Dec 19 2023

3 must-dos to check off your move-in list

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Buying a house? Find out how and when to set up home insurance, utilities, and home security.

When preparing to move into your new house, there are a few “must dos” and many more “nice to haves.” Setting up your utilities and internet, signing up for home insurance, and connecting home security fall in the first category. You don’t want to move in without them.

3 must-dos: Utilities/internet, home insurance, and security

home insurance

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 home insurance. But:

  • You’ll usually need it to close on your mortgage. Most lenders require that you provide proof of homeowners 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. NerdWallet data shows that some homeowners have saved over $1,000 a year by shopping for a cheaper rate.

Tip: Academy Connect, the no-cost service we offer to all our borrowers, can help you save time and money when shopping for home insurance. It might take hours to do your own research, request quotes, and 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.

Tip: 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, speed, or contract terms or simply a cheaper price. Using Academy Connect, you can get referrals to your local providers.

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.
  • 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.

Tip: With how rapidly home security technology is advancing, comparing systems, prices, and providers can be overwhelming. Instead of taking hours to research, consider letting your Academy Connect Agent do it for you—helping you find affordable rates and even coordinating home security and smart home service installation.

Save big on home services and do it all in one place?

Start saving with our complimentary service, Academy Connect.

9 nice-to-dos: Forward mail, change locks, and pet-proof

Many of these tasks can be done right before or immediately after moving into your new house:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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 introduce yourself on Nextdoor to gain some traction.

Got a minute? Let’s get you connected.

If you want to set up internet, cable, home security, home insurance, and more—and save while doing it—an Academy Connect Agent is waiting to help.

Please consult a trusted professional as personal circumstances may vary. No specific results are guaranteed. Not all applicants will qualify. MAC824-1487971.