7 Expenses New Homeowners Often Overlook
To be honest, it stings a little when you spend some big bucks on a Vegas weekend with your buddies. But it’s a whole different ball game when you’re putting your hard-earned money into a down payment for a house. Owning a home is no mean feat. It’s usually the biggest financial decision you’ll ever have to make.
After years of planning and saving, the most surprising thing to new homeowners is the hidden costs of home ownership. And these are not the property taxes and mortgage charges real estate experts keep warning you about. There are more subtle costs that can really add up. Here are some first time home buyer tips to help cut costs.
- Lawn Maintenance
Everyone wants a big, beautiful lawn until you realize you will need a riding lawnmower to maintain it. The alternative, getting a lawn service, is not cheap either. You can ignore it for the first few weeks, but as the grass grows you’ll be forced to do something about it. Factor this cost into your budget when shopping for a home.
- Changing Locks
Unless you’re moving into one of those brand-new, high-end condos, you will need to call a locksmith to have your locks changed. The house might have had several owners before or was even a rental so there is a possibility that a bunch of people you do not know have the keys to your house. This is a security risk and you need to do something about it. Depending on the kind of locks you need, the number and the service charge, you would be looking at spending quite a substantial amount.
- Appliance Replacement and Repairs
When buying a home, most people overlook the cost of replacing and repair of damaged appliances. Some of the things you should check out before committing to buy a home include the AC motor, water heater, garage door opener and other appliances you might need. The costs for these items can run into the thousands if you’re not careful. Include these costs in the cost of the house. This is one of the first time home buyer tips you should keep in mind.
- Cosmetic Upgrades
When buying a home, its next to impossible to get a home that checks all the right boxes in the looks department given that we all have different tastes and preferences. You might need to change the colors of a few rooms, redo the floor or remodel the kitchen.
Don’t just make assumptions about the cost of these upgrades, get the actual cost and add it to the overall cost of the home.
You don’t have to furnish every inch of your house the moment you move in. However, you need to factor in the cost. This is especially so if you’re moving into a bigger home than your current one.
If you’re moving to a much larger house, your utility bills will go up. Power and water bills go up by quite a significant amount. You will consume more power since you need more heating during the winter. You might also use more water to keep the house clean and water the lawn. These are some of the costs you need to consider when you set out to buy a home.
If you need additional safety features such as an alarm system, motion detectors or outdoor lighting, you will need to fork out a bit of cash to have them installed. Have this in mind when shopping around.
If you want to buy a home, have a bit of extra cash set aside for any additional expenses you might not have foreseen. It is usually best to gun for a house that’s a little below your budget.