As a first-time homeowner, you have carefully calculated the costs of your mortgage, insurance payments, property taxes, and HOA dues. But have you made a plan for additional expenses that may come up? Rather than being surprised by these expenses, let’s take a look at some of the home maintenance costs that you’ll face as a homeowner.
You probably have experience paying utility bills. Even as a renter, that was part of your monthly budget. Now that you’re a homeowner, your bills might increase. Does your home have more square footage than your rental apartment? Larger living spaces translate into higher utility bills.
You’ll also be paying bills that you may not have been held accountable for as a renter. For example, your garbage pickup might have been included in the cost of the rent. Some apartment complexes include internet services and/or cable as part of the rent. As a homeowner, you will be responsible for all of these utilities.
Home Maintenance Costs Include Basic Home Repairs
When you were renting, maintenance was handled by the landlord. Now that you own a home, you’ll realize basic repairs are almost as common as household chores. As you deal with dripping faucets, loose handrails, and replacing the washing machine hose, you might begin to feel as though the to-do list is endless. Regular maintenance is important for your home. Avoid financial stress by setting aside money every month for basic home repairs.
Yard maintenance is an expense that’s often overlooked by first-time homeowners. The landscaping isn’t going to take care of itself. You can choose to set aside money for a professional to maintain the yard or you can tackle the work on your own. Either way, you’ll need to budget time and money.
If you’re still shopping for a home, take time to evaluate the layout and size of the yard for each home you visit. Be practical when considering how much time and money you want to spend on the landscaping once you move in.
Shared Responsibilities Should be Included in Home Maintenance Costs
If you get your sewer or water from a private provider or live on a road that’s not maintained by the county, you may be responsible for paying some of the costs when updates are made. This is often the case in rural areas or private communities where the costs are shared among you and your neighbors.
When touring properties, talk with your real estate agent to better understand what to expect if you live in the neighborhood. Sewer repairs, water treatment upgrades, and road maintenance issues are typically big-ticket expenses you might face.
Don’t Get Caught Off Guard
Don’t be surprised by unexpected expenses. Make a budget that allows you to save money every month for home maintenance and repairs. Plan ahead and stay prepared to reduce the stress of homeownership.