It’s no secret; moving isn’t always fun. Whether you are an active person or enjoy a good binge session of TV, lugging boxes around on even the nicest of days never feels like time well-spent.
We here at the luxurious Santa Anna Apartment Homes in Weslaco know that besides physically moving your personal belongings, just as much stress can come with planning everything else you have to get in order.
One thing that can become particularly worrisome is something that we rely on everyday: utilities.
As basic as utilities might be, there are a number of things to consider when setting them up.
A Utilities Q&A
Most renters are probably aware of the different utilities that they will be using in their new apartment. The most common ones are electricity, internet/cable, and water and trash collection. Natural gas and security/alarm systems are also frequently dealt with.
Ultimately, you only have two main questions that you have to answer:
- Which utilities are my responsibility to set up?
- Does my apartment complex have a preferred provider?
The lease you sign is the first place you should go for answers to question #1. Many times your landlord will have utilities like your trash and water included in your monthly rent. You can always ask them to be sure.
Knowing what they will handle for you makes it easier to plan for everything else and should save you plenty of time.#DontGuess. Ask your landlord about preferred utilities providers #SantaAnnaApts #Weslaco Click To Tweet
A preferred provider is one that is the sole source for a certain utility. Many apartment units will be wired to only get cable from Dish or another company and the same is usually true for electricity.
Asking your landlord is also recommended for this, as they will know which provider you should call, which will eliminate any guesswork.
Utilities Under the Microscope
Internet and Cable
There’s almost no escaping the Internet and our need for a reliable connection to it. These services will typically, but not always, come bundled together with cable and phone service.
The Internet provider you choose determines the speed of your service and the cost. DSL will often be slower but more affordable. Satellite Internet service reaches areas other types won’t.
Cable is shared with other members of your complex and can slow down during high usage times. Fiber optic connections will give you the fastest speeds but might not be available where you live.
Because of the rise of digital streaming, cable TV might not even be a necessity for you. A subscription to a service like Netflix with Internet and 20 channels will have a price of about $70 a month.
Hello: Phone Services
Phone service is usually included in your Internet/Cable package as a landline (this is the “old school” wired connection). Because of cell phones, landlines are hardly used anymore.
You may be able to find a bundled service package that includes cell phone service or consider a VoIP option instead of a landline.
Regardless of which services you decide on and how you structure them, you should start putting your plan into motion at least two weeks before you move in.
Internet and cable can require equipment like a router or cable box to be installed, making set up a longer process. Two weeks gives a comfortable cushion to get everything done smoothly.Love the Internet? Give #2Weeks notice to provider for setup #MovingTip Click To Tweet
You don’t want to move into a dark place and spend the start of your new lease with the lights out. Plus, your appliances and air conditioning are going to be running on electricity and we really doubt you want to be without those.
The main thing you will have to look into is which provider(s) you can set up your electric service with. Without a preferred provider, there may be a number of choices for you.
Getting plugged in might be the one thing you can move a little closer to your move-in date. Most electricity providers can start and stop service within a single day’s notice.
Still, it never hurts to get it set up ahead of time because it’s definitely something you don’t want to forget.
The cost of electricity depends mostly on how much energy you use. You can reduce electricity costs by turning off lights when you leave your apartment, as well as keeping them off in rooms you are not using when home.
When moving into an apartment, many people might not consider having an alarm system or other security measures installed. They may not even know it is an option available to them.
These types of systems can help bring you additional peace of mind whenever you leave home. Some even have options like updates on the quality of air in your apartment.
Some providers, like the Canary app, come with the added benefit that you can move the service with you when you change addresses. Services like this come with a price of a few hundred dollars initially and then a monthly fee of $10.
A built-in system will cost more, around $600, and can’t be taken with you in a move.
No matter what route you go, whether wireless or more traditional system, you will likely qualify for a renter’s insurance discount. A good security system will keep you safe and save you money.#DontForget about a quality security system to keep your #family & valuables #safe Click To Tweet
Setup Steps and Additional Considerations
The easiest way to get your utilities situated is when you are moving to a new apartment in the same city you already live in. You can usually transfer services to your new address.
If you are unable to do so, the quickest way to open a new service account is online. Most utility companies have an online option that is easy to use and much faster than opting to do things over the phone.
You’ll need your new address and the start or transfer date to get your service started.
While you can call every company one by one, there are online options that eliminate this as well.
Services like My Utilities will do all the searching for you and give you all the best options available at your new apartment. This is great for helping you find one that fits your budget best.
In your search, keep in mind that some of the utility companies you apply for service with may run a credit check. They will do this to determine if you need to provide a security deposit before you get service.
Also, you might have to be present when certain utilities are connected and that might mess with your schedule. Stay in touch with the property manager at your complex and see if they or someone else can be there in your place.
Finally, as a new customer, you may be eligible for discounts. While you may not want to spend too much time looking for these discounts, they can help you save money while moving, which can become expensive even when there are no setbacks.