Relief. That’s probably what you feel now that you’ve moved into your new construction home. But, you look around and there’s a sea of boxes swamping your home, and nothing feels like home yet. Where do you begin? What should you tackle first now that you’re here?
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Let’s sort out what you need to do based on how each set of tasks touches your life.
Get your household in order following your move
- Getting your mail: Be sure you’ve notified the U.S. Postal Service of your new address and have set up a mail forwarder. You can do this online at their website.
- Square away your insurance: Notify your auto insurance company, your life insurance company and your health insurance company you have moved. You probably already have your homeowner’s insurance taken care of, but double check that to and be sure you’re covered against perils such as hurricanes and earthquakes (In 1886 the Charleston area experienced a large earthquake and there are very small, slight tremors from time to time, even now. For a detailed list of earth motion in South Carolina, consult the USC Seismology page.)
- Garbage / Trash / Landscape Debris / Recycling Collection: Do you know the schedule for collection of these items in your neighborhood? Each county and city has a set of dates. Ask your homeowner’s association for a schedule or consult your city or town’s website for more information.
- Registering for school: It’s likely that if you have children, you know which schools your children will be attending. If you’re like the majority of families, you’ve selected your new home with your kids’ attendance zones in mind. If you have not yet registered your children for school, visit the district’s website and learn what you need to do to get registered.
- Finding healthcare professionals: Don’t wait until you have a toothache, or flu to select a team to help you care for your health. Consult your insurance plan’s list of physicians and dentists to identify those who are in network. Then ask the people you got to know in the community during your homebuilding process, such as your sales team, or new neighbors, whom they might recommend. Consult Google Reviews for doctors near you and Healthgrades to see how these healthcare pros measure up.
- Physical fitness: If your new home community doesn’t have a fitness center, research local YMCAs, gyms and swim clubs to find one near you. Don’t forget your children either. Check out your town’s recreation department team sports offerings and get the kiddos registered for the next season of soccer, baseball or swimming. City Detail Pages
- Driver’s License Registration / Vehicle Registration / Voter Registration: If you’ve moved to South Carolina from another state, you have a limited amount of time to get your vehicle registered. According to the SC DMV, “If you move to South Carolina from another state, you have 45 days to transfer your vehicle title and registration.” In South Carolina, when you register your vehicle, you can get your new Driver’s License and register to vote at the same time! To begin the registration process, check out the South Carolina DMV’s website for the correct forms, details on what to bring regarding documentation and paperwork, as well as the location of the DMV office nearest you. Be advised, before you can register your vehicle, you’ll need to pay the county property tax on your vehicle and bring your tax receipt with you to the DMV. Personal property tax on your automobile must be paid at your county assessor’s office.
- Charleston County Assessor's Office
- Berkeley County Assessor's Office
- Dorchester County Assessor's Office
- Plan to meet your neighbors, attend upcoming community events: One of the many challenges to relocating is leaving old friends and neighbors behind. Get started on making new friends and meeting your neighbors by attending community events in your development or town. There are lots of community calendars in the Lowcountry. Here are the ones we suggest for a wide range of events and fun things to do.
- Charleston Scene - Even though this is the Charleston Scene, it includes events and activities happening in the entire Lowcountry.
- Charleston City Paper Calendar of Events - Don’t miss the Freeloaders section with tons of free, no-charge activities!
- Summerville Events Calendar - published by Visit Summerville, this is an omnibus calendar of amazing things to do.
- Holy City Sinner - Continually voted one of the best sites around, this site has all the latest news of what’s happening in the greater Charleston area.
Get unpacked and organized in your home
Before your move, you may have planned out where the big pieces of furniture should be placed, but did you figure out your kitchen cabinet organization, tchotchke placement and linen closet?
- Appliances: You probably have new appliances in your brand new home. During your walk-through before your closing, your builder will have shown you how to use the. Check your owner's manual to be certain that you’re clear on their operation. If you brought appliances with you, check them out after getting them set up in your new home.
- Internet / Electricity / Telephone / Cable / Satellite: Many of the new home neighborhoods in the Charleston area have buried fiber cabling for internet, phone and electricity. And some developments have preferred vendors serving the neighborhood which makes your selection of who to get internet from less difficult. Check in with your chosen provider/s to be certain your accounts are set up and you are receiving the quality signal you expect for your internet and or bundled phone, cable or satellite. Make sure your electrical bills are configured to arrive at your new address, especially if you set up your account before your move.
- Organize your possessions: As you unpack, avoid haphazard placement. Decide on functional areas and place your items near where they will be used. Need professional organizer help? Consult one of these Lowcountry pros.
- Get your audio video equipment connected: It’s not as simple as it was in the past. With sound systems, digital recorders and streaming devices being the norm, you’ve no doubt got a bundle of wires to connect. If you’re not a wiring geek, or can’t tell a USB cable from a HDMI cable, you might want to call in a little electronic set up help. Home Advisor lists a number of consultants to AV set up in your home.
Celebrate your accomplishments!
You did it! You’ve opened boxes, got the kids settled, and can look forward to the next fun event in your neighborhood or simply sit back and watch a movie. It has undoubtedly felt like a marathon, but you’re done! Bravo!
Thank you for reading and sharing our articles from The Greater Charleston New Homes Guide. Our business is to know Charleston, SC's new home construction, home builders, neighborhoods and homes so we may assist you as you take your new construction home journey. Our online resources are a complement to our quarterly magazine which is distributed FREE throughout the Lowcountry. Please take the time to explore our library of helpful tips, guides and insights. The Greater Charleston New Homes Guide is considered the most comprehensive and reliable resource to new home construction, builders, neighborhoods and homes throughout the Lowcountry.