If your house or apartment is unfurnished, you can obtain furniture and decorations inexpensively. Check the local newspapers and bulletin boards for garage, yard, and moving sales, and the yellow pages under "furniture-used."
Water is usually included in the rent, but other utilities may have to be requested and paid for separately. Natural gas and electricity are usually provided by the NYSEG. Visit NYSEG Online (http://www.nyseg.com/online) or call (800) 572-1111 to set up service. Don't wait as your request can be scheduled weeks in advance, but at least 24 hours' notice is required.
To connect phone service, consult the information pages on the Verizon website. You may be able to save money on installation by arranging with Verizon and the former tenants to take over the existing service.
Internet service is available through a variety of providers listed in the yellow pages. If you are ordering high-speed service, it takes a week or so for the line set up and for hardware to be delivered.
Television service is available through Time Warner, DirectTV, Dish Network and others. There is an installation or hookup fee, and a monthly service charge based on the service package. Installation may be delayed two weeks or more if you order service in August or September.