If you are in the market for your first home, you’ve probably saved a substantial amount of money for the down payment. You researched closing costs, sought out the best deal on a mortgage, and maybe even found pre-approval before you started shopping. But have you thought about the other expenses of home ownership? These little expenses can take first-time buyers by surprise.
Here are five essential start-up costs that you need to include in your home ownership budget.
1. Changing the Locks
The day you get the keys to your very own home will be one of the biggest days of your life, but you will want to get a new set of keys as soon as possible.
You can expect to spend several hundred dollars rekeying all the locks in your home and having extra keys made for your family members, so make sure those costs are in your budget. You may also want to plan for an alarm system and the monthly cost of professional monitoring.
2. Appliance Breakdown
You are now the proud owner of many appliances, from the refrigerator and stove in the kitchen to the washer and dryer in the laundry room. Each one of those appliances could cost hundreds of dollars – or more – to replace.
Many new homeowners fail to budget for the replacement of appliances and find themselves in a bind when the inevitable happens. Hopefully, you will make it through your first couple years of home ownership without a breakdown, but building an emergency fund for that purpose is still a smart thing to do.
3. New Furniture
If you are moving from a small apartment to a larger home, you will probably want to buy additional furniture at some point. Your apartment-sized couch and bedroom set may look too small in their new surroundings, or you may find they just do not fit with the rest of the home.
One way to save a buck is to look for used furniture. You may just find a special piece to add to your new home.
4. Small Repairs
No matter how careful your walk-through or how detailed the home inspection, eventually you will encounter an unpleasant surprise or two. Whether it is peeling paint or dampness in the basement after a heavy thunderstorm, these small but important things will need to be addressed.
You will also want to budget for cosmetic upgrades, like new numbers on the mailbox, a stylish wreath on the front door or a new throw rug in the living room. All those little costs can add up, so make sure you include them in your home ownership budget.
5. Deposits for Home Services
Whether it is setting up phone service or negotiating a deal for home protection and monitoring, you may be required to put down a deposit to get those services up and running.
The amounts of the deposits vary, but it is important to include these potential costs in your budget. If the expenses come in lower than expected, you can use the extra funds elsewhere, like buying new furniture or repairing that uncooperative washing machine.
Buying your first home is costly, but there are additional start-up costs you need to know about. Many first-time buyers are surprised by these start-up costs, and they find themselves scrambling for the cash they require. Being aware of these expenses may not make them go away, but it will make them easier to deal with.