10 Home Improvement Projects to Tackle Before Moving

Moving can be a transitional period in one’s life, especially when relocating to a state like New Jersey. New Jersey, the fifth happiest state in the country, is an excellent place to call home. The high quality of life, stress-free living, and an ever-growing job market are all compelling reasons to move here. Plus, the city is close to metropolitan areas like New York City and Philadelphia, making it ideal for any lifestyle. 

While it all sounds pleasant in ink, getting a home in NJ can be a money-draining experience. According to Bank Rate, the median price of a single-family home hit $500,000 in May 2023. Compared to the nationwide median at $396,100, that’s $103,900 more. 

However, even if you bag a good price on a property, you’ll still have to make a few adjustments to transform it into your “dream” home. 

The question is: Which home improvement projects are essential before you move in? 

Let us share some below:

  1. Inspect the Property

Since a full-blown renovation can cost between $20,000 and $500,000 in New Jersey, you must prioritize which projects you should take on. This task is only possible if you know what’s wrong with the property.

So, look for signs of water damage, faulty wiring, crumbling foundations or concrete slabs, and other visible problems. Address the issues you spot before your family and furniture move in. 

If the repair work is taking too long, and you are unable to hold your stuff at your previous property, moving containers can serve as temporary storage units. The best part is that you can keep them on your property for as long as you want. 

  1. Make Room for Your Belongings

Moving homes, especially across states, is your chance to start fresh. Therefore, we recommend you leave behind your clutter and only bring what’s essential. Reducing your clutter will also significantly lower your moving costs. So, save where you can.

If you’re short on storage, build some before your belongings arrive. Wall shelves, under-the-stairs storage, and custom closets are some fail-proof options. If you need more room, turn to your attic or garage for help.

  1. Renew Your New Home’s Paint Job

Not all properties come with freshly painted walls. If you want to remove the crayon marks and hand prints left behind by the previous owner, pull out the rollers and get painting. 

Since NJ’s summers are hot and humid, you need a paint type that can withstand high temperatures and oxidization. Look for moisture-resistant paints with strong adhesion qualities. That way, you won’t have to worry about cracking or peeling when the weather goes extreme.

  1. Check Your Home’s Plumbing System

Running into plumbing issues soon after moving in is a homeowner’s nightmare come true. To avoid such disasters, have a professional check the system before you move in. 

Look for leaks, blocked drains, and worn-out pipes that need replacing. Have the plumbing company do a full inspection and replace any broken parts while they’re at it. This way, you may save time, money, and tons of frustration down the line.

  1. Install New Locks

You’re in a new area, unaware of all the security threats, and you don’t know how many people have copies of your house keys. Install new locks and deadbolts on all exterior entry points to avoid unwanted visitors. Get durable, rust-resistant, long-lasting ones that can serve you well for years. 

Consider getting a smart opener and controller if you have an automated garage door. That way, you won’t have to worry about manual entry if your hands are full or you forget the code.

  1. Update Your Old Light Fixtures

Outdated light fixtures can make any house look shabby, no matter how clean it is. To give your home a modern touch, replace the existing fixtures with more modern ones. 

Pendant lights, chandeliers, and wall sconces can make any room look brighter and more inviting. Your other options are LED bulbs and dimmers. Go for energy-efficient models that use up to 70% less energy than traditional lighting options. 

  1. Upgrade Your Windows

Old windows make your home susceptible to drafts and moisture seepage. Plus, they affect your curb appeal. If your windows look like they’ve seen better days, replace them with new ones. 

Choose modern energy-efficient designs that trap air and block out noise. It will keep your home insulated during cold weather and improve air circulation. Fiberglass windows are all the rage these days. They come in various colors, so you can choose one that matches your home’s aesthetic. If you can’t afford to replace all your windows, start with the most visible ones. 

  1. Replace the HVAC System 

HVAC systems are expensive investments, but they’re worth it. Especially if you live in NJ, where winters are cold and summers scorching hot, an efficient heating and cooling system will ensure your home remains comfortable regardless of the weather. 

If you want to replace your old HVAC system, choose one with a high SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). It will help reduce energy costs and keep your space cozy all year round. You can even install smart thermostats that take care of temperature settings.

  1. Child Proof Your Home

Children love to explore. They’ll try to stick their little fingers in the sockets, push things off shelves, and run wild on the staircase. If you’re worried your kiddo will hurt themselves, child-proof your home before you move in. It’ll ensure your child doesn’t get hurt while you’re trying to sort the boxes room-wise. 

Some child-proofing projects you can do include installing cabinet locks, doorknob covers, stair gates, plug protectors, and corner cushions. Also, keep breakable items out of reach and use furniture anchors for heavier pieces. 

  1. Deep Clean Your Home

Last but not least, deep clean your home before you move in. Use a mild cleaning solution to wash walls, countertops, cabinets, windowsills, and floors. You can even consider professional cleaning services to spruce up the place if you don’t have the time or energy to deep clean your entire home. 

While a deep clean will eliminate dirt and dust, it may not help with odors left by previous tenants or owners. To deal with unpleasant smells, open windows to air out your home and use room fresheners or scented candles.


These are just a few home improvement projects every new homeowner should tackle before moving into the new place. Take the time to do these upgrades now to reduce the hassle later. With a little effort, you can create a comfortable, safe, and welcoming home for the whole family. We recommend listing all the tasks you must do and tackling them one at a time. It’ll keep you on track and help you stay organized.

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