You’ve made it! Welcome to the fifth installment of our Building a Home Series on ActivaLearn! Your home is now ready for you, but are you ready for it? Read on to learn our top tips for a successful and seamless move into your new home.
Note: This process may look slightly different if you’re purchasing a condo with us! But don’t worry – you’ll always have a dedicated Customer Experience Coordinator to help you through the process.
About 30 days prior to your closing date, you should begin final preparations for your move. We have provided a helpful to-do list to organize yourself for a smooth transition into your new home.
1. Contact Your Solicitor
Ensure your lawyer has a copy of every amendment you have signed. This will include your original Agreement of Purchase and Sale, as well as any subsequent amendments. Schedule a meeting with your lawyer prior to your closing date so they can walk you through all the closing paperwork and review documentation and adjustment costs. Adjustment costs will include but are not limited to: lawyer fees, Tarion enrollment, land transfer tax, and pro-rated property tax owing. Ensure you are aware of these fees in advance!
Note: You only need to contact your lawyer if your home is closing. When it’s a condo under occupancy, this step is not required.
2. Contact Your Financial Institution
Ensure your lender has a copy of every amendment you have signed. This will include your original Agreement of Purchase and Sale, as well as any subsequent amendments. They will require these amendments in order to confirm the total Purchase Price. They will work hand-in-hand with your lawyer to ensure all closing funds are in place. This step is not required if you’re moving into an occupied condo.
NOTE: Due to the Privacy Act, we are unable to send information directly to anyone other than yourself, so please ensure you keep all your amendments in a safe place.
3. Home Insurance
Ensure you have put together an appropriate home insurance policy to be active on the day of closing. Your lawyer will also need proof of this.
Set up all your utilities to be active on the day of closing/occupancy. These utilities will include Hydro, Gas, Water Heater Rental (if applicable), Telephone, Cable and Internet. Each provider will need to be contacted in order to set up a new account or transfer a former account to your new address. There may be set-up fees required for this.
The Region of Waterloo provides collections services for Blue Box, Green bin, large/bulky items and Yard Waste. Call direct (519-575-4400) to determine your area’s collection day, as well as where to pick up your bins.
Note: This may not apply to some condominium buildings with private pickups.
6. Community Mailbox Keys
Call Canada Post directly (1-800-267-1177) and they will inform you, based on your new address and postal code, where the closest depot is. Typically, your keys will arrive at this depot within 5 business days. The depot will call you when your keys are ready for pick-up. To pick up your keys, you will require a photo ID, as well as a legal document showing ownership of the home (Agreement of Purchase and Sale).
Note: This may not apply to some condominium buildings where mail keys are given at the site.
7. Mail Forwarding
Do you need your current mail re-directed? Call Canada Post to either set up a forwarding address or set a temporary “Hold Mail”.
8. Appliance/Furniture Deliveries
If you are purchasing new appliances and/or new furniture, make arrangements for delivery no sooner than the day following occupancy.
Note: We cannot guarantee an exact time when your closing transaction will be complete. Access to your home may not be available until late in the day. It is Activa policy that we do not allow early entry into the home in order to move any personal items into the garage or basement before the closing date.
Use these tips as a guide as you prepare all your personal belongings for the big day!
Tip 1: Set a budget for your moving costs. Who’s helping? Start by researching the cost of professional movers and moving trucks or begin to think about whether you will be handling the move on your own – free food has been known to persuade some kind friends to help! You’ll also need to think about how much money you’ll be spending after you move-in on personalizing and decorating your home.
Tip 2: Create a moving preparation timeline. Moving can be hectic, this will be your go-to resource for ensuring you are on track and on time, so you don’t feel overwhelmed on move-in day. Check out Moving Made Simple: Preparation and Decluttering to learn more.
Tip 3: Create a moving checklist. There are a lot of things to remember when you’re planning a move; our downloadable moving checklist is a fantastic guide to help you out!
Tip 4: Start packing early! Start with less frequently used items and work your way through until one week before your move; then you will need to start getting serious about packing away your day-to-day items. Check out Moving Made Simple: Packing Tips to learn how to pack the right way!
Tip 5: Keep empty moving boxes while you are unpacking for anything you need to throw away. This will help keep your space clean and organized during the chaos of moving in!
Day of Closing
The anticipated date has finally arrived! Your dreams and wish lists have transformed from an idea on paper into a beautiful home. Just a few more steps and the keys will be all yours!
PDI Sign Off
At your Pre-Delivery Inspection, you walked through your home with a Site Representative and your Customer Experience Coordinator and noted any comments you had. Now it is time to review those comments and signoff as recognition of their completion. This meeting is pre-arranged at the time of your PDI appointment. We request only homeowners be present at this appointment.
Once you have signed off on those completed items, you will need to meet with your lawyer to complete your transaction if you haven’t already done so. This will include signing legal documents and transferring any outstanding fees. Once we have confirmation from your lawyer that the funds have been transferred, your lawyer will pass you the lockbox code to your new home. Please keep in mind we cannot guarantee an exact time you will be able to receive your keys. Please plan on the exchange being late in the day (usually no earlier than 4 pm).
Please note that our key-handoff process for condo suites is different, with keys being given to homeowners at the signoff appointment for occupancy.
A Fairytale Ending
Your picture-perfect home is ready for you, but that’s not where our story ends. Even after moving day, we are always here for you. Each of our homes comes backed with a 7-year structural warranty and beyond this, we are dedicated to answering any questions you may have.
Stay tuned next week for our final post in this series: Your Tarion Warranty, where you will learn all about your warranty package for the next 7 years!