How do I get utilities turned on in my new house? [Real NEastate]

Q: I am making settlement on my new house in Morrell Park at the end of the month. What do I have to do to change my driver’s license address and get all my utilities turned on?

A: Congratulations on your new home! Being prepared is important, but so is timing. Settlement dates and circumstances can change; there will be some things you will want to do after you make settlement and some you will want to do the day of settlement.

There are several websites that have the forms for you to make these requests:

PennDot Change of Address: The house isn’t yours until you walk away with the keys. Wait until that happens to send this form in to PennDot, and also remember to change your voter’s registration while you’re at it.

US Postal Service Change of Address:  It seems like it would be good to have this done in time for settlement, but you must be sure that it’s a done deal beforehand. You wouldn’t want to have mail going to an address you don’t live at if the transaction gets postponed for some reason. Sometimes postponement is hard to predict because circumstances have been known to change as late as the day of settlement.

PECO (Electric): Pre-arrange to transfer this the day of settlement if possible, or do it the day of settlement. The seller may have requested service stop the day of settlement (although the day after is preferable). If the transaction is postponed, you can always postpone transfer.

PGW (Gas):  Transfer the day of settlement. You will want a seamless transfer of this utility and not have to get your gas turned back on if it gets turned off, because you will have to pay a service fee to turn it on. Hopefully the homeowner will arrange to have service turned off the day after settlement, as well. If you are able to transfer without shutting off first, you’re golden.

PWD (Water): (215) 685-6300. The title company will usually handle the transfer of this bill into a homeowner’s name, but you will want to call and make sure, but not until the day after settlement. PWD may want you to fax the settlement form (HUD-1) to them for verification.

Telephone service, Internet, cable and all else can be done at your leisure after settlement. Good luck!

Stacey McCarthy is a real estate agent with the McCarthy Group of Keller Williams. Her Real NEastate column appears every Wednesday on See others hereRead other NEast Philly columns here.

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