The process of buying a home is an exciting time and often creates memories which last a lifetime. It can also be a stressful time, especially financially. While you’ve done the research and worked with a lender to determine how much you can afford, it’s also important to consider “hidden” costs of homeownership that you may not have considered.
Consider These Expenses
Here are some expenses that factor into the monthly cost to own a house that you should check against your cash flow before you buy:
Property taxes are what local governments charge to pay for public services such as streets, sidewalks, schools, and parks. They’re usually paid twice a year but vary by state and even by county. These taxes can even be raised by local governments to cover city or county expenses. Moreover, your property taxes are likely to rise if you remodel your home or make improvements that increase its value.
Homeowner’s insurance is a critical need because it helps you cover replacement, rebuilding and repair costs in the event of a catastrophe or theft. Like property taxes, homeowner’s insurance can vary by state or region, and it often helps to bundle it with other types of insurance such as automobile and life.
Homeowner’s Association Fees
If you own a townhouse, condominium, or co-op, you’ll pay association fees to cover the costs of maintaining the building and grounds. Owners of single-family homes may also have to pay association fees; make sure you consider the location or community area your home is in, and take this into account for your monthly cost to buy a house.
It’s always important to ask the seller for records of electricity, gas, and water bills and include it in your monthly cost of ownership. The costs of those utilities are likely to rise, as well.
Home maintenance is a common expense that homeowners overlook, but the cost of yard care, house and carpet cleaning, pressure washing, etc., can add up. Even if you’re a dedicated do-it-yourselfer, you’ll still have the expense of buying the tools and materials you need. Make sure you budget in those trips to the hardware and home improvement store.
Private Mortgage Insurance
If you’re down payment is less than 20% of the home’s price, the lender may require you to pay for private mortgage insurance to protect them in case of default.
While you’ve likely fallen in love with the house you’ve bought, you still probably have various remodeling projects in mind. Make a list of what projects you plan to do, prioritize them by importance, and then stick to a budget.
You never know when you’re going to need money to cover the costs of things like appliances breaking down, repairs to the roof or exterior of the home, or to cover the need for a new driveway. Have money set aside that will enable you to pay for these things should they arise.
The Peoples Bank Home Loan Center team of Renessa, Lacie and Cody are People That You Know, and they will be right there with you as you go through the process of buying a new home. Contact our Home Loan Center today to get started.