Buying a new home is exciting, yet it can also be anxiety-inducing because of how much it costs. You know that you’ll have a monthly mortgage payment, yearly taxes, and insurance, and you come up with a monthly amount based on those expenses. Yet the cost of keeping your home will actually be much more than that and your utilities. You have a lot of maintenance and other services that you should be getting to protect the investment you have in your home.
Here are some of the costs of homeownership that you may not think of when calculating your expenses when you are shopping for your dream home:
Pests aren’t just a nuisance; they can actually damage your home and pose a health and safety risk to your family. Termites can eat up your home from the inside out. Rats and roaches can spread germs and illness. You need to invest in regular pest control treatment to keep these and other pests out of your home.
Whether you are looking for pest control services in Las Vegas or New York City or someplace else, you can find affordable options to fit into your monthly budget. Make sure you start your maintenance plan with a thorough inspection so you know what you might be dealing with already.
Your heating and air conditioning need regular maintenance to continue operating efficiently. If you skip this maintenance, your system will have to work harder, and you’ll pay a lot more for your utilities. You’ll also end up repairing the system more often, which can cost you thousands of dollars, and the system will have a shorter lifespan.
You should schedule a yearly HVAC inspection and maintenance. The technician will clean your system, fill up fluids, and check to make sure all parts are working properly and are in good condition. If you have to make repairs, you’ll still end up spending less since you will have caught the problem early.
Replacing a roof can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Allowing your roof to become damaged can also cost you a lot in increased heating and cooling costs, repairs to the roof, and repairs to water damage as a result of leaks. It’s far better for you to invest in routine roofing maintenance than to pay these other costs.
Schedule a yearly roofing inspection, as well as an inspection after each major storm. Your roofer will let you know if any repairs need to be made and will give you an assessment of the overall condition of the roof. You should also clean the gutters regularly as part of your roof maintenance. If the gutters become clogged, water could flow up on the roof, damaging materials and creating leaks. Water trapped in gutters can also become frozen and create more damage to the roof and walls.
Plumbing and Electricity
You don’t have to schedule routine maintenance for these two essential systems in your home, but you should factor in the costs of repairing them when you are determining housing expenses. Over time, you will have to have both repaired, and that can be expensive. You might have to fix a leaky faucet, or you might need to check on a flickering light. Or you might have to deal with more serious issues like an appliance that has short-circuited or a busted pipe. Setting aside money for these and other repairs can help you manage the costs better. Instead of handing over hundreds or thousands of dollars unexpectedly, you can put aside a little each month and then use the fund when you need it.
The complete costs of owning a home are not always obvious. You might think of everyday expenses, but you will likely overlook maintenance or emergency expenses that are essential. Make sure you are factoring in these and other costs when you are determining your housing budget. Trying to skip these services will only end up costing you more in the long run. It’s better to plan for them and to create a savings strategy to cover everything. This is different when living in a condo as the cost will be entirely different, see this.