Expenses New Homeowners Often Overlook

Expenses New Homeowners Often Overlook

Several First-Year Expenses New Homeowners Often Overlook

When I thought about buying my first home, my family and friends reminded me that home ownership entailed a few, additional costs. Even though I nodded in confidence that yes, I knew all about these things, I am only now beginning to develop a comprehensive understanding of all that they meant.

A lot of us are prepared to pay for things like home insurance, HOA dues and property taxes. These are fairly predictable expenses that we can easily work into our housing budgets as we start the process of shopping and around. But there are other things to consider as well. Many people who share the wisdom and experience that they have gleaned the hard way assert that there are some expenses that rear their heads in a surprisingly predictable fashion during the first year of ownership. If you aren’t ready for these expenses, you may end up in debt.

Let’s go over five expenses new homeowners often overlook and talk about how to get ready for these additional costs both before and after buying your property.

1. Appliance Replacements And Repairs
During the appraisal of your prospective home, you will learn about nearly everything that must be done over the next ten years whether these things apply to the roof, the floors, the siding, the electrical system, or the actual building structure. If you have chosen to buy the home from a private seller rather than a bank, some of the larger projects may not be reflected in the negotiations.

This appraisal will also list each of the appliances that are included in the sale but it is not going to give you a whole lot of info about how old they are or the condition they’re in. Be sure to find out the age of these appliances and how heavily past homeowners have used them so that you can establish a feasible plan for repairing and replacing these things as needed. For example, are you buying a home from a single individual who did not use the oven or dishwasher very often or are you buying a home from a large family that used both of these appliances each and every day? Following is a list of life expectancy for most major home appliances.

Dryers, dishwashers, washing machines and refrigerators ast between 10 and 13 years.
Stove tops last between 15 and 18 years.
Gas ranges last approximately 15 years.
Microwaves must be replaced every 9 to 10 yars.
Water heaters should be replaced once every one to two decades, but a tankless water heater will have a significantly longer life span.
Furnaces last between 15 and 20 years.

2. Cosmetic Enhancements
During your initial building walk-through, you probably had a lot of ideas about the different improvements you wanted to make, like adding in new light fixtures, painting, or upgrading the window treatments. These are all projects that do not seem very expensive, but their costs can mount quickly when you try tackling multiple projects at one time.

Determine what has to be done and what you would like to do (the unattractive, purple paint in the bath, versus the window blinds that are torn) and then draft a cost estimate that will allow you to begin preparing for these projects ahead of your actual move-in. Fortunately, it is easy to find coupons from manufacturers and department stores for things like home fixtures and paint (June and July are the perfect months for purchasing paint).

3. Extra Furniture
You might be planning on using the furniture you currently own, but more often than not, you will probably need to purchase a few additional items to fill your new house, especially if you have an additional bathroom or a guest bedroom. This is an expense that you can budget for and you can also look for re-sale discounts on swapping apps and sites like AptDeco, CraigsList, Furnishly, Chairish, Let Go, Offer Up, and Move Loot.

4. Setting Services Up
It’s incredibly easy to overlook this one, especially if you intend to maintain the same services that you used before (and at the same price). Keep in mind that transferring Internet, telephone, satellite and cable TV services to a new address often requires equipment and installation fees. To save some cash, treat this as an entirely new account set-up and do not be afraid to inquire about promotional offers or to negotiate rates according to the competition’s prices.

5. Re-keying The Locks
Finally, having your new home re-keyed is just a good idea all around. Why is this the case? If you haven’t bought new construction, then your home has had multiple owners and renters who may still have duplicate sets of keys. This is not a significant expense. However, it can still cost a few hundred dollars depending upon how many locks have to be changed and thus, you should make sure to budget for it so that you don’t have to put this service on your credit card.

Dealing With These Expenses

In addition to the advice above, following are three more tips that will help you effectively handle your first-year home expenses:

Purchase less house than you can actually afford so that you have more expendable income for this side of your housing budget.
If you have enough time, try saving more for these first-year costs than you believe is necessary.
Make these extra expenses a priority but take care of them at a reasonable pace. After all, your goal is to remain in your home for a long time, right?

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