Before you buy a house, it’s important to figure out if you can afford all the costs of a new home.
We are not talking about the obvious costs such as a home inspection, appraisal and closing costs. We’re referring to the costs that most homeowners face after they buy the house that they didn’t know about. Rest assure – MOST new home owners face these costs.
We want you to be prepared, ahead of time – so you’re not shocked when something unexpected pops up. Here’s a handful of costs to be prepared for that you might not have known about:
- Insurance. Be sure to budget for homeowner’s insurance. Shop around to find the best rates for what you need for your home. If you live in a flood zone, you’re going to have to pay extra for hazard insurance.
- Appearance. There’s always going to be something that you want to change because this is YOUR HOUSE and when people see YOUR HOUSE, you want them to know that you have taste. Shutters, landscaping, a paved walkway and the list goes on. Remember, one thing at a time, You don’t have to make all these changes at once.
- The Lawn. Decide if you want to do the landscaping yourself or hire a landscaper. Compare how much it will cost and don’t forget to factor in the time it will take for you to do your own landscaping. If you decide to do it yourself, be sure you have a lawnmower, weed whacker, hedge trimmers, a hose, sprinkler, rake, gloves, buckets and more. And, the space to store these items.
- Maintenance. There’s a bunch of unexpected maintenance costs both on the INSIDE and OUTSIDE of the house. One the outside, you’ve got to reseal the driveway, restain the deck, clean the gutters, etc. Inside maintenance includes things such as repairing appliances, fixing plumbing leaks, replace filters, and more.
- Cleaning. Cleaning a house is a lot of work. Cleaning takes time and energy — something you might not have, especially if all the adults in the home work. Figure out if you want to clean or hire something to do it for you.
- The furnace and air-conditioning. Make sure you have a professional fully asses the condition of the HVAC system. Know your options. This way you will know if you need to repair it or replace it. And, if you have to replace it, in how many years? These are all things to consider when it comes to evaluating expenses once you move into the home.
- Do it Yourself (DIY). With the rise of home-improvement channels, everyone, it seems, has DIY fever. In reality, when you think you’re saving on labor costs by doing it yourself, you may be costing yourself more if you ruin the materials you bought, had to buy a second set and then had to pay a guy to come do it for you anyway. Be sure to compare all the costs when it comes to doing it yourself of hiring a professional.
- Extra stuff the guy finds when he comes for something else. You hire a guy to help you with the kitchen remodel and while he is in your bathroom, he finds a rusted pipe. To your untrained eye, the bathroom piping – all looks good. But bring in a professional and they’ll inevitably find two or more things that need fixed.
- Pest control. Spend a couple hundred dollars for routine maintenance and it will save you lot more later if you have to get the place bombed and throw out some of your furniture or replace the floor because the varmints got to it.
Rule of thumb: Don’t spend a lot on discretionary items — like clothes, gadgets and vacations — in those first few years. Set aside much as you can for the unexpected expenses and wait a year or two to see how it shakes out.
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