Costs of Owning a Home

From the initial purchase to maintenance and repairs, the costs of homeownership are not always cheap.  When entering the world of home ownership there are several key things you should consider when making your purchase:

  • Do a home inspection.  Having a thorough home inspection done before purchase will alert you to any concerns that might be lurking.  It’s better to know in advance that your furnace is going out or that your roof needs replacing than to find out when you move in.  A home inspection can also tell you what areas of your home are at risk for damage and what you can do to prevent them.  Probably the biggest advantage of doing the inspection before purchase is that you have the option of getting the seller to assist with any major repairs as well.
  • Consider what routine maintenance you should be doing.  When planning your housing budget add in the costs of routine maintenance.  It’s a better idea to buy a cheaper home and leave a monthly cushion for maintenance and unexpected expenses than to buy a home at the top of your budget and realize you can’t afford maintenance or repair items.  Some of the most important maintenance items you should consider are plumbing lines and fixtures.  Because plumbing is one of the most important elements of your home you’ll want to be sure to plan for routine maintenance and inspection to avoid costly repairs.  Consider having a Dallas Texas plumbing professional routinely inspect your sewer lines as well.
  • Plan for taxes and insurance.  While many mortgage companies allow you the option to include taxes and homeowner’s insurance costs in your monthly mortgage payments, it’s still important to calculate this cost into your monthly expected expenses.  When purchasing a home it’s a good rule of thumb to realize that an additional ten percent a month on top of principal and interest should be added for these expenses.
  • Utilities are another expense of home ownership.  Where before you might have paid rent and had utilities included; home ownership brings with it bills for individual utility services such as natural gas, power, water and sewer, as well as heating oil depending on the home.  It’s important to budget appropriately for these monthly expenses.  It’s also important to be aware that unless you sign up for an equal payment option with your utility provides costs can fluctuate a great deal from summer to winter for individual services.
  • Unexpected repairs are the most costly part of home ownership.  While you might be doing regular maintenance and planning for routine repairs; inevitable an unexpected repair will come up.  The only things you can do is plan in advance and have an emergency saving fund to cover these expenses when they happen.  Doing routine maintenance will help to reduce the likelihood of numerous repairs, but part of home ownership is knowing from time to time one will come up.

When looking to purchase a home, or even if you’re already in a home, consider these important costs to owning a home and take appropriate action and plan accordingly.

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