Costs to Homeownership You Might Not Have Considered
So you’re considering buying your first home—searching all over the real estate websites such as Zillow and Remax — that’s great! I’m sure you’ve already put a lot of thought into the big investment of purchasing property. But what you might not have considered when searching the internet for homes for sale is all of the expenses that owning your home includes (things you might not have had to worry about as a renter or couch-surfer). The full, monthly cost of home ownership is more than just the price of the home itself.
I know you already know about the down payment and interest and inspections and insurance. But here are some hidden costs that you might not have considered for after you sign those papers and get those keys:
It was nice when you wrote one check to your landlord every month and didn’t have to worry about a thing. But with a home, you have to pay all of your own utilities: electricity, water, sewage, gas, cable, internet, security system. That can all add up! Talk to your realtor or your new neighbors to get estimates on pricing and recommendations on what companies to use (or those to avoid).
Cost of Home Ownership
Remember when the toilet broke and all you had to do was text your landlord? Well, now you’re the landlord and you have to get the plumber or buy a new toilet. Roofs, gutters, plumbing, wiring, A/C and heating systems—all these things not only need to be properly maintained, but they also can break or malfunction, which can lead to you dealing out so serious cash.
Okay, so you may have worked it out with the previous homeowners that you get the refrigerator, dishwasher, stove, etc. But what about the washer and dryer? That stand-up freezer you want? Those additions can cost you a pretty penny (and unless you want to frequent a laundromat or go to the grocery every day, need to happen fairly soon after moving in). And not to mention when the appliances break and need to be fixed or replaced.
Unless you purchased an apartment, condo, or houseboat, you’re going to have a new yard to take care of. That wide open space, grilling patio, and pool all seemed like wonderful, relaxing ideas until you realized just how much upkeep things really are. You can opt to buy a mower and weed whacker to save money so long as you have the time, or you can pay someone to take care of the yard work every week.
Lord help you if your new home has a pool. Expect to spend about $100 per month for supplies. That is not counting the “pool guy”.
Owning a home can be a wonderful thing, but every buyer needs to be aware of all of the costs that can add up after purchasing—those hidden costs you don’t always think of!