4 Things to Know About Utilities Before Buying a Home

One of the last things on your mind when you are buying a home is what steps to take to get the lights, water, and sewer, cable and internet turned on and what they will cost throughout the life of your home. Here’s everything that you should be keeping in mind about utilities while you’re looking for a new home

Have an action plan

Before you close the deal, develop an action plan for setting up or transferring the existing utility accounts for such things as lights, gas, and water in your new home to your name. This involves working out the details of when the utilities will become your financial responsibility with the seller as well as scheduling a time for maintenance technicians to turn on service. Consider inquiring about renewable energy certificates at this time. ESCO companies can offset your carbon footprint and some provide renewable energy certificates which can help shave the cost of your monthly bill.

For utilities where you have a choice of providers, such as cable television and internet, be sure to learn about rates, terms and to set up service installation costs.

Applying for service

Every utility company has its process for signing up new customers for services. Usually, this involves filling out an online application and a credit check. In some cases, a security deposit may be involved.

Don’t forget that home security system

If your new home already has an existing security system, the seller will more than likely disconnect it before they move out, so you’ll need to contact the company and have them come out, reactivate it and put the account in your name.

If the system itself is more than ten years old, it may be time for an upgrade. This makes sure you’re keeping up with the technological changes that may have taken place since its original installation.

Other services

Get the seller’s opinion about which landscapers, pest exterminators, housekeepers and septic service providers to use. The seller is a great resource for recommendations on local providers.

Once you have taken the necessary steps to set up or transfer the utility services in your new home to your name, be sure to keep track of billing dates and payment options. You wouldn’t want to be left in the dark or without running water in your new home.There’s a lot to think about when it comes to purchasing a home. Make sure you have all of the help you need to make the process go as smoothly and pleasantly as possible.