Thursday, September 15, 2011

10 High Priority Utilities You Need in a New Home

I’m grateful for the day of modern conveniences. I have early childhood memories of getting my homework done by lamp light or eating supper by lamp light in the winter for sure. However I have to squeeze my brain hard to remember the strain it had on my eyes. It doesn’t take long for us to get accustomed to modern conveniences and utilities.

In moving to another location, especially to another state, finding the utilities you are accustomed to, we may have to rely on a realtor or the company we work for to help us find the best for our household.

  1. We can’t do without electricity, and this is one of the first things we want to be informed about.
    1. How much the former owners paid on average,
    2. Ask the Electrical company if you have a choice of levelized billing. Meaning we pay the same amount (within a few dollars of course) each month. The statement takes an average of the past twelve months previous usage, and bills you for one twelfth of the entire year. It really works for me and makes it so much easier to do a budget using a figure that won’t vary much from month to month. If you are in the process of purchasing a home with a history of a huge electricity bill, I’d take a second look as to why. Not enough insulation, or is there several children who keep doors and lights on to cool the neighborhood?
  2. Many homes do not have any appliance that needs natural gas. For those whose water heater runs from gas, or the heating unit, it would be good to have a choice. Many states are blessed to have a choice making the price competitive. This is one of those utilities (the same with electricity) we could call from our home before moving, and learn what companies are available, and what is needed up front; Like, deposit and how much, as well as if they offer levelized billing.
  3. I learned quickly the name brands of Sanitation Companies, may own the biggest and best looking trucks, but the little man can offer a better price. I figure as long as they take my garbage to the dump, I don’t care what they drive. So a way to save money is to shop around (especially in the newspaper service area) and find a man who makes his living picking up the garbage. His prices are much better and again, it is a good idea to support the small business man.
  4. Many years ago, the government got involved in the Bell Telephone Company and broke it into smaller companies. Otherwise they were a monopoly and could charge anything they wanted. Today the choices are somewhat better, in that we don’t even have to have a land line unless there are circumstances that dictate otherwise. If you are one of those households that need a land line, your realtor should be able to give you a list of utility providers.
  5. Whether kids are involved or not, we love our TV and what it has to offer. There are many choices to fit every budget. Making the choice that fits you should be easy enough as Direct TV, Cable Service, Satellite and other services that bring the world to your door is a fairly simple decision to make as long as you have the facts you need. Again, letting your fingers do the walking through the yellow pages should give you information to fulfill your desires for TV reception.
  6. There may not be as many choices for the Water Department. We moved from Memphis many years ago, and was sadden to learn the water bill would be separate from the Electricity and Gas utility. It just seemed easier to pay for some reason to have the three utilities in one bill. As long as the water is tasty and clean, what company it comes from is immaterial.
  7. Like it or not, the Internet is here to stay. Having internet connection is one of the easiest utilities to find where ever we live. In fact we can usually take the one we have been using if it is through a telephone company, and never know we have changed. My cable company is my Internet provider and they are as close as the telephone when it comes to trouble I may have getting connected which is very seldom.
  8. Then there is the wireless service which again is one of those connections we can usually take with us. The companies involved in wireless service are so vast; the biggest problem would be making up your mind as to which one offers the best service, or the best package price.
  9. I’ve not always had an alarm system in my home, but for the last 5 years or so I wonder what we did without it. Alarm Companies are eager to install one in your home, and the monthly fee they charge is for monitoring the system. I’ve more than paid for mine, but having the feeling of safety is wonderful and a cost cannot be applied for peace.
  10. I assume that sewage is covered in the water utility, but in some areas it may not. This could vary from state to state, or even location to location. Knowing what is being billed together or separately will help you stay informed on what is due and when.

Being a first time home owner this information may be helpful. I certainly hope so. The frustration of getting papers signed on a new home, finding movers who are bonded and reliable, as well as having good information on getting the utilities on so that when the furniture is in place, the dishes put away, and the pantry filled, the feeling of settling in can be one of the best in life.

Taken From Connect Utilities

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