Buying a home is an investment in your future. It’s an opportunity to get out of your parent’s house or to stop throwing down the drain for rent. It’s your chance to finally settle down in a place you can call your own.
However, there are many things people don’t consider when preparing to buy their first home. Here are some unexpected house expenses you might not have thought about before getting that loan pre-approval from your lender.
Closing Costs Aren’t Always Included
When you are negotiating the final cost of your new home, there are a few extra expenses thrown into the mix you may not have realized. These might include closing costs, home inspections, and realtor percentages. When deciding on your budget, don’t look for a house that’s at the top of what you can afford.
Leave wiggle room for these extra costs you may have to incur. Sometimes these costs can be negotiated and could be split, but in the end, you more than likely will be paying your fair share of these, which could cost you several thousand dollars more than what you anticipated.
Repairs and Renovations Are Your Responsibility
Owning a home is much different from an apartment. You no longer can submit a maintenance request for your landlord to handle any repairs or damages. If something goes wrong, such as a roof that needs repair, you’ll be in charge of hiring a professional roofing company to get the job done.
Don’t Forget About Property Taxes
Renting an apartment may have included renter’s insurance, but you never had to pay taxes on your monthly rent. Property taxes vary depending on the town you live in and will be an ongoing expense for as long as you are living in the house.
Figure this number into your budget. First, you’ll want to find out what property taxes are in your area per year. Then take that number, divide it by twelve, and add that amount to your monthly mortgage expense.
Landscaping For Every Season Is a New Reality
Not only are you now responsible for mowing your own lawn, but you’ll also have to consider the maintenance for snow removal, leaf removal, and any other type of landscaping your house requires. Sure, you may be able to do it yourself, but if you have a long driveway that needs plowing or several acres of land that needs to have leaves removed, you’re going to want to hire the extra help.
You’ll Need to Cover Trash, Water, and Sewage
Remember those utilities that were usually wrapped up in the sum of your rent so your landlord could say they were free? Well, now you will have to remember to pay a few extra utilities each month along with your electric, heat, and other various bills.
Homeowners Insurance Is a Must
Unfortunately, you can’t escape insurance, regardless if you are renting or not. An additional downside is that while you may be familiar with barely paying $15 per month, insurance for the home is significantly more expensive. Homeowners insurance is a necessity for any mortgage you intend to take out. This will cover any losses and damages to the home that may happen along with your belongings.
Trees Are Officially Your Problem
Here is something you may not have known: Regardless if a tree is planted on your property or not, if the tree is hanging over your property line, it is your responsibility to maintain it. Make sure when you are looking to buy a home that you ask the seller about any surrounding trees or issues of pests regarding the trees that will now become your problem.
All Those Pesky Pests
Speaking of pests, if you ever experienced a situation where you had ants, termites, mice, or other critters in or around your home, you’d normally submit a maintenance request. Or perhaps your apartment complex would offer regular pest control visits. As a homeowner, you’ll need to call and schedule regular pest control maintenance along with handling any unfortunate pest or rodent situations that happen along the way.