You’ve done all the right things to prepare for buying a home. You saved enough for the down payment, your credit score is supreme so you get the best rates and you even have enough left over to get a few new pieces of furniture. Before you run out and sign a contract at the high end of your budget there are a few hidden expenses to owning a home that you need to know about first.
Property taxes are something that every homeowner pays. Depending on where you live, they can run ten thousand dollars or more a year. If you divide that by 12 months that’s another $830.00ish a month right off the bat.
Homeowners insurance is another fee that many lenders now incorporate into the monthly payment. There several factors that can determine the amount including your location, the size, the condition, and the age of your home. A 2000 square foot home can add another couple of thousand dollars a year, which translates into $160.00 or so more a month.
Unlike when you rent an apartment, anything that goes wrong, whether major or minor, is up to you to fix. Unfortunately, things will happen, the only question is when? In most cases, a leaky faucet or a roof repair will probably happen at the worst time possible, like when you are planning for the arrival of your firstborn child, or right after you purchase a new car.
Bugs are common no matter where you live. However, there are certain types, such as termites, that can cause serious structural damage to your home. Unfortunately, you won’t discover them until they show up after burrowing through a wall. Luckily, there are pest control companies everywhere. So if, for example, you live in the Southwest, you can find experts in pest control in Tuscon, Arizona, Phoenix, etc. While most banks require a home inspection, checking for termites is not generally required. Termites can show up at any time, especially if you are doing a remodel or there’s construction going on nearby. If the latter is the case and it’s a long-term project, you may want to reconsider purchasing this home. Not only are you subject to a possible home invasion, but you’ll also have to deal with a lot of noise for quite some time.
Drafty windows allow hot and cold air to enter which will increase your electric and heating bills, as well as make your indoor environment less than desirable. They can also cause leaks and damage to your walls, floors, and ceilings. When you consider buying a home, pay careful attention to the small details. Windows and doors are an important component in helping you remain safe and comfortable. If the windows are older and the framing shows signs of rot, you can wind up spending thousands to replace them. Since most people use every penny available to get into a home, this is not an additional expense you can afford. If you still want the home, talk to your attorney or realtor to see if the owner is willing to replace them or issue a credit towards them. At least this way you’ll have compensation for their condition.
If this is your first home, you probably don’t own a lawnmower. An average model can run three to four hundred dollars. In addition to needing something to cut your lawn, you will also need to maintain it. This includes things like reseeding and raking. Plus, you’ll need to trim back bushes and scrubs and tree limbs. These tools can slowly drain your extra money each month. Not only will you need to buy tools and supplies, you’ll also need to spend a lot of time to get it done.
Homeownership gives you a way to live and enjoy your lifestyle. Just make sure before you commit to a 30-year mortgage that you can afford the upkeep. Otherwise, you stand the chance of losing everything.