Make Moving In As Stress-Free As Possible
Switching your utilities when moving may seem like a hassle, especially when there are so many other things you need to accomplish within a certain amount of time. With boxes to pack, budgets to figure out, and schedules to set up, dealing with providers, both old and new, can be a real chore. However, with a little time and planning, this task wont take much effort at all. Here are some tips that will help save you time and stress when switching your utilities before you move.
1. Start Early
Youll need to give yourself at least a month to complete the entire process, so dont delay. Canceling your old utilities at the last minute can end up costing you more than you need to spend, and setting up utilities in your new place can take days, sometimes weeks, to connect. Avoid the inconvenience of moving in to a home without any heat, electricity, water, or home security by making sure you start early.
2. Get Organized
One reason youll need to give yourself plenty of time is so you can gather all the proper information you need before you start making any calls. Find out the names of all your current providers along with their contact information, and their cancellation or transfer policies. Also take note of your account or contract number, the rates you are paying, and when they are due. Once you know the date you are moving, have all this information with you when you start contacting your providers. Its also good to jot down any details they give you whenever you speak with them. Keep this information in the same notebook or folder as everything else.
3. Research Your Options
Like with many decisions in life, its best to research all your options in order to make the most informed choice. When it comes to switching utilities, you have three options to choose from:
- Transferring your current utilities to your new home: this works mostly in local moves where the place you are moving to is in an area that is serviced by the same provider. This is the easiest option, and can probably be done with a simple phone call.
- Transferring utility services from the sellers name to the buyers: this arrangement can be worked into the settlement of the home or agreed upon in some other capacity. This will avoid the need of turning off any utilities and will guarantee that no one gets stuck with the other party's bills.
- Canceling your old service and setting up with a new provider: if your current provider is not available in your new home and you can and want to use a different provider than the one the previous homeowner used, go for it. Make sure to research everything you can about the different companies, focusing on their rates, policies, and regulations.
4. Call At Least Two Weeks Before You Move
Even if you have everything on lock and can guarantee that the entire move will go exactly as scheduled, you should still call your providers, both old and new, at least two weeks before the move. Often times, setting up new services will take a while to process and at least a few days to turn on. This is especially true during the summer, which is peak moving season. Also, some utility providers require at least two weeks notice to cancel their services.
5. Inquire About Deposits
If you gave a deposit to your current utilities providers at the start of your service, dont forget to ask if or how you can get it back, or if you are entitled to any refunds. Also ask your new providers if they require any deposits so you figure the costs into your budget.
6. Schedule Accordingly
If youre moving away, its best to have your utilities disconnected the day after closing. This is to ensure that everything is working if the buyer decides to do a last minute walk-through, which, if they arent satisfied, could delay closing. Also, if you forget something or need to go back to the house after moving, youll still be able to turn on the lights and look around.
If youre moving into a new place, make sure you have at least your water, electric, and gas switched on a few days before your move. This will guarantee that everything is up and running by the time you get there. If your providers require your presence on the day they switch on your services, try to schedule them all on the same day. Also, dont forget to call each of your providers shortly before your move to confirm that everything is on schedule.
Utility companies often provide discounts or incentives for new costumers, so feel free to ask if any are available to you. Even if you are keeping the same provider, you are starting their service in a new place, so dont be afraid to ask if you still qualify. You should also ask if there are any ways you can lower your monthly bill. If there are any services or features you dont need, try to negotiate with them for a better deal.
Switching your utilities doesn't have to be a pain as long as you know what you need to do and plan ahead. With a little effort and organization, youll soon be moved in to your new place with less stress than you thought. Once youre moved in, though, make sure you keep all the information about your new utilities organized and in the same place. This will help save you some trouble if you need to start this whole process again someday.