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Security Deposits and Activation Fees

There are some very important things that new home owners need to be prepared for when moving into a new home, which is often the same for renters. Moving to a new home is exciting and too often we get caught up in the excitement and have the desire for everything to be perfect. We run out to purchase new blinds or shades, new window treatments, new furniture, new appliances, everything new. What we don't realize is that in order to get our home up and going, services and utilities are necessary and many require a deposit or activation fee. This is something that many home owners have found out the hard way when they have depleted their cash or used all of their credit.

Most places that will require some type of deposit are your utilities. Additional fees may be required if service technicians need to visit the home. Here is a sample of what to expect:

Telephone
The good thing in today's society is that most people have cell phones. Many have completely turned off their land line phones for good and only use cell phones. If for some reason you require or just want a land line phone, be prepared to be charged an activation fee from the telephone company.

Cable
The truth here is that some cable companies do and some cable companies don't charge an upfront fee. Considering that most cable services are high priced, expect to pay a reasonable amount of money for deposit or activation for cable service if required. On a good note, cable, internet and telephone are often combined together from one company. So if there is a fee, there will only be one fee for three services.

Gas and Electric
These two utilities can be from one company or two different companies. Therefore, you may have to pay two separate deposits if there are two companies. Many utility companies run credit checks which will determine how much your deposit will be. If you are coming from another utility company, some will accept a credit letter from your original company and waive your deposit if you have always paid your bill on time.

Water
Most municipal water companies charge an upfront deposit. No deposit means no water services. This fee is generally around $100 and up and must be paid in advance of receiving water.

For most fees, especially deposits, the money is returned when service ends, but you usually have to wait for it. If you are moving within an area with the same companies, chances are you can just have your deposits transferred to your new home which will save you a lot of upfront money at a time when it is needed most.

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