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Mailboxes are pretty essential, and though not often one of the first things you think to look for when moving to a new home, you'll soon realize if you don't have one. Whether you've designed and built the home yourself, or whether you're moving into a newly built subdivision, or if the house is just new to you, you may be wondering whether a new house comes with a mailbox. Well, we've researched the topic in-depth and have an answer for you.
Whether a new home comes with a mailbox depends on a number of things.
If you have an older home, the postal service may not deliver to you, and therefore a mailbox is unnecessary. However, if the postal service can deliver to your home and you're missing a mailbox, check your front door for a mail delivery slot.
Homes in newer subdivisions often have the same mailboxes which are installed during the build by the contractor. Other times, subdivisions have cluster mailboxes located nearby. Otherwise, it'll be up to you to install a mailbox.
So a mailbox may or may not come with a new home, but keep reading as we elaborate on this so you can figure out whether you can expect to have a mailbox or not. We'll also answer some other questions you might have about mailboxes!
Mailboxes For Your New Home
We touched on a few situations above about whether your new home will come with a mailbox or not, but let's discuss each one a little more.
Make Sure You Can Receive Mail At Your New Home
If you've just moved into a home and have realized there's no mailbox at the end of your driveway, the first step is to check for a slot in your front door. Some homes have the mail deposited through the slot instead of a mailbox. If there's no slot and no mailbox, it might be because the post office will not deliver to your address.
You might be surprised to find out that not every home is reachable by the postal service. If you have moved into a home that is in a rural area and you've noticed there's no mailbox, you should call your local post office to find out whether you live at a deliverable address. Often post offices will offer a PO Box to those who can't receive mail at their home directly.
Matching Mailboxes With The Neighbors
Contractors who are building subdivisions will often choose to install mailboxes for each house they build to achieve uniformity. These mailboxes are bought in bulk and are usually installed before you move in. So if your home isn't quite finished being built and located in a new subdivision, contact the property developer or seller to ask whether they will be installing a mailbox for you.
Cluster mailboxes are freestanding units that contain locked mailboxes for each home in a subdivision or apartment complex. In recent years, the postal service has encouraged subdivisions to use cluster mailboxes because it saves the mail carrier time when delivering the mail. However, while they save time for the carrier and provide an added layer of security for your mail, it can be inconvenient to have to leave your home just to collect your mail.
How do I get a mailbox for my new house?
If your home can have mail delivered directly to it and you're just missing a mailbox (maybe it was knocked down or taken by previous owners), it will be up to you to install a new one. Unfortunately, the post office does not sell mailboxes, but you can find mailboxes at most hardware stores and are readily available on the internet. Just be sure to check mailbox regulations and directions so that you can install it correctly and as required by USPS.
For more reading on how to install a mailbox, check out our other blog post on the topic here: How Deep Should A Mailbox Post Be? [A Complete Guide]
If you live in a neighborhood with an HOA, be sure to check whether there are any other rules, regulations, or requirements for your mailbox. Some HOA requires the mailboxes to look a certain way. Contact those in charge of your HOA if you have questions or concerns.
Do I own my mailbox?
If the mailbox is on your land and you are required to maintain it, the mailbox is owned by you. If you live in an apartment complex and the mailboxes are managed by a landlord or property manager, it is owned by them. Occasionally, the USPS might own a mailbox, but you can check with your local post office to find out.
Do you have to put your name on your mailbox?
You do not have to put your name on your mailbox. The USPS states that you may put your name on your mailbox. However, there are rules regarding mailbox identification. All mailboxes need to display the home number. Sometimes mailboxes are located on a different street from your home address. If this is the case for you, it will need to have your street address displayed as well.
Does it matter what side of the driveway your mailbox is on?
It does not matter what side of the driveway your mailbox goes on. Keep in mind it might make it easier to have it right before your drive in the direction of traffic. However, which side it goes on is up to you. The only requirement is that the mailbox is on the right side of the road in the direction of travel for the mail carrier.
Can I move my mailbox from the street to the house?
If you live on a busy street or you are worried about mail theft, you might be wondering if you can switch your mailbox from the street to your house.
Whether you can move your mailbox from the street to your house largely depends on what your local postmaster says. Before moving your mailbox, give your post office a call. They will be able to approve or deny the relocation of your mailbox and give you advice for any concerns you might have.
How do you separate mailboxes on a duplex?
Sometimes a single-family home is converted into a multi-family home, but how do you give the two families their own mailbox?
If in doubt, give your post office a call. The postmaster should offer you some guidance on how to proceed. However, adding a second mailbox and simply labeling them A and B should suffice. Just make sure your mail carrier is able to differentiate which unit is A and which is B.
Another plus side to contacting your postmaster is that they can make the A and B part of the address official, which will make online ordering easier for your tenants.
Who is responsible for replacing cluster mailboxes?
Whoever owns and maintains the cluster mailboxes is responsible for replacing them. In most cases, it is either the property developer, owner, or builder.
The situation can become complicated if your neighborhood has an HOA. However, it should state in the HOA documents who is responsible for repairing or replacing the cluster mailboxes.
Your new home may or may not come with a mailbox, but hopefully, our article has helped offer some insight into why this might be the case. Local post offices are often happy to help answer any questions you may have and can be a valuable resource for new homeowners. With any luck, you'll be receiving mail in no time!
New homes can come with lots of new experiences. If your home is brand new and your stairs are creaking, should you worry? Check out this article to answer this question: Are New Stairs Supposed To Creak? [And How To Stop That]