Eager to finally kick your rent payments to the curb and take the step toward homeownership? If so, you’re certainly headed down an exciting path. Homeownership brings with it the opportunity to decorate, personalize and modify to your heart’s content. But budgeting for a home goes well beyond the down payment and extra funds for furniture and aesthetic changes. In fact, many of the larger expenses associated with homeownership go towards items or repairs you don’t even think about or see. Avoid money troubles when purchasing your first home by keeping the following expenses in mind:
The cost of lawn care was probably incorporated into the rent you paid at your apartment, but without specific expenses listed on a bill you may have never realized just how much lawn maintenance really costs. The reality is that lawn care is expensive—especially if you hire a professional lawn care company. But even those who plan to do their own yard work should be prepared to fork over some hefty cash for lawn mowers, leaf blowers, wheel barrows, etc. Flowers and landscaping materials also come with a high price tag, so keep those expenses in mind as well.
Unless you’re lucky enough to live in an area with warm weather year-round, be sure to budget for the winter months. Now that you’ve moved out of an apartment, you’re in charge of clearing out your own driveway after heavy snowstorms—which may mean purchasing a snow blower. Plus, chances are your home is larger than your apartment, so get ready to see an increase in heating bills compared to what you may have been paying as a renter.
Moving to your own place means you can no longer pick up the phone and call maintenance every time something goes bust in your home—and it also means you must now foot the bill for repairs. While not all fixes come with a high price tag, brace yourself for the big-ticket items. These can include a new roof, new windows, new air conditioner, new appliances, etc. Sure, it might be more fun to use your cash for a kitchen renovation or bathroom remodel, but sometimes the “boring” expenses have to be put first.
Of course, no matter how carefully you prepare your budget for homeownership, you’ll probably still find yourself having to deal with some unforeseen expenses. But by keeping the above expense categories in mind, you’ll at least have your budget on the right track when you become a homeowner. And remember—if you do find yourself needing financial assistance, we’re always here to help at Fidelity Bank!