You found the perfect home in the perfect neighborhood in the perfect city.
You jumped the other hurdles, too: negotiating with the buyers or landlords, settling closing costs, and determining a monthly mortgage payment or rental agreement. Congratulations!
But you’re not done yet. Now you have to address the utilities and services you’ll need to transfer before the big move-in day. Switching utilities and services takes time and, in some cases, may have unexpected fees.
To help you switch utilities and services when moving, use the below checklist. These 13 items will ensure you stay on top of your move — and your budget.
Without utilities like water, gas, and electricity, you might as well be moving into a well-furnished cave. To guarantee you receive the needed utilities on the appropriate date, check off the four areas below.
Some electricity providers offer a grace period during which they keep the power running in between the previous homeowners’ cancellation and your renewal. Don’t rely on that period, though. Not all utility providers offer them, and the home seller could have called in a while ago to cancel the service.
To stay on the safe side, investigate electricity providers, and set up an account during the closing period.
Remember, too, that electricity providers rarely initiate services the same day and instead institute service on a date one to two weeks in the future. Keep that timeframe in mind as it could affect other plans, such as cleaning, painting, organizing, or remodeling.
2. Water and Sewage
Water and sewage services are generally run and maintained by your municipality. To figure out which specific division you need to call to set up billing and ensure service, visit your city’s official website. Most have an entire page devoted to utilities and related services.
As with the electricity, set a future date for when the water will be turned on and ready for use. Just don’t forget to cancel the billing at your old residence. You don’t want to be stuck paying two water bills.
3. Natural Gas
Some houses use gas for heating or cooking. If your new home is one of those houses, review your gas provider options by checking your new city’s website.
Some areas may be more limited than others because of energy regulations, but it’s always good to conduct a bit of research on what’s available near you. It could save you money in the long run.
Like the other utilities, set a future date for gas service. If the date doesn’t match up with the other utilities, don’t worry about it too much unless you’re moving in the dead of winter or absolutely hate cold showers.
4. Trash Collection
Many times, trash collection comes as part of your water and sewage utility. If trash isn’t part of the water service, find out who gathers the garbage in your neighborhood and sign a service agreement. It’ll keep you and your new neighbors happy.
While you’re setting up trash services, ask about recycling services. Some municipalities have city recycling programs. Even those that don’t may still refer you to a third-party recycling company to sign up with.
After you’ve taken care of the basic necessities, tackle communication and telecommunications services. This may require a bit more work, as not all city pages offer direction. With a little research, though, you should have no problem getting them set up at your new place.
A landline telephone will typically require a call to transfer your service over to your new residence. Talk to your current telephone provider to learn about options and costs.
In the event that the provider doesn’t offer service in your new area — a common issue for interstate moves — start asking your new neighbors about what service they use and whether they’d recommend it.
If you decide to go mobile only, you should only need to update your account information to ensure any bills come to your new address.
However, if you experience a lot of dropped calls, you may wish to pick a new carrier that provides better service in your area. Sites like WhistleOut can give you a bit more insight regarding coverage reliability by provider.
Like mobile phone service, you should be able to transfer the internet to your new home simply by updating your contact and billing information.
Double check with the Internet Service Provider (ISP), though. As with phone services, you could be moving to an area where the ISP doesn’t provide service, or where it provides different offerings at a different price.
If you find yourself in the latter situation, make sure the new connection speed provides the connectivity needed at a price that’s in your budget. If it doesn’t, consider contracting with a new ISP. Some ISPs offer same-day connectivity, but most involve a short delay between the time of purchase and service start date.
7. Cable Television
A cable television subscription may be able to move with you, but it depends on provider availability in your new location. The provider might not offer service in the area, or it may offer it at a price point outside your budget. If that proves to be the case, move on.
When possible, find a provider that delivers internet, telephone, and TV plans. Bundling the services together could save you a ton of money on monthly bills.
Home security is important for any home, as is home automation for many homeowners. Don’t delay moving your security and automation services to your new location.
8. Home Security
If you have monitored home security, you’ll need to transfer the services over, just like you would for cable or internet. Call up the provider to let them know where you’re moving, and a representative should walk you through the transfer process.
In the event that your current security provider doesn’t service the area where your new home is located, you may need to switch over to a new provider. Sites like PCMag can help you pick a new provider in that case.
If your security system is more DIY, you’ll have to move it yourself. Keep in mind, though, that your new home’s setup won’t be the same as your old one. Which means you may need to invest in new components or rearrange the system to ensure all entrances are covered.
9. Home Automation
Plenty of people opt to go the DIY route for home automation. However, using a DIY system means you’ll have to handle all the moving and reinstallation of various components.
And whatever you do, don’t leave any devices behind. At least not without adequately resetting them to remove any stored personal data.
If you worked with a home security provider like Vivint to integrate your smart home tech with your existing security devices, the provider should be able to help you relocate the components. Some even offer easy moving kits.
These aren’t all technically services, but they’re things you’ll want to check on when you’re moving to a new home.
If you have school-age kids, get their information into the local school district as soon as possible. Providing the data ensures your kids get access to meals, supplies, summer programs, tutors, and other needed academic services.
It also doesn’t hurt to ask other area parents about teachers and extracurricular activities. Hearing first-hand experiences could help you decide what groups or classes will work best for your child’s learning style and personality.
Unfortunately, your favorite primary care physician won’t move out of state for you, so you will need to find a new doctor. Start with your health insurance provider first. It may or may not provide the services you need in your new location.
If you relocated for work, see if your new employer offers any insurance benefits and get switched over as soon as possible.
Once you settle the insurance question, look for a quality medical professional, both for you and your children. Checking out reviews online on Zocdoc is a good place to start, but remember that you aren’t stuck with one provider.
If you have a poor experience — even with a highly-rated doctor — you have every right to look for care elsewhere.
12. Pet Care
You will love your new home, but you’ll still take vacations, which means finding a pet boarding service or kennel for the dog or cat.
Nextdoor could help you find a good vendor or sitter, but ask your current service provider, too. You never know who might know whom.
Additionally, if you typically use a grooming service, you’ll need to seek a replacement for that as well.
13. Subscription Services
Other services you might not think about when moving include subscriptions, deliveries, and lawn care.
For example, if you regularly use Instacart to get groceries or rely on Blue Apron for healthy meals throughout the week, you’ll want to update your contact and shipping information to continue receiving the services.
For lawn care, ask your neighbors for recommendations, or check out offerings on Thumbtack.
The 13 utilities and services listed above should more than cover your needs, whether you’re moving across town or out of state. By using this checklist, you’ll be able to better manage your expenses and time, freeing you to explore the area and make it your own.
This article was written by Jonathan Deesing, a home services specialist and freelance writer who spends most of his free time trying to wear out his husky puppy, London.