NMLS# 3151

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Surprise Costs for Home Owners

Surprise Home Ownership Costs

Property Taxes
Ask about the property taxes. These are usually included on the MLS listing and can be obtained from the local county office. Secure the accurate annual property tax figure, divide that number by 12 months, and add the result to the estimated monthly mortgage payment. If you are still within your monthly budget, you shouldn’t have a concern. If you are pushing your max budget, or if you are over your monthly budget limit, you may have to keep looking at other homes. And remember, property taxes are going to continue to grow. So, make sure this cost fits into your planned budget.
Home insurance is really an unknown cost for most buyers and homeowners. The insurance agency has a secret formula for determining each individual’s risk level, in addition to the home being insured. Such factors as the home location, year built, recent upgrades or updates, etc. can impact the home insurance cost. Also, your personal credit history can impact your home insurance cost. Ask your Lender to provide you with an estimated monthly payment that includes your home insurance in the total.
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When getting serious about a home purchase, you can request an estimate for monthly utilities to help better gauge costs. Add this ongoing cost to the total expenses of the home each month to ensure this falls within your budget.

Updates & Renovations
Although small changes such as decorating or a fresh coat of paint are common for new homeowners, bigger or more pricey updates are sometimes overlooked during the purchase process. Be sure to consider all major and minor updates and renovation work for a serious home purchase. Many people underestimate these costs and think they can or will do the work themselves. Be honest with yourself and gather realistic bids or quotes for work. Be sure to add a cushion to the estimate to allow your budget some room and not stretch your finances too thin.

For those looking at buying a “fixer-upper,” check out this post. Is A Fixer-Upper Right For You?

Lawn Work
Take the exterior yard into consideration. Are you comfortable with yard work? Do you have a large yard that will require a lot of attention and maintenance? Hiring a service can get costly, especially if you do not budget for this weekly expense. On the flip side, if you are planning to do the yard maintenance yourself, make sure you have the equipment needed. A new lawn mower can be a big expense if you aren’t planning for it.

Snow Removal
For locations with snowy winter weather, you may want to plan for a snow removal service for your driveway. This expense is less regular and quite unpredictable as it truly depends on Mother Nature. If you are not able or not wanting to handle snow removal from your sidewalks and driveway, you may consider paying for a service to do this for you. Be sure to include this in your budget.

Ongoing Maintenance
Remember, all homes require ongoing maintenance. Unforeseen expenses such as replacing a water heater, cleaning a chimney flue, fixing a plumbing leak, or replacing bad electrical can add up quick. Smaller, ongoing maintenance costs like blowing out your sprinklers in the fall or having your carpets cleaned once a year can also impact your budget. Be sure to leave room in your monthly allowance for common maintenance costs.

Pest Control
This can be a big expense, especially if you need a company to spray more than once or for multiple insect problems. Some homes or locations require pest control in the spring and in the fall. Ask friends and neighbors for referrals and be sure to get quotes from local pest control companies. This cost can be higher than expected and catches some people off guard.

Cleaning Your Home
Lots of people hire a regular home cleaning service. For some, it is a weekly luxury. For others, maybe once a month. Regardless of the frequency, if you plan to pay for a service to clean your home regularly, be sure to factor this into your monthly budget.

Next Steps
Think you’re ready to take that next step? Work with your Realtor and Lender to make sure you have the budget for the home. Your Realtor will help you through the buying process and will secure all the information you need. Your Lender will guide you through the home loan process and will ensure you have the financial means to purchase and own the home within your budget.

Call RANLife today to get started on your home purchase. (801) 478-4545 info@ranlife.com

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