Expenses You May Not Have Considered When Owning a Home
You're ready to start looking for your new home, but are you really ready? Even if you have enough tucked away for a 20 percent down payment on the type of home you want and can afford the actual mortgage payment, you may not be ready for all the expenses of home ownership. Owning a home means you're responsible for everything about that home if something breaks. It also may mean purchasing additional items to do that.
1 Consider having a repair fund.
When things break, and they always do, you have to pay for the cost of repair since you no longer have a landlord to do that. Having an emergency fund for this can be important. If your home passed the inspection with flying colors, it might be a while before you need a new roof, but plugged drains, leaky faucets or broken fixtures can occur any time.
2 Did you consider taxes and insurance in your payment?
Most banks will include that when calculating how much home you can afford, but they don't do any research into whether these might be increasing in the future. Check local news reports to see if the county council has any plans for increasing taxes in the near future to make sure it's not next year and not an exorbitant amount.
3 Does the home come with appliances?
Some homes come with all the kitchen appliances, which is excellent if you're an apartment dweller that never had to purchase their own. You can prepare for this option by tucking away funds to purchase new or used appliances cheaply. Start looking so you get an idea of the market. A used refrigerator, stove or washer can vary widely in price and quality and may sometimes cost more than a new similar refrigerator on sale. The higher the price doesn't always mean you'll get the best item. Learn as much as you can to make the smartest decision when you need to do it.
4 Get a mower for the lawn and tools to do minor repairs.
Keeping a yard mowed is not just important, in most communities you'll pay a hefty fine to code enforcement if you don't. It takes at least a push mower for the smallest yard and if you have a huge piece of land to mow, a rider is the best possible answer. Summer isn't the only time you need tools. Rakes for fall and snow shovels for the winter are important. Screwdrivers and other hand tools are necessary for minor repairs, while power tools can be helpful for bigger jobs. These all cost money and some are necessary immediately when you move into the home.
5 Is there work or decorating to do?
No matter how much this house is one you've dreamed about, sometimes you want to change the decorating scheme or are forced to purchase items to decorate, such as curtains if they aren't part of the sale. Consider a side savings of a few percent of the cost of the home to buy paint, curtains and other items to make the house truly yours.