So you’re about to move in

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So you’ve closed on the home of your dreams and you’re all ready to move in right away! Prior to the big day, though, there are a few things to take care of in order to assure that your home is ready for years to come.

The most important item, which I suggest to all my clients on day one, is changing the locks! You really don’t know who has had a copy in the past in addition to the previous owners. At the same time, reprogram any garage door remotes. This can usually be done right from the main panel box, which most of the time is located on the ceiling of the garage. Many times, the instruction manual can be obtained from the manufacturer no matter how old the system is.

Once the locks are change, give the home a good, deep cleaning or hire a maid service to get the job done. Wipe down all the cabinets throughout the home and storage areas and repair, replace or install any contact paper you may want or need.

While cleaning underneath the sinks, turn on the water and make sure there are no leaks. A leak can usually be fixed with a few dollars worth of material and a 10-minute do-it-yourself project, but it can cause thousands of dollars in damages to your home if it goes unnoticed. While you’re in the bathrooms, check the toilets as well.

An effective way to check for a water leak is by using your water meter if your home has one. Do a reading on your meter and go shopping for a little bit. When you return, if the reading has changed, you have a water leak somewhere. While you are by the water meter, locate the shut off valve. Now you know where it is in case you have to shut things down cast in an emergency. It’s also a good idea to turn the valve off when you go on vacation.

Next locate your main electrical panel. If the breakers or fuses are not labeled, make sure to do so. Turn off each breaker and check which section of the home lost power. Labeling the panel will make your life a lot easier when the lose power in one part of your house or another.

Lastly, if you plan on doing any repainting on the interior, it’s always easier and cheaper to do it while the home is empty. That way, contractors will not have to work around or worry about damaging any furniture. Have any carpets steam cleaned as well since there is no furniture on it yet. Or you can rent a professional steam cleaning machine from any local hardware store and, believe it or not, some grocery stores even have them!

Whether you’re going to live in your new home for a couple of years or the rest of your life, completing these small tasks will give you peace of mind for years to come and potentially save you thousand of dollars in unexpected and preventable repairs.

To contact me, call 847-292-4700, email or visit


About Giuseppe Zerillo

Giuseppe Zerillo is the managing broker and owner of Zerillo Realty Inc. He is active on many boards, serving as village trustee of Harwood Heights and corporate secretary for Casa Italia. In 2011, he received the IANU Foundation's 2011 David Award for outstanding promise in the field of real estate, and in 2012 he was honored by the Illinois State Crime Commission for his community outreach. Constantly seeking opportunities to give back, he donates to several charities and raises money for children with disabilities.

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