Unexpected Costs for New Homeowners

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    Unexpected Costs for New Homeowners

    Buying a house certainly is a great milestone in life. You can finally move out of a rental or your parents’ place and start your own family and home. It is tricky finding the perfect house and getting everything done. However, as soon as you find the one and buy it you might think it’s over and you can live happily ever after. Unfortunately, buying a house includes more than just paying the price on the property price tag; there is more to it and you should be absolutely prepared for what comes next, before you start your happily ever after.

    Closing costs

    You probably had to get a mortgage for your new house, but it was worth it. However, as soon as you close on your mortgage, you will be showered with plenty of other costs. There are mortgage taxes, attorney fees, lender application fees, insurance policy, recording fees and so on. Approximately, all these additional costs will be up to 5 percent of the total cost of a home. Of course, they can vary, but you should be prepared for them.

    Home inspections

    After the mortgage and other fees are done, you will have to take care of the home’s state and, so to say, health. So, the best way to make sure it is completely safe and stable for you and your family to move in, you should schedule thorough inspections. You should even schedule several of them, but if you don’t have the budget you should, at least, schedule a general inspection of the house and an insect inspection. These two are essential because you want to make sure the house is sturdy and safe, and that it does not have any wood-destroying insects, i.e. termites.

    Also, depending on how old is your house, you can ask for a sewer inspection just to make sure everything is in order. Additionally, you should check the plumbing and electrical work. Last but not least, you can even ask for an energy efficiency audit with the companies such as Glenco, and make sure your home’s installations are functional and safe. Plus, such audits can help you save money in the long run, because you will improve the electricity consumption of your new home.

    All this could add up to thousands of dollars, but it is worth it. Of course, if the condition of he house is not that fortunate and the inspections show that it will require plenty of maintenance, you might consider pulling out of the deal. It is up to you, but you should choose wisely and have everything inspected.

    Home maintenance

    Owning a house is a never-ending project, but that doesn’t mean you have to pay a fortune on its maintenance. If you have the budget and you wish to remodel some of the aspects, that’s okay, but the yearly maintenance costs shouldn’t be too high. On average, you should pay 1 to 2 percent of the home’s value each year for upkeep and maintenance.

    However, these numbers can vary. It is all up to the square footage of you home and all its features. Nevertheless, there is a basic maintenance that you will have to follow in order to have a healthy home. These include regular house cleaning, taking care of your garden and yard, gutter cleaning and pressure washing. The prices will vary from location to location, but you should count on these expenses.

    Utilities

    It goes without saying that you will spend plenty of money on utilities, but you are probably already used to paying them. However, since this is your home now and it might be in a different neighbourhood, you should get acquainted with the new bills. In order to get the best picture of the expenses, you can ask around the neighbourhood how much the average electricity bill is, how much the garbage removal is, how high the water bill is and so on. Ask nicely to take a peek into their monthly bills, but don’t forget to adjust the size of their home to yours.

    This can help you a lot when planning the costs of your new home. Of course, there are things you can do in order to lower those bills, such as going green and taking the energy efficiency audit, but this is a nice heads up for a start.

    Buying a house is great! You get a fresh new start on your own. However, don’t forget to make plans for everything. As you can see, the expenses don’t stop as soon as you make an offer and close the deal on the house. There are various fees to be taken care of, as well as the inspections; but once that all is done, all that’s left are smaller monthly and yearly bills on maintenance of your new home.

    Written by Jenson Phillips

    Hi, I'm Jenson. Father of two and living with OCD, read my musings on coping with both and maybe pick up some advice for yourself.