When preparing to buy a home, making a budget and including various expenses is an important step. Things like Mortgage, Taxes, and Down Payment are obvious to include. Below are a few less expected expenses you may encounter during and after the home buying process.
State-Specific Expenses - Closing costs vary from state to state. In some states, like New York, you may be required to pay a lawyer fee. In other states things are handled by the escrow agent. It’s best to do a little research or ask your agent on state specific regulations and fees so that you’re not surprised by the closing costs.
Seasonal Expenses - Seasonal and Holiday expenses are sometimes overlooked. Holiday decorations, spring landscaping, and summer projects are all sneaky costs. Remember to include these in your monthly budget.
Heat and Water - Though this might seem like an obvious consideration, some people are surprised by the cost of heat and hot water. As a renter, heat, water, and electric are usually handled by the landlord. When you own a home, not only are you using more heat and water than you would in a smaller apartment, but you’re also paying it yourself. Keep this in mind, and try to calculate your average monthly heat and water bill. You’ll notice where you can save more in what areas.
Maintenance - This will vary from home to home, a newer home may need less upkeep than an older home, but sometimes maintenance costs can be shockingly expensive. Replacing windows and roofing, or other structural repairs will end up costing a lot. Factor in landscaping, plumbing work, and utility bills, and you’ve got a large bill. Always keep some money aside for maintenance. Especially for the fixes you didn’t know you needed to make.
The best thing you can do to gear up for owning your own home and preparing for the expenses ahead is SAVE. Save as much as you can. The unforeseen costs and projects are sometimes the most expensive. It’s always best to be prepared!