Sales closed, paper works signed, finished with the preparations for moving in to your new home, so are you done after this? Not necessarily, you still need to make sure to never forget your own annual inspection. By doing so you can save a bundle by preventing headaches and spotting problems while they're still minor.
Take a good inspection outside of your house by using binoculars to get a good look at the high walls, the chimney, and the roof line. Make sure everything is level and looks solid. You shouldn't see any crumbling in the masonry or rot in the woods. Try to look for crags and clogs around the gutters and downspouts, cracked or peeling paint, and blockages or cracks around the chimney. Don't forget the roof which might be missing shingles, or tree branches might provide a path for pests to enter the house. Look for anything that lets water in which can be a particular source of long-term problems.
Your house foundation should also be checked annually. Keep an eye on the grade around the foundation, check the driveway and garage for loose or cracked asphalt, examine caulk and other seals around windows, and check above and below stairs, decks, and porches for problems.
The inside of the house may look very good but just to make sure there's no small flaws present use a flashlight even in well-lit areas to help check for it. Check the walls and ceilings for stains that suggest mildew or mold, kitchen back splashes and seals for open spaces that let moisture in, tub surrounds for entry points for water, stairs and railings for solid structures, and other features to prevent long-term deterioration.
Turning on hot and cold water at every faucet can help you to look for leaks. Make sure to check the heating and cooling systems to find loose pipes and listen for irregular sounds; and check boilers and heaters for problems.
Doing this regularly ensures that you get a grasp on what normal is like so you can spot anything not normal as soon as possible. Knowing your house inside and out gives you not only a solid home and a good market value but also the relief of knowing you'll get a good inspection result when your home hits the market.