March 16, 2022
You’ve made the decision. You’re ready to move to another home, and you’re ready to buy. Your life is about to get very busy with what will feel like a million to-dos, decisions and details. What makes the situation a bit stressful is that you have to do them all before you move and that you’ll find out if you made the right decisions after the move. We’re here to provide a quick-moving checklist to help you make the best decisions for yourself without overlooking anything.
- Arrange for a mortgage. When you’re applying and qualifying for a mortgage for your new home, you’ll have several options on how you want to finance it.
- If you’ve been renting, you’ll be taking out a new mortgage and deciding between a fixed-rate loan versus an adjustable-rate mortgage—ARM. While the interest rate on a fixed-rate loan remains the same for the life of the term, the interest rate on an ARM will remain at the initial rate for a set number of years but will periodically adjust upward after that.
- If you’re selling one house and buying another, you may have additional options to consider.
- If you carry a fixed-rate mortgage on your current house, it may be “portable.” That is, you might be able to “port” your mortgage from your current home over to the new home you’re purchasing so that you can keep your current interest rate, terms and conditions for the new property. This option is usually reserved for fixed-rate mortgages and is contingent on factors like your current finances and the values of the mortgages and properties involved.
- If you have an ARM or if porting your current mortgage isn’t really an option, you’ll probably need to sell your current home, use the proceeds to satisfy that mortgage and take out a new one. Keep in mind that the conditions detailed on a mortgage note specify whether any penalties or fees apply if you were to pay off the note before the end of the term.
What will work best for you will depend on your personal situation. ARMs typically offer an initial interest rate that is slightly lower than what a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage carries, but the ARM’s interest rate will rise after the initial term of three to seven years. For this reason, an ARM may be advantageous if you know you’ll be moving again before the rate begins to rise.
On the other hand, a fixed-rate loan will keep the same interest rate for the duration of the loan and may be portable. You may be able to retain a more favorable interest rate, terms and conditions than what a new loan might offer. What’s best for your situation will depend on the terms and conditions of your current mortgage versus what a financial institution might be willing to offer on a new one.
- Update your homeowner's insurance policy. Your mortgage lending institution will probably require proof that you’ve transferred your homeowner's insurance policy to the new property or opened a new policy if you’re a first-time buyer. You can usually arrange to have your lender pay the annual fee through your mortgage loan’s escrow account. Ensure through the insurance company providing the homeowner's policy that your coverage is indexed for a current replacement value.
- Set up mail forwarding. You can fill out a simple online form so that the US Postal Service will forward your mail to your new address. You’ll also need to change your contact information on your account profiles for the companies you do business with—for example, bank accounts, credit cards, student loans, car loans, medical offices, health insurance providers, streaming subscriptions and charitable organizations.
- Set up Internet services. You'll need to arrange to have online access to your new home. You may need to have your provider change cable entry points or improve the range. If you’re not able to keep your current Internet provider, you may also have to set up new email accounts. Be sure to update that portion of your online account profiles for creditors as well as any streaming services or other parties that use it as part of the contact or login process.
- Transfer the utilities. You’ll need to contact the companies that provide utilities for your current home to arrange an end date for your service. You’ll also need to contact the companies you want to provide utilities for your new home to arrange a start date for your service. Utilities include the companies that provide power, water and sewer, natural gas or heating oil, and trash pickup, for example.
- Arrange transport to move your personal effects. Depending on the time of year, you may need to book a moving company or moving van well in advance of your move. Moving can be a major expense, so be sure that you really want the things that you’re planning on moving. Otherwise, a move is a good time to downsize and sell or donate items that you no longer want or need.
- Make arrangements for family pets. Especially if you’re moving a distance or may have to spend a few days in a hotel or interim rental, you’ll need to ensure that your pets are in a safe, secure place where they’re welcome and well taken care of. Be sure pets are safe and secure during periods of transport too.
- Make arrangements with your children’s schools. If you’re changing school districts, your children’s old school will need to forward records to the new school. You’ll need to register your children for their new school and submit any needed documentation for proof of residence.
- Update your driver’s license, vehicle registration and car insurance. Most states mandate that you update your license and registration within 30 days. If you’re moving between states, you may have to supply additional documentation to get a new license and register your vehicles. Some states require vehicle inspections, and moving can affect your car insurance as well.
- Open new banking accounts. Your current bank may not have local offices that will be convenient to your new address. If you’re moving any distance, you may need to find a new banking institution that will offer the convenience and availability of local financial services.
Moving is exciting because you’re making a new beginning. Yet, the sheer magnitude of the change can be overwhelming. Having a knowledgeable community-based financial institution to support you through the home-buying, mortgage and moving process, however, can make everything just a little bit easier. Stop by your local La Capitol Federal Credit Union branch to talk with one of our mortgage specialists, or contact us online. Let us make one of the toughest things on your moving checklist easy.