There’s no better feeling than pulling into your driveway … cutting your lawn … cooking in your kitchen … swimming in your pool. After all, owning a home is the American dream”.
But the cost of maintaining your home can quickly turn into a nightmare, if you are not prepared.
When you go through the home buying process, you’ll learn all about the mortgage, closing costs, homeowners insurance, down payments, inspection. These are all standard expenses when buying a home.
But what happens after you move in?
Here are 5 hidden costs” all first time homebuyers need to consider when planning your budget for your home purchase so you don’t end up in a pile of credit card debt:
1) Furnishing your home if you’re buying a home that’s bigger than your current residence, make sure to have some money set aside for new furniture. Having lots of rooms is nice. But having empty rooms can get frustrating very quickly.
2) Tools and equipment if you’re renting, most (if not all) of the maintenance is done by the landlord. Stocking up on new hardware, lawn equipment, power tools all cost money. And while your first trip to your local home improvement center can be exciting, it can also be very expensive, so be prepared!
3) Replacing broken items one of the most unpleasant aspects of owning a home is maintenance. No matter how old or new the house is, things break. And they often break at the wrong times (when money is tightest, right after a big expense, etc)! Fixing a broken lock is relatively simple and inexpensive. Replacing a furnace or roof usually requires an expert, and a big savings account.
4) Fees for services if you are hooked up to city water and sewer, there is usually a fee that is not covered by your local property taxes. If you have a well and/or septic tank, these require periodic cleaning and maintenance. You may also have to pay for garbage pickup, recycling, lawn maintenance, snow removal, etc. While most of these are not that expensive, they can add up quickly!
5) Making the house yours” even if you move into a house that is in great shape, chances are you will want to add your own personal touch. If you move into a house that needs some work, you may have to add lots of personal touches (and lots of paint and accessories). Even if you like do-it-yourself” projects, materials cost money.
And don’t underestimate how much time you’ll spending getting and keeping your house the way you want it.
Don’t be discouraged by all the hidden costs” of home ownership. Just make sure you have a budget, and a plan, for making your house your own!