3 Things to do before you move into your first house:
When we first bought our house, there were a lot of things I was wondering, questioning and unsure about. I really had no idea where to start with the preparation, and I wished there was some sort of guide to how to get ready to move into your home for the first time. So I thought I’d compile this list for you.
Home Insurance: This was one of those things that I just had no clue about. I had heard the term thrown around a few times, but didn’t know where to start. I called my car insurance company and got a quote. I had a bit of a fear of how much insurance was going to cost us at this time, which caused me to ask around and get some recommendations from family and friends. When we called a few different places, we were able to switch our car insurance and buy home insurance for significantly less than we were already spending on car insurance with our original provider. Utilities: We all know there are going to be bills coming in from utility providers, but I didn’t know we had to set them all up, and have everything ready before we moved. Once I figured that out, I didn’t know who to call. So here's a small list: (it will vary by area)
Water: Your municipality or region supplies water. For us, that’s Durham Region. We googled “Durham region + Water Bill Set up” and found the number to call and arrange this. Hydro/Electricity: In Canada it’s called hydro, in the USA it’s called Electricity, that’s ultimately what it is in both places. This can be done a few different ways, through a local provider, or like we have in the province of Ontario ‘Hydro One’ for us, it was through Whitby Hydro, and they had a form you could submit online to get everything set up.
Cable/Internet: I’d say this is basically a necessity now, whether for both or just Internet. You’ll want to find a provider that works for you. There are a few options to choose from, and it will all come down to a personal preference. If you have a cell phone with a specific provider, try to negotiate a discount with the provider for additional services.
Gas: Most houses now in suburban, or urban areas will have natural gas. In Ontario, the natural gas provider is Enbridge, and they can help you set everything up for your move. If you don’t have natural gas, you’re likely running off propane or electric heat. Be forewarned, electric heat will cost you significantly more when you are trying to heat or cool your home. If you’re heating source is propane, you should check for local suppliers as they’ll be the ones to come and fill your tank as needed. You can also ask the person you’re buying the home from, and they can likely give you estimates on how much it cost them, when they needed to fuel up.
Life/Mortgage Insurance: This one is a bit more complicated. A lot of mortgage providers try to convince you to buy mortgage insurance through them. When we looked into this, there was one reason that pushed us in the direction of Life insurance instead. Mortgage insurance covers the remaining balance on your mortgage (which is great in the beginning). The cost remains the same for the duration of your mortgage, but the value you receive decreases year over year. Life insurance is different, your cost remains the same, but so does your payout. We bought our life insurance before we turned thirty, as the cost is lower. We had to go through a medical exam and have blood work done to qualify, but in the end, it protects us long term.
There’s nothing like buying a house for the first time to really make you feel like a grown up. Keep in mind I’m no expert. This is all just how I got through the process and things I wish I had known, but instead had to figure them out for myself. I recommend you contact experts for more information if you’re going through this.