Three Unexpected Expenses Every New Homeowner Should Be Prepared For
Your home is one of the largest, most important purchases you’ll ever make. And you aren’t done once you’ve signed your mortgage, either. A lot of first-timers are caught completely unaware by how expensive home ownership can actually be. Here’s a bit of advice to ensure you won’t be in the same boat.
So, you’re planning to become a new homeowner. Congratulations are in order. It’s a big step – possibly one of the biggest you’ll ever make in your adult life.
It’s also a huge purchase. A mortgage is a massive financial responsibility no matter how you look at it. And it’s not the only expense you’re going to have to deal with once everything is finalized.
One thing a lot of first-time homeowners aren’t prepared for is just how expensive owning property can end up being. There are a ton of unexpected, up-front costs to deal with in any property, not to mention incidentals. For that reason, it’s not really enough that you can come up with your down-payment.
You need money in the bank aside from that, as well.
Taxes and Insurance
Owning a home means adding a new entry to your taxes – namely, property tax. While it varies by state and based on the value of your home, it can still take a pretty big chunk out of your budget if you aren’t expecting it. You can use the Tax Foundation’s property tax lookup tool to determine how much you’ll be paying based on your mortgage and location.
Purchasing a mortgage also means you’re going to have to buy into homeowner’s insurance. Shop around a bit to find a good deal, and be cognizant of the fact that you might have to purchase certain policies depending on where you’re situated. At the minimum, I’d recommend getting a replacement cost policy for fire damage – you’ll also need to account for common natural disasters in your area, and if you’re in a condo you may need to consider accidents on the condo property as well.
It seems like a pretty obvious expense, but I find a lot of people tend to forget about the cost of utilities such as power, water, cable, and Internet. When you’re just paying rent, they don’t really seem like such a big deal. Add mortgage fees, property taxes, condo fees, and mortgage insurance on top of all that, and your wallet might well start getting a bit strained.
Maintenance & Repair
It’s impossible to know what might go wrong with a new property, especially if you don’t spring for a proper inspection before your purchase. Even before you move in, you might have to spend thousands on housecleaning, repairs, and general renovations. And after you’ve gotten settled, there’s still a lot you’ll need to see to.
General upkeep such as lawn care and exterior care. Plumbing and electrical issues. Moving fees and purchasing new furniture. The list of potential expenses is long and varied – and you need to be ready to pay out when they come up.
A mortgage is a massive financial undertaking – but it’s not the only expense associated with owning a home. As a first-time homeowner, you need to be prepared for the additional costs that go hand-in-hand with your purchase. And most importantly, you need to budget for the unexpected.
And if purchasing a property completely drains your bank account with just the down payment, it might be worth waiting and saving up a bit before taking things further.
About the Author:
Ryan B. Bormaster is the managing attorney at Bormaster Law. The law firm practices in a number of areas but specializes in 18 Wheeler Accidents, Accidents with Commercial Vehicles such as Work Trucks and Catastrophic Injuries of all kinds.
- First Time Home Buyer Advice by Conor MacEvilly
- Common Home Buying Mistakes To Avoid by Kevin Vitali