Imagine sitting in your house and having no Wi-Fi, heat, electricity, and water. Sounds horrible right? Well, this is what will happen if you do not set up the necessary utilities in your house in time. To add to that, it won’t be just one horrible day, it will be several inconvenient days. When you move, your mind is already occupied with a lot of tasks, so it is very easy to forget about setting up the essential utilities in your new home.
Don’t you worry though! We are here to remind you and guide you through the process. Yes, we totally get that it’s not really a fun task, but getting these things sorted before you move in will make your life much easier. Don’t know how to get started? Well just go on and continue reading our guide on how to set up home service in your new house.
Familiarizing Yourself with the Type of Utilities
If you are young and moving out for the first time, there is a high chance that you don’t know much about your current utility service providers. The first and foremost thing to do is to know which utility services you need and who your service providers are. Following are the most commonly used utility services.
● Cable and Internet
● Water and Sewer
● Natural Gas
● Trash Removal
Once you have the list of your services and service providers, list down the contact number of each and every service provider. To add to that, you would ideally want to keep track of how much you are paying for your utilities currently, so that you have a fair idea about how much your new service providers will charge you for the utilities.
Are you renting an apartment from someone? Well, you just have to go through your lease carefully and figure out which utilities you have to pay for separately and which utilities are covered in your monthly rent. It is best to get in contact with your landlord if you have any doubts or queries regarding setting up utilities in your new home.
Similarly, when you move into a community that has a homeowners’ association, you need to be aware of what is covered under your HOA fees. Your HOA fees most probably cover your basic utilities like gas, trash pickup, water, etc. Isn’t it better to pay fees to one particular association instead of sending money to 5-6 different service providers every month?
Also Read: Cost Of Utilities By State
How to Setup Home Services in Your New House?
Like any other moving task, setting up home services requires a little bit of planning. You need to know exactly how you are going to set things up. The goal here is to have functioning utilities in your current house till you completely move out and have everything up and running on the day you move into your new house. How exactly do you achieve this? Here is how you can make it happen!
Step 1: Make a Utility Services Checklist
As mentioned before, you need to know about each and every utility service you are using in your current home. List them down so that you don’t miss out and forget to set up a particular utility service in your new home. While you do this, also note down the names and contact numbers of all your current service providers. When should you start doing this? If you ask us, we suggest that you start working on this at least 2-3 weeks before you move out.
You might be wondering, why should you start worrying about utilities this early? Well, try to look at it this way. Your current service providers need to know about your plans so that they can let you know whether they provide their service in the area where you are planning to move to. If they do, they will need some time to shut your current services and transfer them to your new home.
Now consider that they don’t provide services in the area where your new home is located. What are you going to do at the last moment? You need enough time to search for a new service provider who provides you with good quality services at affordable rates. If you do all this at the last moment, there is a high chance that you might not make the right decisions for yourself because you will be swamped with moving tasks.
Step 2: Contact your Current Service Providers:
Contact your current service providers and let them know that you are planning to move. Ask them whether they would be able to provide services to your new home. You will either get one of the following two responses.
Yes: If the service provider does provide services in the area of your new home, most of your work is already done. You don’t need to worry about searching for new service providers. Just don’t forget to enquire whether there would be any price changes for the services they provide to your new home.
Once they satisfy all your queries, provide them with your new address and let them know the dates when you want your utilities to be shut in your current home and to be started in your new home. One thing you should know is that some service providers might charge you a transfer fee. Don’t forget to ask about it when you talk to them!
Step 3: Research is Key
Assume that your current service providers say that they won’t be able to help you out after your move. What should you do in such a situation? The obvious thing to do is to search for new service providers. You can simply visit the official website of the city or the state to find out which utility services providers are available in the area you are moving to. You can also get in contact with your city’s public utility office and try to get more information on available utility services.
These are not the only things that you can do, there are easier ways to score new utility service providers. Even if you don’t like talking to new people, consider building a good relationship with your to-be neighbors because that always pays off. Most of them will be more than happy to recommend certain service providers and share their positive or negative experiences with you. It is better to get personal reviews instead of online reviews on these matters. In this way, you can avoid hiring fraudulent utility service providers.
Step 4: Comparing Different Service Providers
After you are done with your research, you should ideally have the names of at least 3-4 service providers for each of the utilities. Now, all you have to do is grab a pen and paper, put on your interviewing goggles, and get in contact with each service provider. You can either visit their local office or call them.
You need to find out as much as you can when you talk to them. Firstly, let them know the date on which you intend to move to your new house. Then, you have to ask the following questions and note down whatever they say.
● How much do I have to pay for the service?
● Does your company charge activation fees?
● How much time will you take to set up the utilities in my house?
● If I want to have my utilities up and running by a certain date, by when would I have to sign the contract?
● Do I need to be present while your company installs and activates the utility?
Make sure that you note down everything that the customer service representative tells you. A lot of companies also offer price matching policies. You don’t have to agree on the quote that they offer you. You can haggle a little bit, especially if there is another provider who is willing to provide you with the same services at a lower cost. After you speak to all the service providers, you pick the one that suits your needs the best.
Step 5: Applying for the New Services
The major part of your work is already done at this point. When you apply for a new service, you will have to read up on the company policies and rules before you sign any contracts with them. You have to fill in an application where you will have to give them your address, the date by which you want your utilities to start functioning, and your payment information (bank account or credit cards).
You should know that most of the companies will demand a security deposit from you. This is especially true when you are a first-time mover. They will also check your credit score/rating, you most probably won’t have to pay a security deposit if you have a good score. However, you should also know that once you start paying your bills regularly, most of the companies will return the security deposit to you. Again, if you are a first-time consumer, don’t forget to enjoy the incentives offered by these companies.
Step 6: Are the Utilities Up and Running?
It is always a good idea to make sure that the utilities start functioning at least one day before you move in. You simply have to go to your new home and check whether they are working fine. Like we said before, you probably don’t want to be stuck in a house with no electricity after a tedious move. Just visit your new home on the day before you move in and do the following things to avoid getting into such situations.
● Switch on and switch off your lights a couple of times.
● Flush the toilet
● Open the tap
● Turn on the stove
● Try to connect to the internet
● Turn on your heater/air conditioner
If you realize that there are certain issues with the utility services, you can always call up your company and tell them to solve the issue immediately i.e., before you move in. If you have asked your current service provider to shut your account, make sure that they have closed your account and shut off the utilities on the right day.
Step 7: Understanding your Utility Bills:
Dealing with your utility bills is a straightforward process. Say that you have canceled services and closed your account with your current service provider. Don’t forget that you will be sent a bill for the utilities you have used until the day you moved out of your house. When your bill arrives, make sure that you haven’t been charged beyond the day you asked the provider to shut down the services.
Consider this situation – you might pay your monthly bills at the beginning of the month. But if you move out on the 15th, this means that you shut down your services on the 15th of that month. So, don’t forget that the service providers owe you some money because you canceled the services way before the month ended. Always check your bills to ensure that you aren’t being overcharged for anything.
Coming to your new utility services, make sure that you keep yourself updated about your billing cycles and payment options. Make sure that you pay your security deposits and the monthly bills on time to avoid affecting your credit score negatively.
The bottom line here is that nothing can go wrong as long as you plan the process well. We know that moving into a new house is actually the beginning of a new chapter of your life. If you think about it, moving is quite exciting, isn’t it? Don’t let the process of setting up home services suck out the joy out of your move. If you are confused, follow these super easy steps to set up home services in your new house. We assure you that you will be done with it in no time!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the first thing to do when you move into a new house?
The most important thing you need to do when you move into a new house is to ensure that your utilities have been set up properly. You need to have electricity, running water, heat, and gas if you want to live in your house because life will be super inconvenient without them. Similarly, you also need to change your locks and install a home security system to make sure that your house is safe.
When buying a new house, when do you set up utilities?
Although some service providers will do the installation and activation of utilities within 5-6 days, most of the service providers require a maximum of 10-15 days to complete the work. As a result of this, we suggest that you contact your service providers at least 2 weeks before you move into your new house.
What utilities do renters usually pay?
Before you try to set up any utilities, it is advisable to talk to your landlord and find out about what utilities are covered under your monthly rental amount. In most cases, you will be the one paying for gas, internet, cable, and electricity. On the other hand, your landlord will cover the costs for utilities like garbage, water, and sewage.