs exceed your budget right now. Here’s a look at extra expenses you can expect to incur before settling into your new home.
Interior Paint Job
If the previous owner’s taste in pastel-colored walls isn’t your style, you’ll probably want to do some painting before you move in. However, there’s a huge price difference between hiring professional painters and doing the work yourself.
Expect to spend $4,000-$11,000 for professionals to paint an entire 2,300-square-foot home — or $200-$1,000 for a single room — according to HomeAdvisor. However, the cost to paint your interior drops to $200-$300 for both paint and equipment, if you opt to do the work yourself.
Professional House Cleaning
Chances are, your sales agreement didn’t include a requirement for the seller to have the property professionally cleaned. While you might not mind scrubbing your own dirt, tackling a stranger’s mess can be a different story.
Hiring a professional cleaning team will ensure the place sparkles on move-in day, so you can truly get a fresh start. Expect to pay $150-$250 for this service, according to Fixr.
Housecleaners will mop and vacuum your floors, but they don’t do the kind of deep clean you need to rid your new space of the previous owners’ grit and grime. Therefore, you’ll need to hire professional floor cleaners to get the job done.
Carpet cleaning services charge an average of $250-$400 but can go as high as $1,500, according to Thumbtack. Additionally, the cost to refinish hardwood floors averages $3-$7 per square foot, while tile and grout cleaning averages $0.75-$3 per square foot.
If the home inspection revealed the presence of substantial visible mold inside hard surface ducts or other parts of your HVAC system, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends considering having your air ducts cleaned. This is also the case if the ducts are infested with vermin or are clogged with excessive dust and debris.
Plan to spend approximately $450-$1,000 for duct cleaning services, according to the EPA. Prices vary according to the size and accessibility of the system, climactic region and level of contamination.
Rekey Exterior Locks
Feeling safe and secure in your new home is a must, so give yourself peace of mind by rekeying all exterior locks. This ensures that both the seller and anyone they gave the key to during their tenure in the home can never waltz right into your new abode.
Plan to spend $40-$100, plus $15-$40 per lock — about $75 per hour — for this service, according to HomeAdvisor. You might also be charged a trip fee of $50-$100.
Security System Installation
Home is the number one place you should be able to let your guard down, so you’ll want to invest in a security system. This is an important part of the pre-move-in process because it allows you to safeguard both your family and possessions from day one.
The cost to install a security system varies largely, depending on the type of system and equipment used, according to HomeAdvisor. However, you can expect to spend an average of $1,500.
Regrout the Bath Tile
If the grout between the tile in your new shower or bathtub is cracked, stained, loose or all of the above, you will likely want to fix it before moving in. This will prevent — or eliminate existing — mold growth, protect your tile and breathe fresh life into your bathroom.
An average square shower in a U.S. home is 32 inches by 32 inches, which costs an average of $373.80-$934.50 — for two sides with tile — for a professional to regrout, according to HomeAdvisor. Slightly larger, a shower in a U.S. bathroom that measures 36 inches by 48 inches, costs an average of $700-$1,750.
Of course, if you’re handy, you can tackle this project on your own and only pay for materials and tools.