"Hidden" Costs of Homeownership
You qualify for a loan, get the home of your dreams, and move in. You’ve probably spent a lot of money on a down payment, closing costs, and moving fees. Think you’re off the hook now that you’re settled into your new home? Think again. Make sure you are aware of these “hidden” costs of homeownership before making the leap.
Electricity – Did you buy a home that is bigger than the apartment you were living in? Take into account the extra electricity you will be using. You might have more space to heat in the winter and to cool in the summer causing your energy bill to increase. Also remember all the extra lighting you could be using if you have more rooms!
Landscaping – Landscaping could have been taken care of at your previous residence if you lived in a complex or apartment community. If your new home has lawns, shrubbery, or extensive landscaping, this could add a new monthly cost in order for you to keep it looking presentable.
Plumbing – Plumbing issues were most likely handled by a maintenance team while you were renting. You simply called someone to report the problem and the cost of fixing it was taken care of. If you are a new homeowner, the only person you have to call is yourself, or a plumbing company that will charge you directly.
Property Taxes – Not included in your mortgage fees are your property taxes. Depending on your home’s specifics and features as well as your neighborhood and its estimated value, the bill can vary greatly depending on geography. Check out the estimated cost of that bill before purchasing your home to determine if it is something you can afford.
Maintenance – New paint, windows, roof, doors, or broken pieces are all now your responsibility. While a home inspection before papers are signed will give you a better idea of what you are taking on when purchasing a home, not everything can be expected. A baseball can fly through your living room window from the neighborhood kids. A ceiling fan can fall. A moving mishap can put a hole through a wall. No matter what the case, maintenance is now your responsibility as a homeowner. Be prepared to keep your home up and running smoothly from your personal bank account.
“Hidden” costs of homeownership are the extra expenses people often don’t take into consideration when purchasing a home. Try to think of as many scenarios as possible of things you could be responsible for after moving in. Being prepared and aware of potential costs that might arise will help you be a better homeowner.