Searching for a new home can be a challenge. You have to check for options within your price range. Ensuring the place is safe and accessible to stores, entertainment, hospitals, and public transportation might factor into your search.
But once you've found your new home it's a magical feeling. Packing and moving can cause anxiety and stress. Yet it puts you a step closer to being in your new home.
However, there are still a few things that need to get done. You've made it this far so why not strut across the finish line by setting up your utilities.
Utilities help turn an apartment or house into your special space. Without utilities you're occupying a quiet space without the ability to cook, vacuum, work from home, or pay your bills online.
If this is your first time living on your own you might have some questions about setting up utilities. Don't worry. We understand and have the information you need to get the job done.
Tips for Setting Up Utilities
Contact the service providers a few weeks before your move-in date. If you're moving during the summer months there might be a lot of people scheduling appointments. You don't want you or your family to go without the essential utilities.
Check with your landlord to see which utilities are your responsibility. In some rental units, the property owner handles the water, sewage, and trash collection bill. Since every complex, building, and house is different it's best to ask.
If you are a new homeowner your trash, water, and sewage might get built into your mortgage payment. But if you don't have a mortgage you might make payments to your municipality.
Once you under which utilities will be in you or your roommate's name you should contact them individually.
Electricity is one of the most essential utilities. If you don't have electricity it's impossible to function in your home. You won't be able to wash or dry clothes. Your refrigerator, oven or stove won't work if it's electric, no laptop or charging abilities either. Plus no one wants to sit in a dark hot or cold home. But it depends on the season and if your home is all-electric.
Go to the website of the company who powers the electric in your new area. You might need a new account or only transfer service if you are staying local.
Select the section for residential electricity service on their business website. Review the necessary steps to turning on your electric. If you would feel more comfortable speaking with a representative call their number or go to the nearest location.
In some instances, a security deposit is required to turn on service. The amount depends on the usage of the property and your previous account status. The previous suspension of service might impact how you pay.
Once the turn-on date gets scheduled, then try it to see if the service is on.
To begin natural gas service at your new home make sure there is a meter and the property is set-up to receive service.
Go to the service provider's website to review the steps to take.
Each natural gas company is different, but most require a security deposit and an activation fee. Sometimes proving good credit with another utility company waives the activation fee. But check with your representative to learn more.
Schedule your activation date and then make sure it's working.
Water and Sewage
No one can survive without water. It's a necessity for every living creature without exception.
To begin service at your new home contact the company responsible for water in the area. In some municipalities, the city handles the water for your town's service.
If the water is privately run then contact their representatives and discuss turning on service. Ask for a start date and find out if a deposit or activation fee is required.
The sewage is usually included as a separate bill for your property taxes. The sewage might get bundled into your mortgage payment if you're a homeowner.
But if it's an individual utility bill then you can speak with someone at your municipality's office about turning on the service and payment options. Some cities allow payment through their secure website or you can pay it in person at their office.
Trash and Recycling
If you're wondering whether you need to set up the trash and recycle collection at your new home there are few things to consider.
Are you moving to a complex or apartment building? If so, the property manager might handle scheduling or setting up the trash and recycle pick up. Usually, complexes and buildings supply dumpsters for residents to use.
But if you're moving to a single-family or duplex rental you should check with the landlord to find out if you need to do anything.
When you're moving into a house you own then contacting the city's public works might be necessary. Ask them if you need to set up a collection for your property, especially if it was sitting vacant for an extended period of time.
While cable usage is decreasing with the advent of streaming apps, people still pay for cable. When moving in a property ask whether the previous tenants had cable or if the unit is cable-ready.
If it's already to receive cable then visit a local cable center to pick up the equipment you need. You can take it home and hook it up. If you're not tech-savvy you can schedule an installation and start date.
If your new home isn't cable access ready then call to schedule a technician to come and get the home ready.
Many service providers offer bundles of cable and internet. If you're already scheduled to get cable turned on your package might include the internet too.
Visit your service providers website to see what new customer packages are available. Sign up or transfer service to your new address. Pick up your new equipment, if it's necessary, and set it up.
If you experience difficulty contact the company for help.
Make the Call
Now that you know the steps of setting up utilities moving will go smoother. Be sure you've contacted all the necessary companies in advance. This ensures your service will begin when you arrive.
For more home-related tips check out our For the Home section.