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Moving Soon? Remember These 6 Essential Items.
Congratulations on your upcoming move! This is an exciting time filled with inspiration. How will you arrange your furniture? How will each room be styled? And how will you turn your new backyard into an oasis? Before you spend too much time on all the fun stuff, there are several important (and often overlooked) tasks you should complete to ensure a smooth and safe transition to your new home.
Here is a checklist of the 6 essential items:
- Let Others Know Your Address Is Changing
So, you dropped off the change-of-address form at the post office. That means you’re good, right? Not exactly.
While alerting the post office will forward your mail, a standard mail forwarding order only lasts for a year. After that, mail from critical providers, such as doctors, veterinarians, banks, schools, the Social Security Administration and your pension board will be returned to the sender.
To prevent a gap in communication, alert each organization about your address change. County or other government agencies also need to receive your new address to correctly assess taxes on your new home.
While you’re at it, don’t forget about friends and family. A small card with your new address and a picture of your residence is a fun way to share the news.
- Switch Your Utilities
When moving, you’ll need to have the gas, electric, sewer, trash and water turned on at your new residence. If you are moving out of a home or even an apartment, you will also need to switch off service at your current address. The same holds true for other critical utilities, such as cable and internet.
It’s also important to know that companies may require a couple days’ notice to make the change. Check with your realtor or lender to find out when the current owner is turning off the service in your new residence, so you know when to have it switched to your name.
- Obtain Keys and Passcodes
If you’re moving into a Homeowners Association (HOA) or gated community, you may need keys or passcodes to access amenities such as the pool or tennis courts. You might also need a key for a central mailbox. If the necessary keys and codes aren’t provided at closing, be sure to get the name of an HOA contact that can facilitate the handover.
If you’re moving into a gated community, make sure you have a code for entering the property or that the association knows when you are moving in, so they can alert a guard, if there is one on site, to authorize your entry.
- Change Locks for Security
When moving into a new residence, you never know how many keys to your home might be in circulation from the previous owner. It’s always a good idea to change your locks and/or update the codes on keypads to prevent unauthorized access to your new home.
- Review Your Homeowners Policy
During your move or shortly thereafter, review the homeowners policy you put in place to ensure it meets your current and future needs. Look at things like the annual premium, what is and is not covered by your policy, and the deductibles required should something need to be fixed or replaced. A quick call to your insurance provider is recommended. They can assist by asking the right questions, so your coverage meets the needs of your new dwelling.
- Think About Routine Cleaning and Maintenance
As you’re moving in, take care of common cleaning and maintenance tasks to ensure your health and safety. These tasks include locating the water and gas shut-off valves, finding the circuit breaker, cleaning and sanitizing all rooms (especially bathrooms and kitchens), verifying the dryer vent is clear of buildup, changing furnace filters, and testing and/or changing the batteries on your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Many of these tasks could potentially save your life, so it’s important to cross these off your list as soon as you move in.
Moving into a new home is an exciting adventure. By taking these 6 steps, you can ensure a smoother transition, while protecting the safety and security of your family, your investment, and your future.
The articles in this blog are for informational purposes only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations. When making decisions about your financial situation, consult a financial professional for advice. Articles are not regularly updated, and information may become outdated.