Home Ownership Costs
The true costs of home ownership are sometimes overlooked. If you’re a first-time home buyer, move-up buyer, luxury home buyer or an empty-nester downsizing don’t forget to review these home ownership costs below.
When you are getting ready to buy a home and budgeting for your new home, be sure to account for additional home ownership costs like the following items; short-term and long-term.
- Appliances – Will the appliances in the home need upgrading—now or in the near future? Don’t forget to check out the water heater and HVAC.
- Furniture – Moving from a one-bedroom apartment to a three-bedroom house often means you’ll need more furniture. Evaluate furniture needs and costs for your new home.
- Remodeling – Before purchasing a home that needs remodeling, ask a contractor to give you an estimate. Homeowners often underestimate the costs.
Ongoing Expenses – Monthly, Quarterly or Annually
- Principal, interest, taxes, and insurance (PITI) – If you have a fixed rate mortgage, the payment will remain the same for the life of the loan. Taxes and insurance may increase.
- Homeowner Association Fees – Fees or assessments for a condo, townhouse or single-family home with an association can increase yearly. Compare fees of similar properties line-by-line. Check what the fee includes; for example, utilities gas, electricity, garbage pickup, and water. Watch out for special assessments for capital repairs and improvements to common areas.
- Utilities – If you are renting, you’re probably used to budgeting for utilities. But the cost of heating a one-bedroom apartment can pale in comparison with the bills for an entire house. A Realtor can help you find out about the current occupant’s costs. Family size and usage impacts those numbers.
Ongoing Expenses – Maintenance
- Exterior maintenance – Replacing the roof, painting the siding or trim, sealing the driveway, sealing the deck, replacing windows, gutter cleaning or repair, septic and well maintenance are just some of the additional exterior maintenance costs in owning a home. Some jobs you can do yourself, but others require professionals. Don’t forget the tools that go along with home maintenance: power washers, compressors, heavy-duty ladders, and power tools.
- Interior maintenance – If you’ve been renting, your landlord probably picked up the tab for repairs and general maintenance. Once you own your home you’ll be footing the bill. You will need to maintain appliances, plumbing and electrical systems, carpets, floor and wall coverings, and so on.
- Yard care and snow removal – Plan on buying a lawnmower and other landscaping tools or budget for a professional lawn service. Include a snow shovel or snow blower if you live in a cold climate.
- Pest control – Depending on location, be sure to schedule a termite inspection before you purchase a home. Purchasing a termite infestation bond may be in order. Even if there is no infestation at the time of the inspection, that’s no guarantee these or other pests won’t show up.
Ongoing Expenses – Transportation
- Transportation Costs – Don’t forget to calculate transportation costs whether by public transportation or your own vehicle. Budget for gas, oil, insurance, tires, and regular maintenance. Will you need to purchase another car to take care of all of the family’s transportation needs?
More Home Buying Tips
If you planning to buy real estate in the Lake Norman area, make sure you’re ready. Several steps to getting your finances in order, checking on your credit score, learn ways to improve your credit, follow a lender checklist and explore real home ownership costs.
Buyer Tip Videos
Visit my YouTube Channel’s “Home Buying Tips” playlists. There are many helpful home buying videos to watch.
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Robin is a licensed as NC real estate agent. Robin works in the Lake Norman real estate market towns of Cornelius, Huntersville, Mooresville, Denver NC, Davidson and Charlotte NC. She will educate you and ensure you are taking advantage of the best market opportunities. Robin will also help you set realistic expectations. Furthermore, she will walk with you through the entire process. Home buyers can trust Robin to help them find a property of their dreams. Home sellers will receive unparalleled exposure to their listings. She will assist her clients in negotiating the best possible price. She will also do her part in keeping your transaction running smoothly! Ask her any general question about real estate in NC and around Lake Norman.
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