Buying a House in Pennsylvania

If you are planning to buy a home in Pennsylvania, there are many factors you will need to consider prior to making your final decision. Thankfully, many agencies and companies are readily available with the proper tools and resources to assist homebuyers in this transition.

A few state and nationwide agencies that can guide you along the way and help you with your search include:

  • Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency
  • The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
  • The National Council of State Housing Agencies

You can also look for homeownership assistance in Pennsylvania by visiting the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development website. Search for programs by the city, the town or the county in which you reside.

Renting a Property in Pennsylvania

The process of renting a property, whether an apartment or a house, oftentimes entails a lengthy to-do list and multiple financial expenses you must consider. When deciding where you would like to move, these key factors should remain at the forefront of your mind:

  • Your estimated utility expenses
  • Your desired location
  • Your personal, living space
  • Your access to public transportation and highways
  • Your potential neighbors
  • Your neighborhood security

Before signing any paperwork, such as a lease agreement, take the time to review the fine print. If anything is unclear, approach your landlord with any questions and doubts before moving into a new property.

For resources to help you move or to assist in finding your ideal home, visit the U.S Government Housing and Community webpage.

How to Transfer Your Vehicle Registration

New residents of Pennsylvania are required to visit a Department of Transportation office in their area to complete proper car registration transfers. At the time of your visit, you will be asked to present certain documentation for proof of identity and car ownership. Acceptable documents may include:

  • Proof of auto insurance
  • Proof of car registration
  • Your current drivers license
  • Your car title
  • Your vehicle inspection certificate
  • Payment for any fees

Note: In Pennsylvania, you are required to transfer your car registration within 20 days of moving to the state.

How to Get Your ID or Driver’s License in Pennsylvania

In addition to transferring your car registration, you will also be required to get a new drivers license or ID card. When obtaining your new credentials, you must have the following documents with you at the DMV:

  • Proof of identity (Your current drivers license, birth certificate, U.S. passport, etc.)
  • Proof of PA residency (A utility bill, lease agreement, mortgage document, tax record, etc.)
  • Proof of Social Security

Out-of-state drivers who have a valid drives license or one that has not been expired for more than six months are not required to complete a written knowledge exam when moving to PA. You will have 60 days after establishing residency to get a new license or state ID.

Setting up Public Utilities in Pennsylvania

When checking off your to-do list, part of your move will require you to have utilities set up in your new home. Although there are a number to choose from, a few, standard utility services you should consider installing include:

  • Electricity
  • Water
  • Gas

You may also decide to get cable TV, a landline home phone number and Internet, among other services. Get in touch with the utility companies in your area to find out about general rates and monthly fees to compare your options.


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