Must-haves for your move-in list
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Learn how (and when) to set up home insurance, internet, home security, and smart home tech.
Is your closing right around the corner? Then you’ve probably already begun late-night googling to try and figure out what needs to be done to successfully move into your house. As you might have discovered, there are several “must do” and quite a few more “nice to do” items on this list. Setting up home insurance, utilities, internet, and home security are some of the tasks to tackle first.
Must-dos: Utilities/internet, home insurance, and security
This is what you need—and may even be required—to do before getting the keys to your house:
1. Choose your home insurance.
It’s true that you can legally own a house without homeowners insurance. But:
- You’ll usually need it to close on your mortgage. Most lenders require that you provide proof of home insurance coverage prior to closing on your loan; this is to mitigate risk.
- It’s always a good practice to compare quotes before agreeing to a policy. As many as 76 percent of consumers who do this save on their insurance.
Academy Connect, the no-cost service we offer to all our borrowers, can help you save time and money when shopping homeowners insurance. According to most consumers, it can take about two hours to compare policy premiums. But when you use Academy Connect, you’ll be browsing quotes in a matter of seconds.
2. Connect your utilities.
To start living—comfortably, at least—in your new home, you’ll need to set up or transfer utilities, like water, gas, electricity, and waste:
- Request to have your utilities connected the day before you plan to move in. If you’re not moving out of your city, you might be able to transfer some or all of your services.
- It’s a good idea to connect your internet at this time too. Getting online can be especially important if you work remotely and want to move in and log in without skipping a beat.
Even if you’re staying local and have the option to transfer, this could be your chance to review your current rates. You may wish to find a new utility or internet provider for better service, faster speed, more flexible contract terms, or, simply, a cheaper price. (Academy Connect can help, referring you to your local utility providers and cutting the average time spent on this down from three hours to about 20 minutes.)
Grab our full Homeownership Checklist and make your move-in day a success.
3. Set up your home security.
A break-in can happen no matter where you live. And so:
- It can be helpful to familiarize yourself with crime reports for your local area. Check out Nextdoor and other community pages while you’re at it so you can see what homeowners are talking about.
- Still, you might feel that you’re better off safe than sorry. A home security system with motion sensors, timed lighting, cameras, and alarms could provide the peace of mind you’re looking for.
Home security technology is always advancing. Today, there are countless systems available with different types of support, pricing, and features. Many of our borrowers appreciate using Academy Connect to cut down the confusion. Not only can you use it to compare and secure a competitive rate—one of our Homeownership Concierge Agents will help coordinate your home security and smart home service installation.
Nice-to-dos: Forward mail, change locks, pet-proof, and more
Many of these tasks can be done right before or immediately after moving into your new house:
- Forward your mail and update your address. You can forward mail and submit a permanent change-of-address form here; also, update your online accounts with your new billing information.
- Schedule a deep cleaning. To feel truly at home, you’ll want to clean your new house to your liking before moving furniture in; you can do this yourself or book cleaners on or after your closing day.
- Change your locks. There’s no way to know if previous owners still have a spare key. So, call a locksmith to change the locks once you’ve officially closed and reset the garage code too.
- Locate your fuse box and water valve. It helps to be in the know if a breaker trips or a pipe bursts so you can act fast. Consult these simple guides to finding a fuse box/shutoff valve in your new house.
- Organize your mortgage documents. Take care to file your closing and home insurance paperwork where you can find it. If you itemize, you’ll need your closing statement come tax time.
- Pet and/or child-proof the yard and house. If you have kids and/or pets, set aside an afternoon to prep for safety—covering outlets, closing holes under the fence, and storing toxic products out of reach.
- Check smoke alarm/carbon monoxide detector batteries. Test and replace batteries as needed. It’s usually a good idea to replace detectors within five to 10 years of installation.
- Schedule pest control. Get on top of your upkeep by scheduling pest control, landscaping, and other seasonal maintenance—like gutter cleaning in the fall and sprinkler blowout in the spring.
Finally, set aside some time to explore your new neighborhood and meet your neighbors. Take a break from cleaning and unpacking, go on a walk, and chat with anyone who’s out and about. You can also use Nextdoor to gain some traction: Make a post introducing yourself and break the ice by asking for local restaurant recommendations.
Now’s a great time to set up your home insurance and services
Looking to connect your internet, utilities, TV, phone, and smart home/home security and save time and money while doing it? Reach out to an Academy Loan Officer to find out how you can use Academy Connect, the complimentary service we created for our borrowers, to compare home insurance rates and help set up your home services.
This is for informational and educational purposes only and not intended as an advertisement as defined by Regulation Z. Please consult a trusted professional as personal circumstances may vary. No specific results are guaranteed. MAC723-1482310.