Although the pandemic adversely affected the general economy in 2020, the real estate market maintained its resilience as evident by strong home-buying activity and steady real estate transactions. In the third quarter of 2020, the homeownership rate in the U.S. was 67.4%, according to Statista. Simultaneously, mortgage rates bottomed out and housing inventory hit record lows.
If you’re in the market for a new home or considering refinancing your current mortgage, explore all the mortgage options by visiting Credible to compare rates and lenders with no impact on your credit score.
Setting up your home: 5 things you need to do
Realtor’s Home Buying 2020 report shows that 41% of prospective homebuyers are ready to buy sooner than initially planned. If that’s you, having a to-do list is an absolute must to ensure nothing is overlooked.
Here are five moving tips to follow as you start getting settled into your new home.
- Set up utilities/prepare for installations
- Change of address on bills
- Forward mail from the old home to the new home
- Change the locks
- Locate the items needed in an emergency
1. Set up utilities/prepare for installations
Ensuring the lights turn on and the heat or air conditioning works properly before moving into your new home is a top priority. You can schedule utilities — gas and electric, water, phone, internet, heating and cooling and garbage collection — to be set up weeks before moving in, as most companies let you choose a start date. You may need to pay a deposit to open an account if you haven’t had service previously.
Have mortgage questions to be answered? Visit Credible to get in touch with experienced loan officers dedicated to helping you finance your dream home.
2. Change of address on bills
Lenders and bill collectors won’t forgive missed payments simply because you moved to a new address. That’s why it’s imperative to file a change of address with the post office before you set off for your new destination.
You’ll also want to notify subscription services, your bank or credit union, insurance companies, the IRS, clubs and organizations, friends and family and anyone else who regularly sends you correspondence.
3. Forward mail from the old home to the new home
If you want to be absolutely sure that all of your important mail, bills, packages and magazines are forwarded from your old address to your new address, you will need to notify the United States Post Office (USPS). All you have to do is fill out the USPS change of address form either online line or by visiting a local post office.
You’ll need a credit card to verify your identity and select a date to begin forwarding your mail. As a bonus, the USPS may send you a packet of coupons to use while moving or when you get to your new address.
4. Change the locks
It’s better to be safe than sorry. This is especially true when moving to a new address, so you’ll want to change all of the locks on your new home. In an apartment, you may want to ask your landlord to have them changed. You can DIY or hire a locksmith to handle it. Changing your locks is a small expense to pay for a little peace of mind.
You may also want to change the garage door opener and check out your windows for any cracks or other damage.
5. Locate the items needed in an emergency
The last thing you need in your new home is a flooded bathroom or basement because you don't know the location of the main water valve. Likewise, if the power goes out, you’ll want to be able to find the circuit breaker box in the dark. If your new home has a basement, the fuse box is likely located there. If not, it will probably be in the garage or a closet. The main water valve is probably located outside around the perimeter of your home.
Are you covered in emergencies? If not, make sure you get home insurance right away. Head to Credible to get a better understanding of the different types of home insurance coverage and what the coverage amount is. Click on Credible's home insurance partners to get a free home insurance quote.
Other things to keep in mind when moving to a new home
- Contact your department of motor vehicles to arrange for a new driver’s license and updated vehicle registration
- Turn on your water heater
- Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and change batteries if necessary
- Install security systems
- Make sure you had a thorough home inspection
- Figure out how to get rid of all your boxes
- Meet the neighbors
Owning a home continues to be an important part of the American Dream, even during a pandemic. Making sure moving to a new destination goes smoothly takes planning. And making sure you have the best mortgage rates and terms takes shopping around at an online marketplace like Credible.