Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or you’ve been through the process before, buying a house is exciting but it can also be very overwhelming – especially if you’re surprised by expenses of owning a home.
Before you start the homebuying process, be sure you fully understand the costs of owning a home. Homeownership comes with added responsibilities and expenses which extend past the offer price. Before you pack up your belongings and get the keys to your new home, be sure you’ve considered these seven extra costs of homeownership.
Hidden Costs of Homeownership
When deciding how much house you can afford, don’t forget to factor in your home’s property taxes. Depending on how much your home is assessed at and what your property tax rate is, you could be paying $500-$1,000 a month in property taxes. Research the rates in your area because rates can vary from place to place.
Homeowners Association (HOA) or Condo Fees
Are you moving into a neighborhood? Is your new home a condo? Be sure to ask your realtor if there is a Homeowners Association (HOA). If there is, you’ll want to know how much your HOA dues will be and what they cover. Depending on your specific HOA, your dues may cover landscaping and snow removal for communal areas. If you’re buying a condo, ask how much the condo fees are and what the fees cover. It’s also important to understand what expenses, services and repairs the condo association covers and which you’ll be responsible for.
Before you sign on the dotted line, be sure to have a home inspection completed on your new home. A home inspection can help you identify any expensive repairs or replacements — roof, HVAC, etc., that might need to be made prior to your purchase. Without an inspection, you may not know your home could need an expensive repair or replacement.
Landscaping and Lawn Maintenance
If you’ll be responsible for caring for a yard, you’ll need to budget for expenses like mowing, fertilizing, watering, aerating, etc. These costs can quickly add up, especially if you choose to hire a lawn service to perform these routine tasks. You could be paying $50-$100 or more a month to keep your yard in tip-top condition.
Making your new house a home could mean renovating your home. Beware of these potential hidden homeownership expenses, which could become bigger projects than you planned for. Do-it-yourself projects can feel like they multiply by the week. Each project you take on comes with a time commitment to complete the project and extra expenses. Be prepared to up your DIY budget if your project doesn’t go smoothly.
Installing a security system yourself or signing up for a security service can provide you with peace of mind that your home and those in it have an extra layer of security. But these home systems and devices vary in costs with some being pricey. If you choose to go with a security service, you could be paying $50-$100 a month.
Basic Home Needs
From furnishing your home to buying new appliances, depending on what you’ll need, you could easily spend $10,000 or more once you move into your new home. Be sure to review what the seller will be leaving behind (refrigerator, washer and dryer, etc.). If you’re building a new house or buying an already built builder model, ask what the new home will come with.
By factoring in the different costs of homeownership before you make a purchase, you can feel confident about your decision to buy a home.
Entering the new life stage of owning a home is an exciting step. Your new house will be a place you call home and make memories you’ll cherish for years to come. Connect with a Farm Bureau agent to learn how homeowners insurance can help protect the things that matter most in your world.