Keys to Costs
Buying a home is often referred to as “the American dream” and while it’s an exciting first step toward a new journey it’s important to truly understand just how many costs go into the home buying process.
There are obvious costs like down payments and mortgages, but what about the hidden costs? The costs that tend to hide in the corners and crevices of your dream home such as taxes and insurance, landscaping, utilities, and more. Discover four hidden costs of buying a home so you can avoid the unknown and prepare for the unexpected.
Taxes & Insurance
Many people tend to forget that the purchase of insurance comes even before you are eligible to take out a mortgage. Lenders need proof of homeowners insurance before awarding a mortgage payment to make sure you’re covered against losses and damages to your home.
This can range anywhere from storm damage to stolen property. It’s also important to make sure you show proof of liability insurance to protect against accidents and injuries that may take place on your property like falling down the stairs or slipping on ice. Along with insurance costs, taxes are another added expense that often gets folded into your monthly mortgage costs, specifically property tax which remains ongoing until you move.
Landscaping & Outdoor Maintenance
Many homeowners enjoy and even take pride in caring for their outdoor living space just as much as their indoor one. However, the cost of caring for and maintaining a yard, garden, patio, pool, and/or more can add a heftier cost to your home than you may think. Having a yard means making sure the grass is cut and shapely. In fact, some neighborhoods won’t allow you to have your grass past a certain height or you may face a fine. This means purchasing a lawn mower, or hiring and paying a service to maintain greater grounds regularly. Plus, outdoor maintenance can include keeping up with garden beds, which can lead to more expenses such as plants, soil, mulch, and more annually. Not to mention tools, patio furniture, or buying cleaning chemicals and equipment for the pool, if your new home has one.
If your home buying experience means moving from an apartment to a house it may be easy to forget to factor in utility costs as many apartments will include them as part of the rent. These are separate charges that are often affected by usage amounts of electricity, gas, water, sewer/trash removal, and energy costs. Of course, it’s possible you won’t find yourself with all these charges, but it’s almost impossible to go without any of these charges.
Purchasing and installing a security system has grown into a necessity for many new and experienced homeowners alike. There are different types of security systems available for homes, however, most don’t come for free. Some hardwired security systems can come with a monthly fee as opposed to a one-time purchase.
Other security systems such as Ring offer a variety of pricing options allowing you to choose the right one for your lifestyle. It is also not uncommon for some homeowners to adopt a pet as a form of home security, which could come as around a 12-15-year added expense almost every day. However, there is something to be said about spending a little extra money on quality peace of mind and safety.
Stop Playing Hide & Seek with Your Home
Take these four hidden costs of buying a home and consider what other financial commitments you might be missing when planning your financial home buying experience.